Veg Manchurian Recipe with Manchurian Sauce

Updated: June 11, 2023, By Swasthi

Try this Veg Manchurian recipe & treat yourself to a classic Indo-Chinese meal. These crisp fried vegetable balls tossed in a spicy, sweet & tangy Manchurian sauce are amazingly delicious and addictive. Serve Veg Manchurian as an appetizer or with Hakka Noodles, Fried Rice or plain Steamed rice.

veg manchurian served in a white plate

Recipe Comments



About Manchurian

Manchurian is a popular Indo-Chinese dish that dates back to 1970s. Though the term ‘Manchurian’ refers to the manchus (people living) in the Manchuria region of North-East China, this dish may have nothing or little to do with the Manchu cuisine.

Back during 1975, the first Indo-Chinese Manchurian dish made with chicken was invented by Nelson Wang, an Indian restaurateur of Chinese origin living in Mumbai.

It is said that some of the best culinary inventions like Butter Chicken, Jalfrezi, Tikka Masala and this Manchurian were accidental. Chicken Manchurian was just an accident that happened when Nelson Wang was ordered to make something different and unusual by a client.

Since a large population of Indians are vegetarians, Vegetable manchurian, Gobi Manchurian, Paneer Manchurian and Mushroom Manchurian were born.

What is Veg Manchurian?

Veg Manchurian is a vegetarian Indo-Chinese dish in which shredded vegetables are formed to balls and fried until crisp. These are tossed in a dark red, spicy, sweet, tangy & umami Manchurian Sauce.

In most restaurants, you will find 1 to 2 of the three versions of Vegetarian Manchurian – dry, semi-dry and gravy. As the names say a dry version has thick sauce coated over the vegetable balls and these are best to be served as an appetizer.

The semi-dry version is served with a little more manchurian sauce and can be eaten with fried rice, rice or noodles.

The gravy version is served with plenty of sauce and you will love this if you are a sauce lover. It is worth noting that plenty of sauce means high calories, high-sodium and high amount of refined flour.

So dry and semi-dry versions are better choices for health conscious people. Vegetable Manchurian makes for a great dish for parties, family dinners and weekend meals.

My Recipe

My recipe will help you make the real deal Indo-Chinese Manchurian. The balls in this perfectly delicious Veg Manchurian will turn out crisp and light, & the Manchurian sauce is super flavorful and finger-licking good.

I also share tips and tricks to make a perfectly smoky sauce & you will smell the real Chinese flavors.

The restaurant version of Vegetable Manchurian has plenty of soya sauce and MSG added to it which dehydrates you. With this homemade version you can easily make the best by adding the quantities to your taste.

You can make dry, semi-dry or gravy versions. If making the gravy version, I suggest using bread crumbs to keep the balls crisp for longer. You won’t taste the bread in the balls but the bread crumbs will soak up the excess moisture from the veggies and keep them crisp longer.

More details in the step by step instructions below. If you are making this for a party, then add the balls to the manchurian gravy just before serving. This way they remain crisp for longer.

Photo Guide

How to Make Veg Manchurian (Stepwise Photos)

Preparation

1. It is good not to use vegetables from refrigerator as they let out lot of moisture and the veg balls will not turn crispy. I usually keep the veggies out of refrigerator the previous day.

2. Cut cabbage to large cubes and add them to luke warm water. Allow to rest for 3 to 4 mins. Drain completely and allow to air dry until used. Chop finely. I prefer to air dry on a cotton cloth after chopping.

Prepare veggies for balls
1¼ cups cabbage fine chopped
¼ cup spring onions fine chopped
¼ cup beans (optional) fine chopped
½ cup grated carrot (1 medium)
2 tablespoons grated or minced bell peppers
Grate 2 garlic cloves and half inch ginger (1 teaspoon paste).

chopped vegetables in a bowl to make veg manchurian balls

3.Prepare veggies for the sauce
fine chop ½ tablespoon ginger & ¾ tablespoon garlic
¼ cup spring onions fine chopped
¼ cup bell peppers chopped

Making veg balls

4. Before you begin to make the balls, begin to heat the oil in a kadai / deep pan. If you do not intend to use bread crumbs in the recipe, this step is very crucial.

The balls that are made without using bread crumbs have to straight away go for frying else they will let out moisture and the balls will not turn crispy or may even break.

5. Add chopped cabbage, carrot, beans,capsicum and spring onions to a mixing bowl. Next add very little salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and ginger garlic paste. Do not add more salt as it will let out more moisture from the veggies.

6. Then add 3 tablespoons cornstarch (corn flour) and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (maida).

adding flour to vegetables to make veg manchurian recipe

7. Mix gently to bind the ingredients.

dough for making veg manchurian recipe

8. Make the balls without squeezing the mixture a lot. These balls will be soft and you may also need to grease your palms if the mixture is sticky.

But if the balls do not hold shape, then it is not good to go ahead and fry as they may break in the oil.

Some variety of veggies especially tender ones, frozen or from cold storage let out lot of moisture and will break the balls while frying.

making veg balls for manchurian recipe

Manchurian Balls with Bread Crumbs

9. You can also add ¼ to ½ cup bread crumbs for extra crisp texture. If you intend to make this for a party, then do use them. This will help the balls to remain crisp for at least 2 hours. You can make these ahead and dunk in the sauce just before serving.

Veg manchurian balls made without bread crumbs are good to serve immediately after making as they do not remain crisp for longer. Any amount of cornstarch or maida / plain flour will not do the job of bread crumbs.

adding bread crumbs to make veg manchurian

10. These balls will be firmer and less sticky. For this recipe you will get about 12 to 14 balls depending on the size.

veg manchurian balls ready to bake or fry

Frying Balls

11. Heat oil in a kadai. Gently slide a small portion of dough to the oil to check if it is hot enough. The dough has to rise steadily without browning. This is the right temperature. Fry veg balls immediately on a medium flame. Leave them untouched until they firm up in the oil, if you have not used bread crumbs. Later stir often to fry them evenly.

deep frying veg balls to make veg manchurian recipe

12. Drain them to a kitchen tissue when they turn golden and crisp. These balls take long time to fry, so it is good to discard the oil used for frying.

golden fried crisp veg balls for manchurian

13. I prefer my Indo chinese dishes to be brighter in color rather than brownish so I use red chili powder or paste. This is optional. You can make a fine paste of ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chilli powder with very little water. Set this aside.

14. Dissolve corn starch
For veg Manchurian gravy: Dissolve ¾ tablespoon of cornstarch with ¼ cup of water.
Manchurian dry: Dissolve 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoon of water. Set this aside.

Make Manchurian Sauce

15. Heat up a wok with 1½ tablespoons of fresh oil. Saute chopped ¾ tablespoon garlic and ½ tablespoon ginger for a min. For the great smoky Chinese flavors use a carbon steel wok & cook from here on a highest flame until you add the sauces at a later step.

Saute ginger garlic in oil.

16. Add ¼ cup spring onions and ¼ cup finely chopped capsicum. Saute for 1 to 2 mins on the highest flame possible without burning. This imparts a unique aroma to the sauce.

saute spring onion capsicum

17. Add 1 tablespoon soya sauce or tamari. You can add more or less to suit your taste.

pouring soya sauce for manchurian recipe

18. Add 2 tablespoons red chili sauce (or any hot sauce) and 1 tablespoon tomato sauce/ ketchup (optional). Adjust to suit your taste.

add chilli sauce to make veg manchurian sauce

19. This step is optional. Stir the red chili paste and pour it. Use a milder variety chili powder like kashmiri.

making red chili paste

20. Make sure the flame is low. Stir the cornstarch mixture and pour it to the pan.

stirring corn flour to make manchurian

21. Next stir immediately.

cooking manchurian sauce

22. Pour 1 cup water for gravy version and half cup water for dry version and stir well. I am making a gravy here.

adding water to make manchurian sauce

23. Taste this and then add vinegar, sugar, pepper & salt, everything to suit your taste. The manchurian sauce has to be slightly sour, sweet and very very mildly hot.

adding vinegar

24. Keep stirring and cook on a medium flame until the sauce thickens. Sauce will thicken upon cooling. So the right consistency is when it is slightly thick. Taste test and add more soya sauce or chilli sauce or tomato ketchup to suit your taste.

cooking sauce until thick

25. Do not add the balls to very hot sauce. Allow it to cool down a bit for about 5 to 7 mins. Add the balls to the manchurian sauce just before you serve. If the sauce turns very thick, you can add little hot water and stir.

adding veg balls to make manchurian sauce

Garnish veg manchurian with spring onions. Veg manchurian can be served as a appetizer or as a side with
Fried rice
Veg noodles
Hakka noodles

veg manchurian

Pro Tips

  • For authentic Chinese smoky flavors use a carbon steel wok and stir fry on a highest flame until you add the sauces, then turn down the flame and cook further.
  • Do not add a lot of flour or starch to the mixed veggies as they make the manchurian balls hard. Instead you can add bread crumbs.
  • Adding too much of bread crumbs will alter the taste of the balls. You should not have the dominating taste of bread in the balls. So add more only if needed.
  • The manchurian balls can be fried in the paniyaram pan, just skip the flour and beans. Use only the bread crumbs. Fry them on a medium flame turning them all around for even cooking.
  • If frying the balls in the paniyaram pan then, ensure you do not make the balls too big. I cook these in a cast iron paniyaram pan so they cook well inside but I am not sure if they turn out good in a non stick.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

Veg manchurian recipe

Veg Manchurian Recipe with Manchurian Sauce

4.99 from 181 votes
Vegetable manchurian is one of the popular manchurian recipes from Indo chinese cuisine. Veg manchurian is made by tossing fried mixed veg balls in sweet, sour and hot manchurian sauce. 
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings4 people
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

For Manchurian Balls

  • 1 ¼ cup cabbage finely chopped
  • ½ cup carrot grated (1 medium)
  • ¼ cup French beans (finely chopped, can skip but adds flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons capsicum grated or minced
  • ¼ cup spring onions finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch (white corn flour)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (maida) (prefer organic)
  • ¼ to ½ cup bread crumbs (optional, for extra crisp, refer notes)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 pinches salt (very little)
  • Oil as needed for frying

For Manchurian Sauce

  • tablespoons oil
  • ¾ tablespoon garlic finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon ginger finely chopped
  • ¼ cup spring onions finely chopped
  • ¼ cup bell peppers (capsicum) finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons soya sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons red chili sauce (or any hot sauce, adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar or as needed (or apple cider vinegar)
  • ¾ tablespoon cornstarch (white corn flour or arrowroot powder (1 tsp for dry)
  • ¼ cup water to dissolve cornstarch(2 tbsps for dry)
  • 1 cup water or veg stock for gravy (½ cup for dry)
  • salt as needed
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon pepper coarsely crushed

optional for color

  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon red chili powder or 1 tsp red chili paste (optional, used for color)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons water to make chili paste


Instructions

Preparation for Manchurian

  • Allow the veggies to come to room temperature first.
  • Cut cabbage to 4 quarters and keep them immersed in luke warm water for 3 to 4 mins.
  • Drain the water and rinse them well. Drain and chop them finely.
  • Air dry the cabbage for a while to remove excess moisture.
  • You can also process all the veggies in a food processor. 
  • Wash and peel the carrots and grate them.
  • Chop the beans, spring onions & bell peppers. Mince the ginger and garlic.

Make Veg Balls

  • Add the prepared veggies, cornstarch, plain flour, ginger garlic paste, pepper & salt to a mixing bowl. Mix everything well.
  • You can also add bread crumbs to make the balls extra crisp.
  • Mix everything well and make lemon sized balls. The balls must bind well without breaking.
  • You can also optionally roll these balls in corn starch.
  • You can make about 12 to 14 balls. Set aside all the vegetable balls.
  • Frying balls – Heat oil in a deep pan for deep frying.
  • Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small portion of the dough in hot oil.
  • The dough has to come up without browning. This is the right temperature. 
  • Gently slide the balls in hot oil & fry on a medium flame.
  • Do not disturb them for 1 min after the balls are dropped in oil.
  • They will be delicate and may break if you have not used bread crumbs.
  • After few seconds of frying, you can keep stirring and fry until they turn golden. 
  • Drain them on a kitchen tissue.
  • Baking in Oven – Preheat the oven and bake the balls on a greased wire rack placed over a tray at 200 C for 20 to 23 mins.
  • Turn them to the other sides after every 8 mins.
  • Please be alert as the timings may vary depending on the size of the balls.

Make Manchurian Sauce

  • Heat oil in a pan, then add ginger garlic and saute for a min. 
  • Add spring onions and capsicum. Saute for 1 to 2 mins on a high flame without burning.
  • While these fry dissolve cornstarch in water. 
  • Lower the heat, then add soya sauce, red chilli sauce, tomato ketchup and red chilli paste.
  • Stir the cornstarch mixture with a spoon and pour it to the pan. 
  • Next stir gently and pour water. Stir and taste the mixture.
  • Add vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar all to suit your taste.
  • The sauce should taste slightly sour, hot and sweet.
  • Keep stirring and cook on a medium flame until the sauce thickens.
  • Do not cook till very thick. The sauce will thicken further after cooling.
  • Switch off the stove and allow the sauce to cool for 1 to 2 mins.
  • Boiling hot sauce will make the veg balls soft and will lose the crispness.

How to Make Veg Manchurian

  • Add the veg balls to the sauce just before serving. Garnish with spring onions. 
  • Serve veg manchurian with veg fried rice or noodles.


Notes

Bread crumbs: Adding bread crumbs won’t alter the taste. But will help the balls to remain crisp for at least 2 hours. If making for a party to serve later, then I highly suggest using bread crumbs. You may skip it if you are going to serve right after making.

Video

Watch Manchurian Recipe Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Veg Manchurian Recipe with Manchurian Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 236 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 725mg32%
Potassium 242mg7%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 6295IU126%
Vitamin C 31mg38%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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Recipe Rating




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5 stars
I modified this recipe a bit, excluded the ketchup / tomato sauce / sugar newscaster we don’t care for the sweetness. I used distilled vinegar to advice the sourness. Just got done having a bowl of it and it is delicious! That’s for sharing this recipe, it motivated me to make this for the first time and I will definitely be making this dish again. ?

Very well explained easy to make tasty to eat

5 stars
Delicious well described

5 stars
Absolutely fantastic. My family loved it. I never made Manchurian before. I am so happy that I got this recipe. Thank you

5 stars
Thank you Swasthi. Veg manchurian turned out amazing.

Amazing really it is the best out come of your experience May please send me all latest Vedios .

5 stars
Manchurian is an absolute feast to the taste buds. I made this recipe last night for a family dinner. The only change is to use dark soya and it was an absolute winner.

5 stars
This is the best Manchurian recipe I ever made. The only change was to use sweet and spicy red chilli sauce. Came out delicious.

5 stars
This veg manchurian recipe is fab! I was introduced to your blog last year and have been enjoying your recipes since then. I made this for a kids’ party and was skeptical if they would like. It turned out amazing and every kid enjoyed it. For the grown-ups I had to double the soya sauce. This version was great as well. Thank you for sharing beautiful recipes.

5 stars
Very good aroma. I use dark soya for the dark color & deep flavor. Came out crisp and delicious.

5 stars
Your site is a real boon to beginner cooks like me. Very detailed with pictures at every step to ensure we don’t go wrong. This Manchurian recipe is my Husband’s favorite. Last night I made this for his Birthday dinner and he says it is amazing. The sauce is very balanced without an overpowering flavor of soya sauce. Thank you for your recipes.

Do you think I would be able to air fry the balls? Would they hold their texture for when I put it in the sauce?

5 stars
I know one Lakshmi Manchu and Mallesh Manchu. Definitely not Chinese

Hi Swasthi,
The manchurian balls were crisp on the outside after frying but they stayed moist inside. I could see the raw flour and corn starch after cutting through. Could you please suggest some tips ?

5 stars
Thank you for this recipe – it was delicious!!! I did cut down on the chili paste and only used 1 tablespoon, but still has heat and we both loved it!!
I did initially try baking them, but they weren’t browning so I fried them in oil – perfect!

nice article

5 stars
Hi swasthi i red your receipe and all comments. i m very much impressed. i have also one question “can i prefryi cabbage lightly and then refry whenever i needed”?

I just loved the recipe. I tried it and I was able to do it quite perfectly. I am going to make it quite often now.

5 stars
Very tasty!!

5 stars
Thank you for sharing the recipe. It was very tastyyy.

5 stars
Rating it 5-star coz the recipe came out to be really delicious.
Thank you for sharing it with us.