Authentic Veg Manchurian Recipe Restaurant style
Last Updated on May 3, 2023 by Santosh Allada
If you’re looking to make a perfect restaurant-style Veg Manchurian at home, then this Veg Manchurian Recipe Restaurant style is for you!
Vegetable Manchurian is a popular and one of the most favorite dishes in Indo-Chinese cuisine. Learn how to make the perfect Restaurant style Veg Manchurian with all the tips and tricks. Serve it as a snack/appetizer, or as a side dish to fried rice (veg or non veg), or hakka noodles.
Being an Indo-Chinese cuisine fan, I make some or other dishes at least once a week. There’s something very satisfying about Indo-Chinese dishes. This food ranges from starters, soups main fried rice, hakka noodles, to Chili Chicken, Chicken 65.
What is Vegetable Manchurian?
Veg Manchurian is an Indian Chinese dish where crispy fried vegetable dumplings are tossed in a spicy, tangy, savory, and sticky dark sauce called Manchurian sauce.
The fried vegetable balls have a glossy coating with bold flavors of sauces and aromatics. Also, the fantastic rich golden brown sauce seeps through them and makes the manchurian balls more delicious.
Veg Manchurian is probably seen on every Indian restaurant and Dhaba’s menu, Chinese section.
There are 2 popular variations of Vegetable Manchurian;
1. Veg Manchurian Dry: In this version, the manchurian sauce is just enough to coat and stick to the fried vegetable dumplings. These make an excellent snack/starter or as a side dish with fried rice or noodles.
2. Veg Manchurian Gravy (wet): In this version, crisp fried vegetable balls are dunked in a pool of thick manchurian sauce.
About Veg Manchurian Recipe Restaurant style
Vegetable Manchurian is a scrumptious Indo-Chinese dish made with finely chopped vegetables formed into dumplings, deep-fried until crisp. Later they are tossed in a hot, mildly sweet, sour, and salty Manchurian sauce.
Preparation of veg manchurian uses the Chinese technique of deep-frying and tossing it in a thick sticky gravy to coat it that uses Indian spices, aromatics, and sauces.
This recipe is a dry vegetable manchurian version. However, you can follow the same recipe and make a semi-gravy and gravy version of veg manchurian.
My 7 year kid does not like vegetables but he does not complain when it is served as Veg Manchurian.
Though there are various recipes for veg manchurian available on the internet yet this vegetable manchurian recipe reveals two important restaurant secrets. So this tried and tested recipe will yield the best restaurant-style texture and taste.
Most people love to order Veg Manchurian in the restaurant style as making it at home is somewhat overwhelming. But if you follow this recipe and the tips, you can easily make the dish at home.
The benefit of making at home is to control the ingredients – MSG and low-quality oil. Also, you can customize the ingredients as per your taste preference.
What’s the secret of crispy veg manchurian dry in a restaurant? The secret lies in the cooking process. In the restaurants, firstly the vegetable balls are half fried and kept aside. When an order is placed, the preparation of manchurian sauce starts. On the other side, vegetable balls are flash fried (double-fried in super hot oil for a few seconds). Once the sauce is ready, crispier vegetable balls are removed from the oil and directly added to the sauce.
Another restaurant’s secret for crisp and light vegetable balls: While making the dumplings, experts add paneer (grate a few pieces), boiled potato (1 small size), or baking/cooking soda. The use of paneer is generally in star hotels.
In this recipe, I’ve added very little cooking soda. It will give a rise and sponginess to the fried vegetables balls.
For easy understanding I’ve divided the recipe into 3 steps;
Step 1: Make the Vegetable Balls.
Step 2: Deep fry them.
Step 3: Make the Manchurian sauce and Toss the vegetable balls in the sauce.
Reasons to make
Vegetarian and Vegan
Tried and tested recipe
Simple yet delectable
Relished by all age groups
Great option for a starter dish at parties
Perfect as a snack as well as main course
A perennial favorite among children
Serve alongside some fried rice or noodles for a tasty lunch or dinner
Though veg manchurian recipe is easy and straightforward, the trick is in preparing the perfect balls that retain the shape, and are crisp from the outside and soft from the inside.
1. Finely chop the veggies. You can use a sharp knife or use a food processor. I do not recommend using a mixer, as grinding will make a paste of vegetables. I use a grater to grate the veggies like cabbage, carrot, and a knife to finely chop the beans.
2. As soon as you add salt and flour to the veggies, mix well and start shaping them into dumplings. If you wait too long, because of salt, veggies will continue to seep water. Then, you will need to add more flour which will result in doughy manchurian dumplings that are not very palatable.
3. Wet your hand or grease with oil before shaping the mixture into balls.
4. The water released from vegetables will be enough to form the mixture into a dough.
5. Use a deep frying pan and enough oil so that the vegetable balls get completely covered. If you use a small pan and less oil, the veg balls will touch the bottom of the pan and burn when it’s being fried.
6. When you are deep-frying, add a few pieces at a time. Do not overcrowd the pan, it will drop the temperature of the oil.
7. Deep fry the manchurian balls in hot oil over medium flame. So that they won’t absorb much oil at all. If the oil is not hot, the balls will absorb oil and turn soggy.
8. For an authentic restaurant-style smoky flavor, use a carbon steel wok and cook on high heat.
9. Indo-Chinese dishes are stir-fried in a super hot wok at really hot temperatures. So, have all your ingredients prepped and on hand.
10. Do not add too much cornflour while making the slurry. Excess of cornflour will make the sauce taste chalky.
Almost all of the ingredients can be easily found at any Indian local grocery store.
Vegetables: In this recipe, I used cabbage, carrot, and green beans which give me authentic restaurant results.
All purpose flour (maida) and cornstarch: the duo of white powders helps the veggies to stick together and not fall apart while deep frying. They also give the vegetable balls a crispy texture.
Cooking Soda: It will give sponginess to the fried vegetable balls.
Aromatics: Ginger, garlic, and green chilies. This trio of aromatics is the star of this recipe and most Indo-Chinese starters.
Onion: I like to finely dice the onion and cook it along with the trio to give the sauce a hint of sweetness.
Sauces: Green chili sauce, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, and vinegar.
Soya sauce is the key ingredient in Manchurian base sauce to give its signature dark color. In this recipe, I used dark soy sauce to give the sauce a darker color. It is easily available in Indian grocery stores. But if you cannot find it you can use light/regular soy in its place. Indian soya sauce is more viscous and dark in color compared to the original soya sauce.
Tomato ketchup is not added to the original veg manchurian recipe restaurant style. But, I like to use it because it gives the sauce a bit of sweetness as well as extra umami flavor. It also balances the tanginess from the vinegar and the saltiness from the soy sauce.
Cornstarch slurry: To thicken the manchurian sauce so that it coats the fried dumplings evenly.
Spice: Green chilies and black pepper powder.
For a milder spicy version, I used light green color of green chilies. The type of green chilies/peppers you use in this dish will be your preference, depending on how spicy you like your food. If you prefer spicy food, use smaller or darker color green chilies.
Seasoning & Herbs: Coriander leaves, spring onions, and salt.
How to make Veg Manchurian Dry
Step 1: Make the Vegetable balls
1. Take a wide bowl and add the finely chopped vegetables. Meanwhile, keep some oil for heating in a pan or kadhai over medium flame.
1/4cup Green beans
2. Next, add 1tsp black pepper powder, 1tsp ginger garlic paste, 1tsp salt, 1/4tsp cooking soda, 3tbsp refined wheat flour (maida), and 4tbsp cornflour.
3. Mix all the ingredients well. Next, apply some pressure and knead so that the water content from the veggies starts oozing out. Note: Do not knead like roti dough.
4. Continue to mix until the mixture forms a dough.
5. Wet your hand, take a tablespoon of veggie mixture in the palm. Press and roll it in your palm to make a ball (need not be a perfect round). If the mixture forms a ball, continue to do the same for the rest of the dough.
If the mixture is too wet and sticks to the hands, then add 1 tablespoon of cornflour and all-purpose flour each. Mix well and try again until you can shape the veggie mixture. The mixture will still be sticky but you will be able to form it into rounds.
6. Make veggie balls and place them on a plate. You can lightly wet your hand or grease your palms while making the vegetable balls.
Step 2: Frying the Vegetable balls
7. Carefully drop a batch of vegetable balls one by one into the hot oil. You can roll the vegetable ball once before adding it to the oil. Do not stir for 10-20 seconds or until the outer layer sets.
8. Stir with a slotted spoon and fry the balls over medium-low heat until light golden color. Do not overcrowd the pan. Fry the balls in batches depending on the size of your pan.
9. Transfer them to a plate and fry the rest of the balls. Let them cool for 5-10 minutes. The residual heat will continue to cool the balls from the inside.
10. Now heat the oil once again until very hot and flash fry (fry the half-fried manchurian balls until golden brown and crispy).
11. Drain and transfer them to a plate. See how manchurian balls are looking crispier from the outside.
Step 3: Make the Manchurian sauce and toss the balls in the sauce
12. In a bowl add 1tbsp green chili sauce, 1tbsp tomato ketchup, 1/2tbsp dark soy sauce (add more if the color is not dark), 1/2tbsp vinegar, and 1tbsp cornflour. Add 1/2cup of water and mix well without any lumps. Keep aside.
13. Heat oil in a wok over a high flame.
14. Add minced garlic, ginger, green chilies, and finely chopped onions. Saute on high flame to impart char flavor. Saute until onions turn soft. Do not let them change color.
15. Turn the flame to low and add the sauce mix (mix it well before adding).
16. Add salt and black pepper powder.
17. Cook til the sauce begins to bubble and thickens a bit in the pan.
18. Add the fried manchurian balls and stir fry quickly so that the balls absorb the sauce yet they stay crispy.
19. Add roughly chopped coriander leaves and spring onion greens.
20. Give a stir. Restaurant style Veg Manchurian is ready.
Serve hot as a snack or pair it as a side dish with your choice of fried rice or noodles.
As it’s a dry dish, traditionally this dish is served as a snack or appetizer. You can use it as a main dish and serve with fried rice varieties such as Egg Fried Rice, Street style Chicken Fried Rice, or Veg Schezwan Fried Rice or pair it with noodles.
Vegetable Manchurian is generally eaten hot to enjoy the texture and fresh flavors.
If there are any leftovers, you can store them in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. Before serving reheat in a pan on the stovetop or in a microwave until hot.
Can we freeze manchurian balls?
Yes. To store longer you can freeze the manchurian balls. Half fry the vegetable balls, drain and cool completely. Transfer them to freezer storage bags or freezer storage containers. Manchurian balls are good frozen for 15 to 30 days.
When you want to make veg manchurian, thaw the frozen balls on the kitchen counter or defrost them in the microwave. You can deep-fry until crisp, bake them in the oven, or air fry them. Make the manchurian sauce and add the fried balls to the sauce.
Veg Manchurian Gravy (wet): Follow the same recipe. Only change is mix the sauces in 2 cups of water along with 2 tbsp of cornflour. After adding the sauce mix, cook for 2-3 minutes. Next, add the fried manchurian balls and simmer for 2 minutes so that the balls absorb all the flavors. Finally garnish with coriander leaves and spring oinions greens
Add finely chopped capsicum to the manchurian sauce. Saute along with onions.
Veg Schezwan Manchurian: Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of schezwan chutney along with the sauces.