Veg manchurian is the most popular indo chinese dish which is a must order for us when at a restaurant. There are two types of Manchurians , one is dry served as an appetizer and other one is wet – Manchurian dumplings dunked in a sweet and sour gravy. Today I am sharing a healthier and downright delicious version of the Manchurian gravy – Easy no fry Veg Manchurian Gravy-indo chinese,vegan & GF. Enjoy it with a side of some steamed noodles or rice and dinner is sorted.
My friends call this version as better than the restaurant Manchurian . bursting flavors and made up of melt in mouth dumplings .
Veg manchurian gravy is best paired with steamed or fried rice or hakka noodles. But feel free to enjoy it on it’s own.
Do not forget to check out the post on easiest noodles – hakka noodles with tips and tricks to cook a perfect one. Click here for the link.
Let’s quickly look at the differences
Restaurant style vs my style.
Restaurant one is – deep fried , has all purpose flour , msg and cornflour . My version makes use of the fabulous appe/ paniyaram pan for making the Manchurian balls with just brush strokes of oil , has no msg, apf or cornflour instead uses poha/ beaten rice or steamed rice and rice flour as binding. The rice/ poha is the secret to soft , juicy mouth melting dumplings. Plus it makes it completely gluten free. Yay!!
I think the health factor is enough to convince you to try this recipe , but I have a bonus reason too .
It can be made ahead of time , that makes it perfect for pot lucks or large gatherings.
The Manchurian balls can be made ahead of time and refrigerated upto 3 days or frozen upto 2 months which saves you a lot of time on the actual event day.
Given below is a step by step pictorial followed by the recipe and important notes.
- For the Manchurian balls
- 2 cups finely chopped vegetables* i.e
- ¼ cup grated carrots
- ½ cup grated/ food processor cauliflower
- ½ cup finely chopped/ roughly pulsed bell peppers
- 5-6 french beans finely chopped /pulsed
- ¼ cup finely chopped /pulsed cabbage
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon poha /beaten rice or 1/2 cups boiled rice
- 1 tablespoon rice flour*
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon chilly sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic or garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger or ginger paste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Salt to taste
- For the gravy
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 cup finely chopped red/white onion or shallots
- ½ cup red or green bell pepper/Shimla mirch/capsicum
- ½ cup spring onions chopped
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon green / red chilly sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey/sugar/agave
- 2 teaspoon tomato ketchup
- 2 teaspoon vinegar
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 tablespoon rice flour
- Salt to taste*
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Handful of chopped spring onions green part for garnish
Place poha/ beaten rice in a colander . Wash it thoroughly under tap water . Cover and let it sit for 10 minutes for it to soften and double its size .
Meanwhile dice and pulse the vegetables in a food processor or chop it /grate it finely .
Now take a bowl , add in the the vegetables, soften poha or cooked rice , rice flour and all the mentioned seasoning.
Make lime size small balls. The balls should be smooth and soft yet firm enough so that they do not fall apart. Add 1-2 tablespoon of flour if you are in doubt. At this point you can deep fry them or use paniyaram pan to cook . Heat up the paniyaram/appe pan. When warm ,brush each cavity lightly with oil. Place the prepared balls in the pan and let it cook on low to medium heat for 5 -6 minutes rotating mid way until golden brown . Take them out of the pan and keep aside .
For the gravy
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Once warm add in ginger garlic , sautee for30 seconds add in the onions , bell peppers. Sautee for 30 seconds. Add in the mention sauces. Cook for 10 seconds. Now add in 1 cup of water , pepper and let the gravy come to a simmer . Meantime , in a bowl whisk the rice flour with ½ cup of water. Once the gravy starts simmering , add in the prepared rice flour slurry slowly by one hand and whisking the gravy with a spoon by another hand until incorporated well .
The gravy will start to thicken within a minute. Switch off the flame . Taste test and then add salt if needed.
Just before serving warm up the gravy and add Manchurian balls to it. Serve piping hot with rice or noodles.
You can finely chop or use food processor to grate veggies for Manchurian balls .
If you do not have rice flour substitute it with cornstarch / all purpose flour
Substitute poha/beaten rice with cooked rice .
Adjust spice to your preference . This recipe has a spice level of 3 , 1 being mild and 5 being spicy .
A quick update about brands I have used here –
Though it does not matter which brand you are using , these are the following ones I have used for this recipe –
Norpro aebleskiver pan – paniyaram /appe pan from amazon.
Ching’s dark soy sauce , I like tamari sauce too.
Mitchell’s green chilly sauce .
Nakano’s rice vinegar .
Inchin’s bamboo garden vegetable noodles.
We do not like thick noodles , I love using inchin’s noodles found at indian grocery store or thin whole wheat spaghetti or angel hair pasta found in any departmental store.
Don’t have a paniyaram pan and still wanna make healthy one’s
If you do not own this pan, you can flatten the manchurian balls like tikkis and fry on a non stick skillet lightly brushing it with oil on both sides until golden brown . You can call them as gold coins 🙂
Or you can bake them at 400 degrees f / 200 deg c for 20 minutes flipping half way and for golden brown top , place the baking tray on top rack and broil it on high for 1 -2 minutes on both side. Keep a watch to prevent them from burning.
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