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Manchurian Gravy | Veg Manchurian Gravy

A Manchurian is one of the most popular Indo-Chinese dishes in India. Manchurian Gravy pairs equally good with a simple noodle dish or even a flavorful fried rice. This post has the recipe of a Veg Manchurian Gravy, which is simply crispy fried mixed vegetable balls in a sweet, spicy, tangy, umami manchurian gravy or sauce. Try it, as I’m sure once you make it at home, you’ll forget the ones served at restaurants.

manchurian gravy garnished with chopped spring onion greens and served in a black rimmed bowl with chopsticks kept on the left side.

About Manchurian Gravy

This Manchurian Gravy variation is the most preferred choice of dish, when you want to have something saucy, sweet, spicy and tangy with a basic Veg Fried Rice, Schezwan Fried Rice or even just the good ol’ steamed rice.

So, this Veg Manchurian Gravy basically has a spicy and sweet umami sauce, in which fried mixed vegetable balls are dunked. The sauce has a mix of eclectic flavors like sweet, savory, spicy and sour. This particular recipe is also vegan.

I love Indo-Chinese food, and so does everyone in my family too. Such has been my love for this fusion cuisine, that in my teens I would make 3 of my favorite Indo-Chinese recipes often at home – this Veg Manchurian, Chilli Paneer and Sweet Corn Soup. This list is actually quite long now!

The best part of most Indian-Chinese recipes is that, you can change the consistency as per your liking. If you want a thin consistency, add some veg broth/stock or water.

If you want a thick consistency, add a few teaspoons of cornstarch (cornflour) paste. This Manchurian Gravy thickens, after it cools down. So, when reheating, you may have to add some water.

Like all my other recipes here, this Veg Manchurian Gravy too is a tried and tested recipe. It results in a sumptuous dish that pairs just as excellently with plain steamed rice as with any other Indo-Chinese fried rice dishes.   

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Veg Manchurian Recipe

Make Vegetable Balls

1. Take the finely chopped or grated veggies in a bowl. You will need the below listed vegetables:

  • ½ cup finely chopped red cabbage
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • ¼ cup finely chopped capsicum (green bell pepper)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped French beans
  • ¼ cup finely chopped spring onions

You can also add regular green cabbage, instead of red or purple cabbage.

finely chopped or grated vegetables added in a bowl for making veg manchurian gravy.

2. Next, add the the following dry ingredients to the mixed vegetables

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (called cornflour in India and UK)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt or as required
cornstarch, all purpose flour, black pepper powder and salt added to vegetables for making veg manchurian gravy.

3. Mix to bring the whole mixture together. Then, kind of mix and knead so that the veggies leave moisture and you get a dough-like mixture.

But do not knead like that a bread or roti dough. Gluten strands can form that will result in a dense, chewy texture in the fried Manchurian balls.

Thus, only mix very well and press so that the veggies release their juices.

vegetables mixed with ingredients for making veg manchurian gravy.

4. Then, take a small portion of the mixture in your hands.

small portion of vegetable mixture taken in hand for making veg manchurian gravy.

5. Press and roll it in your palm and make a round ball.

round ball formed of the vegetable mixture.

6. Make all vegetable balls this way and keep aside. You can spread some oil on your palms while making the vegetable balls.

prepared vegetable balls placed on a plate.

Fry Vegetable Balls

7. Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. Add a small piece of veggie ball in the hot oil.

If the ball does not stick or settle down at the bottom of the pan, but comes up steadily, the oil is ready for frying the balls.

In case the balls break, then some more binding agent is required. So, you can add 2 to 3 teaspoons more of all-purpose flour (maida).

checking temperature of hot oil for frying vegetable balls.

8. Gently place the balls in the hot oil. The oil has to be medium hot.

Too much heat and the Manchurian balls will be browned from the top and uncooked from the inside. Less hot oil will make the balls absorb too much oil.

veggie balls added to hot oil.

9. When cooked from one side and light golden or golden, turn the balls with a slotted spoon.

frying veg balls in hot oil.

10. Fry the balls till crisp and golden, turning them over a couple of times. Remove them with a slotted or perforated spoon and drain as much oil as possible.

removing fried veggie balls from hot oil using a perforated spoon.

11. Place the fried vegetable balls on a kitchen paper towel.

For a low-fat version, you can cook the veggie balls in an appe or appam pan or Æbleskiver pan. Fry the veg balls this way in batches and set aside.

fried veg balls placed on kitchen paper towel.

More Prep

12. In a small bowl, take the following sauces:

  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce (or 1.5 teaspoons soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of red chili sauce (note that the red chilli sauce is spicy and not sweet)
soy sauce, tomato ketchup and red chili sauce added in a small bowl.

13. Mix the sauces thoroughly to an even mixture and set aside.

sauces mixed well.

14. In another small bowl, take 1 tablespoon cornstarch (cornflour) and 2 tablespoons water. Mix very well and keep aside.

cornstarch mixed in water in another small bowl for making veg manchurian gravy.

Sauté

15. Heat 1 to 1½ tablespoons oil in a pan or wok. Add the below ingredients one by one:

  • 4 tablespoons chopped spring onions (scallions)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2 finely chopped green chilies
  • ¼ cup finely chopped capsicum (green bell pepper)

Adding capsicum is optional. You can use toasted sesame oil, sunflower oil or any neutral tasting oil.

chopped spring onions, finely chopped ginger, finely chopped garlic, finely chopped green chilies and finely chopped capsicum added to hot sesame oil in a wok for making veg manchurian gravy.

16. Stir fry on medium heat until the onions turn translucent and are softened.

stir frying ingredients in hot oil for making manchurian gravy.

17. Now, add the prepared sauce mixture.

sauce mixture added to wok for making manchurian gravy.

18. Stir and mix very well.

sauce mixture mixed well with other ingredients for making manchurian gravy.

19. Add 1 to 1¼ cups water.

water added to wok for making manchurian gravy.

20. Let the mixture come to a boil.

sauce simmering for making manchurian gravy.

21. Mix the cornstarch paste again in the bowl (as it settles at the bottom) and then add in the pan.

adding cornstarch paste in the wok for making manchurian gravy.

22. As soon as you add the cornstarch paste, mix very well so that there are no lumps.

cornstarch paste mixed well in the sauce for making manchurian gravy.

23. Continue to stir and mix while the gravy is cooking. Simmer till the gravy thickens and you see a glaze in it. There should be no raw taste of the cornstarch in the sauce.

Cooking sauce or gravy takes about 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat. If the sauce is too thick, then add some water. If it is too thin, then add some cornstarch paste.

cooking manchurian gravy.

24. When the gravy thickens, add ½ teaspoon black pepper powder.

adding black pepper powder to thickened manchurian gravy.

25. Season with a bit of salt. Keep in mind that the soy sauce, chili sauce and tomato ketchup already has salt in it. So, add less salt or as per your taste preferences.

adding salt to manchurian gravy.

26. Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon sugar or more, if required. Mix very well.

adding sugar to manchurian gravy.

Make Manchurian Gravy

27. Then, add the fried vegetable balls and 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or regular vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

fried veg balls and vinegar added to manchurian gravy.

28. Gently stir and coat the fried vegetable balls with the gravy.

fried vegetable balls coated with manchurian gravy.

29. Turn off the heat and add chopped spring onion greens.

chopped spring onion greens added to manchurian gravy.

30. Serve Veg Manchurian Gravy hot garnished with some spring onion greens (scallion greens).

It goes well with veg fried rice or Schezwan fried rice or plain steamed rice or noodles and even bread or roti.

veg manchurian gravy garnished with chopped spring onion greens and served in a black rimmed bowl with chopsticks kept on the left side.

Expert Tips

  1. Vegetables: Make this manchurian with the vegetables you like. But remember that they have to be grated or finely chopped. Chopping the vegetables takes time, so use a food processor to make your work easy.
  2. Sauces: I have used a spicy red chilli sauce in the recipe that adds some heat and pungency. But you could even use sriracha sauce, instead of red chilli sauce.
  3. Flavor Adjustments: Feel free to adjust the seasonings, spices and sauces according to your taste preferences.
  4. Frying Vegetable Balls: Ensure to fry the vegetable balls on medium heat. If they are fried on high heat, then the outside will get cooked and the inside will be uncooked, leaving a doughy taste in the mouth. If they are fried on low heat, they will absorb oil and this will make them oily and soggy.
  5. Consistency of the gravy or sauce: Adjust the consistency of the sauce by adding less or more water. For a thicker sauce, you can add less water and vice versa. If the sauce looks thin, add a bit of cornstarch paste and continue to simmer, until the desired consistency is achieved.

FAQs

What ingredients are typically used in Manchurian Gravy?

The main ingredients for Veg Manchurian Gravy include mixed vegetables (such as cabbage, carrots, bell peppers), all-purpose flour, cornstarch, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, green chilies, tomato ketchup, chili sauce, vinegar, and spring onions.

Spices and seasonings like salt, pepper, and optionally, MSG (monosodium glutamate) are also used to enhance the flavors.

Can Veg Manchurian Gravy be made healthier?

Yes, Manchurian Gravy can be made healthier by baking or air-frying the vegetable balls instead of deep-frying.

Additionally, you can use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, and reduce the quantity of oil used in the gravy. Incorporating more vegetables and using low-sodium soy sauce can also make it more nutritious.

Is Manchurian Sauce or Gravy vegan?

Veg Manchurian Sauce can be made vegan by ensuring all the ingredients used are plant-based.

Check the labels of sauces and other packaged ingredients to make sure they do not contain animal-derived products. Most traditional ingredients are naturally vegan, but it’s always good to verify.

What are some variations of Veg Manchurian Gravy?

There are several variations of Manchurian Gravy. Some popular ones include using different vegetables like mushrooms, adding tofu for extra protein or paneer, or incorporating different types of sauces like Schezwan sauce for a spicier kick.

You can also experiment with different seasonings and herbs to create unique flavor profiles.

More Manchurian Recipes To Try!

Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

manchurian gravy garnished with chopped spring onion greens and served in a black rimmed bowl.

Manchurian Gravy | Veg Manchurian Gravy

Manchurian Gravy is a tasty Indo Chinese preparation of crispy, fried mixed vegetable balls dunked in a spicy, sweet, umami and tangy sauce or gravy. This Veg Manchurian Gravy pairs equally good with a simple noodle dish or even a flavorful fried rice or just a plain simple steamed rice.

4.91 from 109 votes

Prep Time 40 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 1 hour

For vegetable balls

For corn starch or cornflour paste

For gravy or sauce

Making vegetable balls

  • Take the finely chopped or grated veggies in a bowl. 

  • Next add the dry ingredients – cornstarch, all-purpose flour, black pepper and salt.

  • Mix and gather the whole mixture together. Then kind of mix and knead so that the veggies leave water and you get a dough-like mixture. But do not knead like that a bread or roti dough. Gluten strands can form that will give a dense chewy texture in the fried veggie balls. So just mix very well and press so that the veggies release their juices. 
  • Then take a small portion of the mixture in your hands.

  • Press and roll it in your palm and make a round veggie ball. You can spread some oil on your palms while making the vegetable balls.

  • Make all veggie balls this way and set aside.

Frying veggie balls

  • Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or pan. Add a small piece of a ball to the hot oil. If the balls does not stick or settle down at the bottom of the pan, but comes up steadily the oil is ready for frying these veg manchurian balls. If the ball breaks, then some more binding agent is required. So you can add 2 to 3 teaspoons of some more all-purpose flour.
  • Gently place the balls in the hot oil. The oil has to be medium hot. Too much heat and the manchurian balls will be browned from top and uncooked from inside. Less hot oil will make the balls absorb too much of oil.

  • When cooked from one side and light golden or golden, turn the balls with a slotted spoon.

  • Fry the balls till crisp and golden turning over as needed for even cooking.

  • Remove them with a slotted or perforated spoon and drain as much as oil as possible.

  • Place the fried veg manchurian balls on kitchen paper towels.

  • Fry the veg manchurian balls this way in batches and keep aside.

Making sauce or gravy

  • In a small bowl take the following three sauces – soy sauce, tomato ketchup and red chilli sauce.

  • Mix the sauces very well and set aside.

  • In another small bowl take 1 tablespoon cornflour and 2 tablespoons water. Mix very well and set aside.

  • Heat 1 to 1.5 tablespoons oil in a pan or wok.

  • Add the chopped spring onions, finely chopped ginger, finely chopped garlic, finely chopped green chilies and finely chopped capsicum.

  • Stir fry on medium flame till the onions turn translucent.

  • Now add the mixed sauces. Stir and mix very well.

  • Add 1 to 1.25 cups water. Let the mixture come to a boil.

  • Mix the cornflour paste again in the bowl (as the cornflour settles at the bottom) and then add in the pan.

  • As soon as you add cornflour paste, mix very well so that there are no lumps.

  • Continue to stir and mix when the veg manchurian gravy is cooking. Simmer till the sauce thickens and you see a glaze in it.

  • There should be no raw taste of the cornflour in the sauce. Cooking sauce or gravy takes about 3 to 4 minutes on a medium heat. If the sauce is too thick, then you add some water. If it is too thin, then you can add some cornflour.
  • When the veg manchurian sauce thickens, add ½ teaspoon black pepper powder.

  • Season with a bit of salt. Do keep in mind that the soy sauce, chilli sauce and tomato ketchup already has salt in it. So add less salt and as per your taste preferences.

  • Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon sugar. Mix very well.

  • Then add the fried veg manchurian balls. Also add 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar or regular vinegar or apple cider vinegar. 

  • Gently stir and coat the veg manchurian balls in the gravy.

  • Turn off the heat add chopped spring onion greens.

  • Serve Veg Manchurian Gravy hot garnished with some spring onion greens. This Manchurian Gravy pairs well with veg fried rice, plain steamed rice and even bread or the chapati or roti.

  1. Consistency: The best part of most Indian-Chinese recipes is you can change the consistency as per your liking. If you want a thin consistency, add some veg broth or water. If you want a thick consistency, add a few teaspoons of cornflour paste. This dish thickens after it cools down. So when reheating you may have to add some water.
  2. Ajinomoto (MSG): I have not added any msg to the recipe. If you want a more restaurant style effect, you can do so. But a word of caution – msg or mono sodium glutamate is not good for the health.
  3. Frying: Remember to fry the veg manchurian balls on medium heat. If they are fried on a high heat, then the outside will get cooked and the inside will be not cooked leaving a doughy taste in the mouth. If they are fried on a low heat, they will absorb oil and this will make them oily and soggy.
  4. Sugar: I like the sweet sour taste of Indo Chinese food and hence I have added raw sugar to the recipe. You can use any other sweetener like palm sugar or coconut sugar instead of sugar. 
  5. Soy Sauce: Use naturally fermented soy sauce. The soy sauce I use does not have any sugar added to it. You may avoid this or check the ingredients list in your soy sauce if sugar is there in it or not.
  6. Non-fried veggie balls: For a low-fat version, you can cook the veggie balls in an appe-appam pan or æbleskiver pan. You could also try to air-fry the veggie balls in an air-fry
  7. Vegetable Customizations: Adding capsicum to the gravy or sauce is optional. Opt to add vegetables that you like while making the veggie balls. But do ensure that these veggies are not watery or full of juices like some gourds or zucchini. 

Nutrition Facts

Manchurian Gravy | Veg Manchurian Gravy

Amount Per Serving

Calories 224 Calories from Fat 126

% Daily Value*

Fat 14g22%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 12g

Sodium 1162mg51%

Potassium 268mg8%

Carbohydrates 23g8%

Fiber 4g17%

Sugar 6g7%

Protein 2g4%

Vitamin A 4263IU85%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.1mg7%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.1mg6%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%

Vitamin B6 0.2mg10%

Vitamin C 40mg48%

Vitamin E 6mg40%

Vitamin K 56µg53%

Calcium 44mg4%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 40µg10%

Iron 1mg6%

Magnesium 19mg5%

Phosphorus 44mg4%

Zinc 0.3mg2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Manchurian Gravy recipe from the archives was first published on May 2012. It has been updated and republished on June 2024.

Source: Dassana’s Veg Recipes
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