Spicy vegetable balls or manchurian is an Indo-Chinese recipe. This style of food is very popular in India. My aunty did a cooking class to learn how to make all the latest Indo-Chinese dishes. She made this for us when my family and I were visiting her in India. I took the recipe and now I am able to share it with you.
Indo-Chinese food has the influence of Chinese flavours and techniques adapted with an Indian twist. Chilli paneer and vegetarian Manchurian are amongst the most well-known dishes in this cuisine. Indo-Chinese food is now readily available in Indian restaurants across the UK. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s definitely worth giving this recipe a go. Most Indo-Chinese dishes include soy sauce and this one is no different.
This recipe is packed full of vegetables and chilli. The main ingredient in the vegetable balls is cabbage. I love cabbage dishes, it’s a great vegetable and takes bold seasoning and spices really well. It is also really healthy. It’s low in fat and calories and is known to prevent the signs of aging.
The vegetables for this recipe need to be chopped really finely. To save time I use a food processor to form a coarse mixture. Most vegetables release a lot of moisture when cooked or chopped. For this reason it’s really important to drain as much excess water from the vegetable mixture as possible. I use a muslin cloth or cheese cloth to do this. You can also use your hands. If using your hands, do this step in small batches as the balls won’t hold together if too much moisture is left in the mixture.
Once the vegetable balls are formed, they are shallow fried. You can deep fry them but I prefer to use less oil in my cooking. The final stage of this recipe is to make a thick spicy sauce using soy sauce, vinegar and tomato puree. The vegetables are then added to the sauce and generally heated for a few minutes before serving.
These spicy vegetable balls make a great side dish or starter but can also be eaten as a light meal. I serve them with a side salad when having as a light meal.
Do you like this Indo-Chinese recipe? Leave me a comment and rate this recipe if you like it. Share your pictures on Instagram with #prettyvegetarian.
Spicy vegetable balls - manchurian recipe
Yield 2 people
Spicy vegetable balls or manchurian is an Indo-Chinese recipe. This style of food is very popular in India. The vegetable balls are fried and then added to a spicy sauce.
For the manchurian balls:
- ½ medium cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1 green pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 green birds-eye chilli, roughly chopped
- 1 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- 2 tablespoon corn flour
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Sunflower oil to shallow fry
- 2 green birds-eye chillies, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- thumb-sized root of ginger, peeled and minced
- 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Spring onion to garnish
- Mix the cabbage, carrot, pepper, onion, chillies, garlic, and salt in a bowl. Blend in a food processor into a coarse mixture.
- Using a muslin cloth, drain any excess moisture from the mixture. You can use your hands but do this in small batches as the balls will fall apart if there is too much moisture in the mixture.
- Add the plain flour, corn flour and black pepper to the cabbage mixture, mix well and divide into small balls about 2cm wide.
- In a non-stick frying pan heat a few tablespoons of oil over a medium heat.
- Gently fry the balls for 3-5 minutes, toss occasionally to ensure they are cooked on all sides.
- Cook them in batches. It will take about 20 minutes in total to cook the vegetable balls. Remove from the pan, and set aside on kitchen paper for later.
- In the same pan add the minced chilli, garlic, ginger and spring onions. Cook for 5 minutes until they have softened.
- Now add the soy sauce, white vinegar, tomato puree and salt and pepper to taste. Mix into a thick sauce over a low heat for a minute, add a tablespoon of water if needed to loosen the sauce.
- Add the fried vegetable balls and cook for 2-3 minutes until they are warm.
- Garnish with finely chopped spring onion and serve warm.
- Adjust spice level according to taste.
- Serves 2 as a light meal and 4 as a side or starter.
Courses side or starter
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 15 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Sodium 2292 mg
Total Carbohydrates 53 g
Dietary Fiber 13 g
Sugars 18 g
Protein 10 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.