India’s love for Chinese food runs so deep, that we have created our own class of dishes ‘inspired’ by Chinese cuisine, called the ‘Indo-Chinese' cuisine and guess what? Your beloved Manchurian was made in India and not China. That’s right, the most popular dish of all the ‘Chinese’ restaurants in your locality is, in fact, completely desi. They were first made by Nelson Wang, in the year 1975. He was a cook at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai when a customer asked him to make something different. He took a wok, tossed in chopped garlic, ginger, and green chilis, and instead of garam masala he added soy sauce, followed by cornstarch and chicken, and the rest they say is history.  

There is much debate around the etymology of the name. The word Manchurian indicates a person who is a native of ‘Manchuria’, a town in China. The dish may be similar to dishes you find in the ‘Manchu cuisine’ of North-eastern China.

Manchurians have many variants, the popular vegetarian variant, known as Gobhi Manchurian, replaces chicken or meat with cauliflower. So a ball is prepared of cornstarch and chopped cauliflower which is dunked in a soy-based sauce or gravy comprising finely chopped veggies such as carrots, beans, onions, ginger, garlic.

Other than gobhi manchurian, you must have also heard of mushroom or paneer manchurian, but have you ever tried bread Manchurian? That’s right, this quick, saucy and yummy snack is made with corn flour, bread crumbs, schezwan sauce, white vinegar, soy sauce, red chilli and green chilli sauce. It does not take more than 30 minutes to put together and could serve as a perfect snack for an impromptu party or an intimate gathering. They are so yummy, you can have it as is, or pair with rice or noodles.

Just make some bread crumbs by adding bits of bread in a blender. Mix it with other ingredients such as cornflour, rice flour, capsicum, onion, and make a ball. Deep fry and keep aside. Then prepare a gravy with rest of the veggies and sauces, and dunk the balls in.  Cook for a few minutes until the Bread Manchurian balls are nicely coated.  

Serve hot with rice or noodles. You can add or eliminate veggies and sauces as per your choice.  

Try this recipe soon and let us know how you liked it in the comments.