Dry Vegetable Manchurian: A Delicious Starter Sans Onion, Garlic
Image Credit: Dry Veg Manchurian

Dry Vegetable Manchurian, with no onion and garlic, is a yummy dish. In it, soft, fried vegetable balls are dipped in a special Chinese-style sauce. Simple ingredients are required with easily available spices and Chinese sauces. It can be served to a large section of people in India, as many festivals abstain from using onion and garlic. 

It’s a popular appetiser served with fried rice or noodles too. It is often eaten as a snack too. The basic Chinese flavours combined with the veggies and sauce makes a beautiful dish loved by all. Helping with the Indian traditions making a Chinese cuisine without onion and garlic yet achieving similar flavour is appreciative to many.

Manchurian is a Chinese adapted dish, now popular in India. A spicy, combustive dish, typically made with chicken, cauliflower, cabbage and paneer mixed with flour and spices, then immersed in a thick sauce made of soy sauce and spices. This dish has been created by the restaurants of China, which is said to be adapted by traditional Manchu cuisine.

It has also been said that manchurian was invented by Nelson Wang, a cook at the Cricket Club of India, Mumbai, who was asked to create a new dish by a customer. The basic Indian ingredients with garam masala were added to the soy sauce and corn flour mixture and then chicken was added. The variants were then made using cauliflower, called Gobi Manchurian and further mushroom, baby corn and others were introduced.

Here’s the recipe for Dry Vegetable Manchurian.


    ½ cabbage

    1 medium green capsicum (finely chopped)

    2 tsps fresh coriander leaves

    4-5 green chillies

    Salt, to taste

    2 tsps dried ginger powder

    2 tsps white pepper powder

    ½ tsp sugar

    6 tbsps cornflour

    2 tbsps refined flour

    Oil, for deep frying

    1½ tsps red chilli sauce

    1½ tsps soy sauce 


    Grate a cabbage, wash and squeeze out water in a bowl.

    Discard the water and in the same bowl, add capsicum, coriander leaves, chopped green chillies, salt, a tsp of dried ginger powder, a tsp white pepper powder, and one-fourth tsp of sugar.

    Mix all these ingredients well.

    Add about four tablespoons cornflour, two tablespoon refined flour and mix again.

    As the mixture becomes thick, separate into eight to nine equal portions to make it into a small ball.

    Heat oil in a kadai to fry the balls made. Fry until it turns golden.

    In a pan, heat some oil, and add green chillies and saute for a minute.

    Add a cup of water to this pan, two tablespoon cornflour and mix.

    To this, add remaining spices: ginger powder, remaining pepper powder, salt, remaining sugar, chilli sauce and soy sauce and mix.

    Allow this mixture to thicken as it heats.

    Finally, add some coriander leaves, and mix well.

    In this prepared sauce, add the fried balls, and stir gently.

    Cook this till the Manchurian balls are properly covered in the sauce.

    Garnish with coriander sauce. Serve hot.