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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vegetable Manchurian

indo-chine fusion cuisine vegetable manchurian vegetarian

Indian-Chinese food came into my life several years ago, in India, with the most popular Gobi Manchurian, which is Cauliflower fritters in a sweet-sour-hot-ish sauce.

While "Manchurian" seems misleading, the dish happens to combine the basic Chinese sweet-and-sour sauce with some Indian spices to present an incredibly delectable meal. The staple meats of Chinese cuisine like pork and beef are not as all-encompassing in India, so, vegetables seem like a great alternative, and the sauce works great with any kind of vegetable fritters.

And fusion cuisine being my signature, this dish is one of the quick-and-easy weeknight meals we relish. This not much different from the Gobi Manchurian or Chicken Manchurian recipe. I just happened to have a smallish bit of red/purple cabbage, a couple of potatoes and a zucchini that needed to be used up and wanted to do something creative with them in combination. That's how this dish came about. Any favorite combination of vegetables would work fine, I'm sure.

Grate the raw potatoes, finely shred the cabbage and zucchini, toss them with some flour and water to bind, deep fry and drain the fritters, then toss them in with the sauce. As always, I vary the sauce proportions to taste depending on my mood. Here, I used approximately the Gobi Manchurian sauce, but instead of condensed tomato soup/sauce and sweet chili sauce, I used organic tomato ketchup.

Ingredients
2 medium potatoes, finely grated
1 cup finely shredded red cabbage
1 medium zucchini, finely grated

Seasoned flour coating:

½ cup corn starch
½ cup rice flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder

canola oil or other preferred oil for frying

for the sauce:
1 Tbsp sesame oil or peanut oil
2 Tbsp ginger, finely grated
4-6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
4-6 green chilies, chopped finely
1 medium onion sliced thin
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
¼ cup light soy sauce
½ cup tomato ketchup
2-3 Tbsp plain white vinegar
2-3 Tbsp red chili powder (or cayenne pepper powder)
1 cup water

Garnish: spring onions, or chives, cilantro

Preparation
  1. Sauce: heat the oil in a saucepan, throw in the ginger and garlic, sauté a bit, then add the rest of the ingredients and allow to simmer on medium low heat; taste and adjust flavors; if preferred, add a handful of red cabbage to the sauce; use corn starch to thicken the sauce if needed
  2. Squeeze out extra water from the grated vegetables, add the seasoned flour coating plus water, a little at a time, to form a sort of powdery batter that can be formed into small balls about an inch or so in diameter, without falling apart
  3. Deep fry, drain on paper towel to remove excess oil
  4. Toss the fritters with the sauce, allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, and allow to sit and develop for 10 minutes or so before serving
  5. Garnish with fresh chives or spring onions, even cilantro, and serve warm with hot jasmine rice

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2 Comments:

  • At 9:41 PM, Anonymous B said…

    Sheela,
    I loved the vegetable manchurian alternative to the regular old cauliflower manchurians,and i guess addition of rice flour will enhance in the crispiness of the manchurian.. without the sauce seems like a good started! again very appetizing picture!
    B
    www.sizzlinspice.blogspot.com

     
  • At 10:32 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    SizzlinSpice B:: Thanks!

     

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