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Dec 24, 2009 07:25 AM

Manchurian Balls

Chinese restaurants in my locale often cater to non-Chinese vegetarian customers. Among their veg. offereings I noticed a dish called Manchurian balls, which is white flour, possibly bound with egg, mixed with finely chopped vegetables like carrots and cabbage. It is formed into a golf ball size and deep fried. It is served in "Manchurian" sauce, which is a reddish brown sauce. I am wondering if this is based on some authentic food of any of the Chinese cuisines, or if this is an Indian Chinese food, or if this is something common in restaurants which serve vegetarian customers...perhaps it is in the US, too but I just never noticed it before or it is not a typical offering in my parts. Whatever it is, it is tasty. Anyone heard of this and know more about it?

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  1. Okay, some googling led me to conclude that this is definately an Indian-Chinese dish, based on the recipe sources.

    3 Replies
    1. re: luckyfatima

      Yes, I believe that it is an Indian-Chinese dish. I had it at a restaurant near my house that specializes in that type of food. It is now one of my favorite dishes! AMAZING! It is called Vegetable Manchurians on the menu.

      1. re: luckyfatima

        Here in Toronto Manchurian is applied to a brown / red sauce or marinade frequently seen in Hakka cooking. There are a lot of Hakka restaurants in this part of the world as a search of the Ontario board will show.

        1. re: Paulustrious

          The Chinese people who first brought Chinese food to North America were of the same ethnic groups who brought Chinese food to India, and Hakka are among them. So there is that same type of backbone to the food despite the Indianization. I wouldn't be surprised if this "Manchurian" dish weren't based on a Hakka or Cantonese dish.

      2. Very interesting! This is the first I'd heard of it. My mom (Taiwanese) has made us vegetable fritters that sound a lot like the "balls" used in this dish, but the sauce is definitely new to me. It sounds like it might taste remotely similar to tamarind chutney. Do you like the dish? (If it comes with your recommendation, I'll give it a try.)

        1 Reply
        1. re: cimui

          I do like the dish a lot. It is well worth a try.

        2. I have just discovered Vegetable Manchurian in my local Indian Buffet. They are the best thing on the buffet line. I know this conversation has been over for awhile but has anyone found a really good recipe? There are several on the internet, all different.

          I will try my first attempt in a couple of days.

          1 Reply
          1. re: wingwizard

            We love Gobi Manchurian and I made it at home exactly once using this recipe.
            It was very tasty, but I hate frying food at home so I vowed to just order it when we eat out at our favorite Indian/ Chinese restaurant.