Can Manchurian sauce be made with mostly ketchup?
Mark Bittman's recipe for Manchurian-Style Cauliflower calls for a sauce that is made from 1 cup ketchup (cooked until thickened) along with a little bit of garlic and cayenne. That's it. Now, I don't need the recipe to be authentic, and in fact the simplicity of this appeals to me, but I'm wondering if this sauce can actually taste good when it's mostly ketchup. Has anyone tried this recipe? How was it?
Haven't read Mark Bittman's recipe but, clearly, you could use ketchup for preparing a Manchurian sauce. A typical Manchurian sauce includes vinegar, a little soy sauce, tomato puree, water and a few other ingredients. The ketchup will probably be prepared using tomato (naturally) vinegar, a sweetening agent (sugar, corn syrup, etc.) and various herbs and spices. The herbs and spices that are commonly used in ketchup are familiar to Manchurian cooking styles so the only thing you might have to do is balance the flavor using additional herbs/spices from your pantry and adjusting the liquid to meet your presentation requirements.
I do an indo chinese manchurian (either cauliflower or mixed veggie balls) and my sauce is lots of chopped garlic, fresh green chilis, soy sauce, ketchup, some chicken broth and white pepper.