Recipe Swap: Cabbage Manchurian

by Shumaila

I love chinese take out food. But more than that I love Indian chinese take out food.

Yes, there is a cuisine like that. Its the indianized version of chinese food- greasy, spicy and oh so heavenly.

To know a little more about the origins of Indo-chinese food you should check out Soma’s site.

I remember when I was in Moscow I would crave for all kinds of roadside Indian food especially Indo-chinese food.

There used to be this Indian restaurant that would make noodles the way you get on the streets of India- with all the grease in it (believe me, that’s what made these noodles special).

Once, during a festival, at the university I was learning Russian language, the same restaurant put up a stall. One of my non-Indian friends had the noodles there and she was sold. She loved them and finally understood why I would always go absolutely bonkers describing them to her.

In US though I have not been as lucky. Panda Express’ chowmein is the closest that I have seen the chinese food here in US tasting like the “chinese” food we get in India. Though its a far second.

But that’s it.

There is nothing like chilli paneer (Indian cottage cheese cooked in a spicy sauce), chilli chicken or vegetable manchurian here.

So, when this month Christianna from Burwell General Store told us that we have “hot slaw” as our Swap recipe, after a little brainstorming with my mom, we decided to make Cabbage Manchurian- little vegetable balls made from shredded cabbage that are soaked in a spicy soya sauce based gravy.

This is what Christianna mailed us:

The point:
To be inspired by something new in the kitchen, and make something of your own creativity and design to share with others.

The recipe:

I will be trying that mayo recipe for sure!

This time around, we will be remaking “Hot Slaw” (and Slaw Dressing). I can’t wait for this one. Every time I have no idea what to do with a recipe, I know it’s going to be a good swap.

The rules:
In order to redevelop a recipe and call it your own, you must significantly change three ingredient amounts or techniques. Additions or subtractions count as changes. In addition, I ask that we all stay within the “spirit” of the original recipe, meaning, if it’s a cake recipe, try not to make a chicken entree out of it, unless of course, you are inspired to do so and can help us leap from cake to chicken within your post.


Manchurian is an Indo-chinese dish. “Manchurian” dishes may be made with cauliflower, paneer or chicken and is extremely popular in India. Here I have used shredded cabbage mixed with other vegetables to make fritters and then let the fritters simmer in a spicy soy based sauce. Manchurian is served either with fried rice or with noodles in restaurants all across India. FYI the fritters serve as great snacks too as is, no gravy required.
Recipe source: The Novice Housewife


For the fritters:

  • 1/2 cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 cup shredded onions (preferably use spring onions but I did not have any)
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 5 green chillies, finely chopped (I shredded garlic, ginger and chillies in the food processor)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • Salt, to taste ( I used a generous teaspoon)
  • 1/2 cup gram flour (besan) plus 1 tbsp
  • 1/3 cup corn flour
  • 1 carrot, finely shredded
  • 1/2 capsicum, finely shredded
  • Oil, for frying

For the gravy:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp capsicum, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp hot and sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp spring onions ( I used regular )
  • 1 cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 2 tsp corn flour (mixed in 2 tbsp water)


For the fritters:

  1. Mix all the shredded vegetables together. Add salt and corn flour and gram flour. The mixture should be thick enough to make balls and fry.
  2. Heat oil for frying. Once hot, turn the heat to medium-low flame.
  3. Make 5-6 small balls out of the mixture and fry them at a time.
  4. Fry till they are golden brown all over and cooked from inside.
  5. Repeat till the mixture is over. (I got about 39 balls out of the mixture)
  6. Keep on a paper cloth till ready to use.

For the gravy sauce:

  1. Heat oil and add the minced ginger-garlic paste. Saute for a minute.
  2. Add spring onions and saute.
  3. Add the green chillies and capsicum and saute again.
  4. Add the hot and sweet chilli sauce and the soy sauce.
  5. Add the stock. Mix well.
  6. Add the corn flour mixed in water to thicken the gravy a bit.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Both the gravy and fritters can be made ahead. Keep the fritters in an airtight container. When ready to serve heat the sauce and dip the fritters (I used half of the fritters for the gravy above) in it and let simmer for a few minutes. Serve with fried rice or noodles.

Click on the following to check out how the other Recipe Swappers played with “Hot Slaw”: