Chicken Manchurian

Sizzling sound of the hot plate that is used to serve Manchurian never ever fails to create an atmosphere of excitement and joy. I recall, we would wait eagerly while at a restaurant for manchurian to be served, just for the sizzling sound and how steamy it was. My childhood’s ultimate favorite dish Manchurian served with egg fried rice still makes me nostalgic. I learned making this dish from my mother, who I think still makes the best Manchurian.

Manchurian is an Indo-Chinese recipe originated in 1975 in Mumbai. The recipe was created to beat the competition from Sichuan/Chinese cuisine getting popular in masses. Hence by infusing the South Asian red chilies with chinese seasonings  this hot, tangy and sweet red gravy with crunchy fried chicken came into existence.

Over the decades, the recipe has been improvised by many chefs and home cooks according to their cultural and demographical flavors. Chicken to Cauliflower to Cottage Cheese, different variations have been introduced which are cherished by everyone. I still have to meet someone who doesn’t like Manchurian 🙂

I made chicken Manchurian for dinner tonight. It was remarkably close in taste to what my mother makes. Give it a try, you will definitely love it 🙂 .

Preparation/Marination time: 30m
Cooking time: 30m
Serving: 4 persons

Recipe:

  • Chicken breast– 2.5 pieces cut diagonally into strips or cubes
  • Soya sauce – 1.5 tbsp
  • White pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Paprika – 1 teaspoon
  • Brown sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Corn flour – 2 tablespoons
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons

Method:

  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with all the above ingredients.
  2. Let it rest for minimum 30 mins. 
  3. Shallow fry until lightly golden.

Sauce Recipe:

  • Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Ginger – 1-inch piece finely chopped
  • Tomato puree – 2 tomatoes deseeded, blended with water and then drained
  • Chili Garlic Sauce – ¾ cup
  • Soya sauce – 2 tablespoons
  • Vinegar – 1 tablespoon
  • Brown sugar – 1.5 tablespoon
  • Chicken cube – 1
  • White pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Whole Red Chili – 3 to 4
  • Crushed red chili or red chili powder – ¼ teaspoon (skip if you want to keep mild hotness)
  • Paprika – ¾ teaspoon
  • Stock or water – ¾ cup

Method:

  1. In a wok heat oil and fry ginger. 
  2. Add tomato puree and chili garlic sauce.
  3. Stir fry for a minute.
  4. Add soya sauce, brown sugar, chicken cube, white pepper, whole red chilies, paprika. Let it simmer.
  5. Add stock or water and let it simmer for 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken on its own.
  6. Add fried chicken pieces in the sauce, add vinegar and taste. 
  7. Adjust salt pepper if needed. 
  8. Put a tablespoon of butter on top. Serve.

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