Paneer Manchurian is a perfect amalgamation of Indian and Chinese cuisines. Cooking paneer with veggies is an Indian tradition whereas frying Manchurian is a Chinese cooking practice. A combination of both these methods gives you a crunchy, deep and spicy flavored Paneer Manchurian stir fry which is good enough to give a surreal experience to your taste buds.
Some people like to keep their Manchurian dry whereas some people prefer it thick and saucy. Hot Paneer Manchurian can be relished with fried rice or Chinese Hakka noodles as per your taste preference. Adding one egg white is optional as vegetarians will not prefer it. However, adding the egg white gives a smooth consistency to the curry which is a trademark of the Chinese cuisine. For added flavor and texture, garnish with chopped spring onion greens (scallion greens) or coriander leaves (cilantro) or parsley and green chilli for a fiery kick.
To add a spicy kick to the dish, sprinkle some red chili powder on top before serving. For a tangy twist, add ½ teaspoon of white vinegar and 1 tbsp ginger to the sauce before turning off the heat. The acidity of the vinegar, specifically apple cider vinegar, will enhance the flavors of the dish and bring them together. For a pop of color and crunch, add ¼ to ½ cup capsicum (bell pepper) and green chilli to the dish. This will add a delicious sweetness and texture to the dish.
Add spring onions and celery to give it an authentic Chinese flavor but you can use regular onions and skip the celery if they are not available. You can also use Tofu instead of paneer and the Manchurian will still taste deliciously and exotic!
Do not forget to marinate the paneer cubes in the ginger-garlic paste for at least 10 to 15 minutes before frying them. Kids love this delicacy as they get to relish something unique and saucy. You can serve this dish with your regular homemade noodles as well and kids will devour it in no time. To achieve the perfect crispy texture, heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok on medium heat before adding the marinated paneer cubes. Shallow fry them until they turn golden brown, removing any excess oil with a paper towel before serving.
Paneer is rich in proteins and the vegetables used make it even more nutritional. It proves to be a great appetizer and you can also have it as a late evening snack. Corn flour is added to thicken the gravy but add it slowly and stir occasionally to prevent the formation of small lumps. You can directly add the paneer cubes without frying them but fried ones certainly taste a lot better. To make the corn flour mixture, mix 1 teaspoon of corn flour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup water in a small bowl. You can also use arrowroot powder as a substitute for corn flour. Make sure to mix it well to avoid any lumps. Set this mixture aside for later use.
If you want to enjoy dry or masala Paneer Manchurian just avoid adding water and just drizzle it with extra sauce!
- 1/2 cup Flour (Maida)
- 1/2 tsp Chinese salt
- 2 tbsp Cornflour
- 2 tbsp Spring onions chopped
- 2 tbsp Soya sauce
- 3 nos. Green chillies chopped
- 4 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
- 6 nos. garlic cloves finely chopped
- 200 g Paneer/ Cottage Cheese
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- Few coriander leaves chopped
- Cut the paneer into square pieces.
- Marinate the pieces with salt and two teaspoons of ginger-garlic paste and keep aside for 10 minutes.
- Mix cornflour, flour, ginger-garlic paste, salt in a bowl and make a batter using a little water.
- Dip the paneer pieces in this batter and fry in hot oil until they turn golden.
- In another pan heat oil and fry the chopped garlic cloves.
- Now add Soya sauce, spring onions, fried paneer pieces, green chillies, salt, Chinese salt, one and a half cups of water and let the ingredients simmer.
- Take three teaspoons of cornflour and half a cup of water and mix well.
- Add this to the boiling mixture and cook well until the sauce thickens.
- Add coriander leaves and serve hot.
For Dry Version
- Skip the sauce when the mixture is cooking to make a dry version.
Is Paneer Manchurian a healthy dish?
Paneer Manchurian is a delicious and flavorful dish, but whether it is healthy or not depends on the cooking method. Paneer itself is a good source of protein and calcium, but if it is deep-fried or cooked with excessive oil and sauces, it can become high in calories and unhealthy.
Is chilli paneer and paneer Manchurian same?
Chilli paneer and paneer Manchurian are two popular Indo-Chinese dishes that feature paneer (Indian cottage cheese) as the main ingredient. While they have some similarities, there are also some differences between the two dishes.
Chilli paneer is typically made by stir-frying cubes of paneer with bell peppers, onions, and a spicy sauce. It is often served as an appetizer or a side dish and can be dry or saucy depending on personal preference. The dish has a spicy and tangy flavor profile.
Paneer Manchurian, on the other hand, is made by deep-frying cubes of paneer dusted with corn starch and spices until they are crispy and then tossing them in a tangy and slightly sweet Manchurian sauce. This Indo-Chinese fusion dish features fried paneer cubes and can be enjoyed as an appetizer or main course with rice or noodles. Paneer Manchurian has a unique fusion taste combining Indian and Chinese flavors.
So while both dishes involve cooking paneer with spices and sauces, the specific preparation methods and flavors used in chilli paneer vs. paneer Manchurian differ slightly.
What are the popular variations of Paneer Manchurian?
There are several popular variations of Paneer Manchurian, a popular Indo-Chinese dish. Some common variations include:
- Dry Paneer Manchurian: In this version, the paneer is coated in a batter and deep-fried until crispy. It is then tossed in a spicy sauce made with ingredients like soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and chili paste.
- Gravy Paneer Manchurian: This variation features paneer that is lightly fried and then added to a thick, flavorful gravy made with onions, bell peppers, garlic, soy sauce, and other spices.
- Schezwan Paneer Manchurian: This version includes the addition of Schezwan sauce to the traditional Paneer Manchurian recipe. Schezwan sauce adds an extra kick of spice and flavor to the dish.
- Chilli Paneer Manchurian: This variation combines the flavors of Chilli Paneer (a popular Indo-Chinese dish) with Paneer Manchurian. It typically involves stir-frying paneer with bell peppers, onions, garlic, and a spicy sauce made from soy sauce and chili paste.
These are just a few examples of the different ways you can enjoy Paneer Manchurian. Feel free to experiment with different ingredients and flavors to create your own unique variation!
What are the different ways to serve Paneer Manchurian?
Paneer Manchurian can be served in a variety of ways, depending on personal preference and the occasion. Here are some different serving suggestions for Paneer Manchurian:
- As an appetizer: Serve Paneer Manchurian as a starter or appetizer at parties or gatherings. You can serve it on toothpicks or skewers for easy eating.
- With rice: Paneer Manchurian goes well with steamed rice. Serve it as a main course dish with plain or fried rice for a satisfying meal.
- With noodles: Pair Paneer Manchurian with noodles for a delicious and filling meal. You can use any type of noodles, such as Hakka noodles or chow mein, and toss them together with the Paneer Manchurian.
- In wraps or rolls: Use Paneer Manchurian as a filling for wraps or rolls. Spread some sauce or chutney on a tortilla or flatbread, add the Paneer Manchurian filling, and roll it up for a tasty handheld meal.
Remember to garnish your Paneer Manchurian with fresh cilantro, spring onions, or sesame seeds for added visual appeal and flavor.
Is Paneer Manchurian good for health?
Paneer Manchurian can be a delicious dish, but whether it is good for your health depends on various factors. Paneer itself is a good source of protein and calcium, which are important nutrients for a healthy diet. However, the way it is prepared and cooked can impact its nutritional value. If the paneer is deep-fried or cooked with heavy sauces that are high in fat, sodium, and sugar, it may not be the healthiest choice.
It is also worth considering portion sizes, as excessive consumption of any food, even if it is relatively healthy, can lead to weight gain and other health issues. As with any food, moderation is key. If you enjoy paneer Manchurian occasionally as part of a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, it can be part of a healthy eating plan.
Can Paneer Manchurian be made without using deep-frying method?
Yes, Paneer Manchurian can be made without using the deep-frying method. Instead of deep-frying the paneer, you can try pan-frying or baking it for a healthier alternative. To do this, you can lightly coat the paneer with oil and cook it in a non-stick pan until it turns golden brown on all sides. This will give the paneer a crispy texture without the need for deep frying.
Once the paneer is cooked, you can proceed with preparing the Manchurian sauce and toss the cooked paneer in it. This way, you can still enjoy the delicious flavors of Paneer Manchurian while reducing the amount of oil used in the cooking process.
How does the taste of Paneer Manchurian differ from regular Indian paneer dishes?
Paneer Manchurian is a fusion dish that combines elements of Indian and Chinese cuisine. It typically consists of crispy paneer (a type of Indian cheese) that is coated in a spicy batter made with flour, cornflour, salt, freshly cracked peppercorns, and red chilli powder, deep-fried, and then stir-fried with vegetables and a flavorful sauce.
The taste of Paneer Manchurian differs from regular Indian paneer dishes in that it has a unique blend of flavors from the Chinese-inspired sauce and seasonings, including soy sauce, tomato ketchup, and chilli sauce. While traditional Indian paneer dishes often feature rich and aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric, Paneer Manchurian incorporates ingredients like garlic, ginger, and chili peppers to create a tangy and slightly spicy flavor profile.
The combination of the crispy paneer with the savory sauce, known as paneer manchurian gravy, results in a dish that is both crunchy and saucy, with a satisfying balance of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. So if you’re looking to try something different with your paneer, Paneer Manchurian could be an exciting option, especially for those who love the combination of crispy and saucy textures in their dishes. The addition of 1 teaspoon sugar in the gravy also adds a unique touch to the traditional Indian paneer dishes.
For a unique twist, try making the dry version of Paneer Manchurian with this easy and delicious homemade paneer manchurian dry recipe, which uses a batter made with all purpose flour for an extra crispy coating on the paneer cubes. This dry manchurian recipe is a perfect party snack or side dish to serve with veg fried rice or noodles, and its unique taste sets it apart from traditional Indian paneer dishes.
Can Paneer Manchurian be made with other types of protein instead of paneer?
Yes, Paneer Manchurian can be made with other types of protein instead of paneer. You can substitute paneer with tofu, chicken, or even vegetables like cauliflower or mushrooms to make a delicious Manchurian dish. The choice of protein will depend on your personal preference and dietary restrictions. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time and method accordingly to ensure that the protein is cooked properly and absorbs the flavors of the Manchurian sauce.