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”:

45 Thoughts on “Recipe Swap: Cabbage Manchurian

  1. Can I come over? This sounds so great. A delicious spin on this vintage cabbage dish. When I lived in Singapore I loved the food and have never found many of the foods here in the States. You are a good sport for even entertaining Panda Express for a substitute. Guess this is why we all begin to cook to recapture these life defining memories of food. Love your dish. Glad you are swapping!

    • Sure you are welcome to come over! Love that the recipe makes more balls than required, so that you have plenty left to make the dish with the gravy on a later day. I’ll be waiting!

  2. What, there’s sush a thing as Chinese/Indian food?!?! I have got to find some place to try it! Or…I could make this! It looks delicioius! I love your creative adaptation of the hot slaw – you really took it to another level.

  3. Shumaila – what a lovely looking recipe! I am intrigued to say the least and I’m going to make this this week. Thanks again for participating in the swap- it’s a lot of fun, isn’t it???

    • Oh it is a LOT of fun! And I am so glad for this month’s recipe swap as it made everyone think of other ways to incorporate cabbage in meals than just coleslaw! Thanks so much for starting this! Hope you make the recipe and like it!

  4. beautiful post and so clever. great job and YUM!

  5. What a great recipe! This ind-chinese food looks just great! Maybe I should visit India only to have food!

    • Oh you must visit India! The food is great and so is the culture. There are ten thousand things wrong with India- you will find it way too crowded, polluted, dirty, corrupt, unsafe- but when you leave the place you will be so smitten by it- it will be the best experience you will ever have!

  6. They do look like delicious and spicy meatballs! Love love love. I am a great fan of Indian food. Never attempt to cook any though. Ecurry.com is my favorite site too.

    • Yes, they have a resemblance to meatballs. Love ecurry.com too. Soma is always helpful with the information she has. You should definitely try cooking Indian!

  7. Looks and sounds amazing!

  8. What a divine dish! The flavors must be just amazing.

    Thanks for your comment and kind words!



  9. I love when I learn something while spending time doing something I love, like reading blogs:) Indian Chinese food sounds heavenly, as I truly enjoy both cuisines. This is a great “version” of the hot slaw, and I would love to try making it once I am back in the U.S.
    I veered a bit off with my recipe swap, but I stayed in the spirit of the event:)
    BTW, how interesting that you studied Russian! My daughter is studying it and History ad UC Berkeley.

    • I loved your story and the recipe associated with this month’s swap. The recipe swap is a great way to get different takes and perspectives of a single recipe. Good to hear your daughter is learning Russian- I love russian culture and their history.

  10. Oh gosh, I love good greasy Indian take out food more than anything. And of course, yours looks so much prettier than greasy take-out. What an absolutely fabulous take on the swap…you really thought outside the box. I love it!

  11. This looks awesome, I’m definitely going to have to give it a shot. Side note – I live in Cincinnati, Ohio and our one Indian restaurant has both chili paneer and chili chicken (both of which are amazing) although I’m not sure if it’s like the version you’re talking about

    • Lucky you! I actually don’t live close to any Indian restaurant, but even at its best Indian food is not the same as what you get back home in India. I am so glad to be going home for a vacation again this year- I am really going to freak out on all possible roadside food.

  12. wow! looks tasty dear 🙂

  13. They look amazing! I thought they were meatballs for a second. I definitely would have eaten more veggies if they looked like this when I was growing up.

  14. I am going to have to find and Indian Chinese restaurant/take away here in Scotland – this recipe looks amazing!

  15. the manchurian looks mind blowingly good. i am suddenly craving a whole month of only indo chinese food! yumm

  16. If you’re ever in NYC, check out ChineseMirch. So good! Can’t wait to see if you post any other Indian-Chinese recipes.

  17. your images are gorgeous! and those fritter look so very flavorful, I would love to try a few of those babies! Perfect presentation!

  18. Great addition to the recipe swap and such lovely photography – you’ve inspired me to go out and obtain some more props to make my images a little nicer

  19. This looks flat out delicious and I’m so glad you shared it; I doubt I would have come across anything like this in my search. Just fabulous…I’m coming over too…see ya in a minute!

  20. Mmmm that looks so yummy! I have eaten Chinese food in India and I agree… it is totally different than the Chinese food you get around the world! 🙂
    Great pics!!!

  21. you make mouthwatery dishes…love your presentation n gorgeous cliks dear..
    Tasty Appetite

  22. Oh my goodness, these look delicious. And as someone with serious food allergies I’m extra excited because I CAN EAT ALL THE INGREDIENTS IN THIS RECIPE! Bookmarking – saving – making at a later date. Thanks lady! Great swap.

  23. Hi Shumaila! This is my first time here, so I spent some time browsing around. Such a wonderful blog! And this looks so delicious! I think every country (somewhat) has their version of Chinese food. My Chinese husband always says Chinese food in Japan is for Japanese people. Right. But the taste is quite familiar and I actually enjoy our version of Chinese food too. I’m sure Indo-Chinese food is the same way. Either way, this just looks so good that no one would care at the end. 😉 Yummy!!

  24. Your photos are gorgeous! The food sounds scrumptious; I’m a big fan of Indian food and can’t wait to try this Chinese-edged dish. Great swap!

  25. Never knew there’s was an indo-chinese cuisine, This looks delicious, am known not to like cabbage but my you got me craving for this dish. Yummy!!

  26. Oh wow…I have never had Indian Chinese food, but it sounds like a great combo. The cabbage fritters in the spicy gravy look so good…I can’t wait to try your recipe!

  27. I have just “shifted” from the US to India and found your recipe by chance on foodgawker! Just like your friend in Moscow, I too have fallen for Indian-Chinese food (ah!! Sooo good!!!) and I seriously cannot wait to make this recipe 🙂 … preferably this evening 🙂 I’ll also keep your blog handy! So glad I found it.

  28. Pingback: great indian food recipes | The Food Network

  29. These look so gorgeous! They are definitely going on my list for this week. I have a huge cabbage in my fridge with Manchurian written all over it now, can’t wait, this is my type of comfort food!!

  30. Pingback: Garam Masala Tuesdays: Chilli Chicken Bread Pizza «

  31. Anna on 7 March, 2013 at 1:26 pm said:

    I’ve recently stumbled upon your site and been studying your vegetarian recipes like crazy since (my BF is vegetarian, so cooking for him requires extra effort). I personally dislike many vegetarian dishes – I think they’re kinda tasteless 🙁 But I was thrilled to find your recipes – they’re such a nice, tasty change from what we’re used to! I’m definitely going to try a bunch of them on my boyfriend 🙂
    I was also surprised to read here that you studied in Moscow – I actually live here! What university did you study at? And which restaurant did you have in mind? We definitely don’t have enough of indian restaurants here, so I’d be happy to have some recommendations.
    Заранее большое спасибо 🙂

    • Thank you so much for leaving this comment:) I am glad you are enjoying the recipes:)
      I studied in People Friendships’ University. Did a course in Russian language and then worked for an Indian pharma company in Moscow. I remember Golden Buddha was one of the restaurants we used to visit and the food used to be pretty good, but this was more than 6 years back, so things might have changed. And I agree there weren’t many Indian restaurants when we were there. Please do let me know if you are looking for a specific recipe that your BF really enjoys in case you don’t find it on the blog.

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