Friday, August 1, 2008

Vegetable Manchurian and Jeera Rice

An- Indo- Chinese Cuisine

Not many people out side of India know that this type of cuisine does exists. It's a very unique Chinese cuisine with an excellent Indian touch to it. I love it from bottom of my heart. Of course it's spicy, but the beauty is you can always control the spiciness when you are cooking it at home.

That's one of the reason I love to cook food at home, I can control the ingredients, the spiciness, and almost everything. Indo- Chinese food needs lot of time and and lots and lots of preparation.
But it surely is worth the effort.

There are no Indian restaurants around Los Angeles that serves Indo- Chinese cuisine. There is one in Artesia, but it's nowhere close to good. San Francisco is the place where you can see some of the Indian restaurants serving Indo- Chinese food. Last time I had it in the restaurant was about an year ago..sometime in May 2007. So whenever I am craving for Indo-Chinese Cuisine, I try to cook it at home.

Let me describe about the dish a bit.

The dumplings in the recipe are made with the different kinds of vegetables, dipped in the manchurian sauce. It looks similar to meet balls. But tastes totally different.

I usually make this dish from scratch. But this time I took a little help from the Indian Store. I bought manchurian sauce powder from the store. I made dumplings from scratch though.

For manchurian dumplings you will need-:

Vegetables like cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, red bell peppers. You can use the vegetables of your choice. Cabbage is a must though.
Black pepper powder- 1 tbsp
3-4 green chillies- chopped
Spring onion- chopped
Soy sauce
Chili paste
Ajinomoto- I know it's not a healthy ingredient to be part of your diet, but a little goes really long way, so just add half a pinch to give your dish an Indo-chinese flavour and texture. I feel bad whenever I use ajinomoto in my food, since it is a carcinogenic ingredient, but guess what I try to eat broccoli at least 3 times a week anyways, which is proven to be a cancer fighting vegetable. So the key is to balance your eating habits.
Salt to taste.

and last but not least 1 cup boiled rice. Rice helps to bind all the ingredients together while making the dumplings.

So for manchurian dumplings, you need to start with shredding all the vegetables you have on hand. I used cabbage, green beans, carrots, cauliflower. Bring 2 cups of water to boil, and add all the vegetables to it. Cover it with a lid, and keep it for a couple of minutes on a medium heat. Drain all the vegetables on a cheese cloth. Make sure that you squeeze out all the water. Save the water for making manchurian sauce later. You can use the water as the vegetable stock.

Mix together all the shredded vegetables in a large bowl, add salt and very little ajinomoto to it. Add green chillies, black pepper powder, chopped ginger, soy sauce, chili paste,spring onions and some cornflour. Last ingredient to add in those dumplings would be mashes boiled rice.
Now make small dumplings of a size of tennis ball.
Heat some oil in a pan, and deep fry those dumplings until they get nice golden brown color.

As I mentioned before, I took a little help from the Indian store for making the manchurian sauce. I bought Knorr manchurian sauce packet, and just went according to instructions on the packet. In 4 cups of water, I added the powder from the packet, and on a medium heat, I kept on stirring continuously until it reaches to a boil.

Add the dumplings in to the sauce before serving and heat them for a couple of minutes.
Your vegetable manchurian is ready.
Serve hot with Jeera rice.
Recipe for Jeera rice goes like this-

1 cup of basmati rice
3 tbsp. jeera that's Cumin seeds
2-3 Black pepper whole
2 cardamoms
1 stick of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
Some Olive oil

If you want you can add some spring onions to the rice, or you can simply stick with nicely chopped onions.
I usually add spring onion for the great flavor and to add some green color in my rice.

Wash basmati rice 2 times in water. Drain it and keep aside.
In a pan heat some olive oil, add cumin seeds. Cumin seeds are the essence of this rice so add as much as you want.
When cumin seeds splutter, add cardamoms, cinnamon, black pepper, bay leaf. Fry them for a minute and add onion to it. fry for another couple of minutes, and then add washed basmati rice to it.Also add spring onions at this time. Fry for 1 more minute and now it's time to add water. Watch out for the quantity of water.
Usually when you cook rice outside of a pressure pan, like the way I cooked for this recipe, the quantity of water should be double than the rice. I used 1 cup of rice, and added 2 cups of water to it.
Add salt as per taste.
After adding water, bring the water to a boil on medium to high flame, then cover it with the lid and lower down the heat. Keep it on the lower heat for 15 minutes.
and your Jeera rice is ready.

The Jeera rice and vegetable manchurian is a great combination. Try it sometime.

Coming up: A really simple pasta!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Manali,

Great efforts. The pictures on your website look tempting. Only good cooks create blogs, so when are you inviting us over for dinner??


Manali said...

Any time dear. You are always welcome..:)