Our dry version of Paneer Manchurian is a great appetizer or snack that can be served for gatherings, parties, game days, or special meals. This dish consists of crunchy deep-fried paneer tossed in the most delicious spicy Manchurian sauce.
What is Paneer Manchurian?
Paneer Manchurian is an Indo-Chinese appetizer or side dish made with deep-fried paneer coated in a spicy Manchurian sauce. The sauce is made with simple ingredients such as ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, hot chili sauce, water, and cornflour.
This appetizer combines Indian flavors with Chinese seasonings and the result is simply delicious. You can find other versions of Manchurian dishes such as Gobi Manchurian, equally mouth-watering.
You can get this traditional recipe with gravy or dry. This recipe of Paneer Manchurian is a dry Paneer Manchurian recipe as we like this version of the recipe better.
Our Paneer Manchurian recipe is:
- An appetizer or side dish
- Very spicy
- Dry version
- Perfect for game-day or parties
Can I make Vegan Paneer Manchurian?
Paneer is an Indian cheese, so this recipe is vegetarian. You can make a vegan version by swapping the Paneer for Tofu. Buy fresh tofu, cut it into cubes and follow the recipe as it is.
Another option is to make Cauliflower or Gobi Manchurian, as this recipe is vegan, using cauliflower instead of Paneer.
The Manchurian sauce is naturally vegan, so the only thing you would need to change is the panner.
How to make Paneer Manchurian
Crispy deep-fried Paneer
The first thing you need to make Paneer Manchurian is, of course, Paneer cheese. This type of cheese is not easy to find depending on where you live. For us, living in Spain, it was impossible to find already made Paneer cheese, so we just made it at home.
If you need to make your own Paneer for this recipe, we recommend making it the day before. We made our Paneer following Basic Cooking video and it turned out perfect.
Once you have the Paneer whether this is homemade or store-bought, you will have to cut it into cubes, coat the paneer cubes with cornflour, flour, and water mixture, and deep fry or shallow fry in vegetable oil.
So, what do you need to make the best crispy Paneer? We keep the ingredients list for this part of the recipe really simple, keeping the sauce flavor-packed.
- All-purpose flour (use rice or arrowroot flour for gluten-free option)
- Corn flour
- White pepper
- Oil for deep-frying the paneer
Step by Step Method
- Combine all the ingredients for the batter in a mixing bowl and mix well until you have a homogeneous batter. Coat, one by one, the paneer cubes so they don't break.
- Add oil to a saucepan or a pan for deep frying and heat over medium heat. Add the battered paneer cubes in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan. Once crispy, transfer to a plate on a paper towel.
Manchurian Spicy Sauce
The second part of this recipe is making the yummy Manchurian sauce. You can start preparing the sauce while the paneer is cooking.
- Spring onion
- Tomato Ketchup
- Soy sauce (you can use tamari for a gluten-free option)
- Sambal Oelek or hot chili sauce
- White pepper
- Green pepper (optional)
- Corn flour
Step by Step Method
- Heat some oil over medium heat in a wok or a big frying pan. For this Paneer Manchurian recipe, we like using our wok. Add the spring onion, chopped green pepper, and garlic finely sliced or chopped.
- Stir for a few minutes and then add the ketchup, soy sauce, Sambal Oelek, sugar, and white pepper.
- Add water, stir and cook for a few minutes.
- Dilute the corn flour in a little bit of water and add to the wok. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes and remove from the cooker.
Now all you need to do is coat the deep-fried Indian cheese with the homemade Manchurian sauce, add some fresh spring onions on the top and serve this yummy Indo-Chinese appetizer!
Variations for our Vegetarian Manchurian recipe
You can find many different ways to make this Indo-Chinese recipe. Here you can find some variations to our recipe to suit your needs or tastes better.
- Bake the Paneer. Instead of deep-frying the paneer, you can bake it! This is a healthier version and still really yummy.
- Make it vegan. The vegan version of Paneer Manchurian can be made with tofu instead of paneer. Buy fresh tofu and follow the instructions to coat it and fry it. The sauce is naturally vegan.
- Make the gravy version of Paneer Manchurian. To make the gravy for Paneer Manchurian you will need to add more water and soy sauce. You can follow this recipe if you prefer to make gravy sauce.
- Instead of paneer, you can use another vegetable or protein such as Cauliflower Manchurian or Mushroom Manchurian, both vegan.
- Make our Paneer Manchurian gluten-free. Swap the all-purpose flour for rice or arrowroot flour and substitute the soy sauce for tamari (gluten-free soy sauce).
Dry Paneer Manchurian is a dish that can be served as an appetizer, as a side dish, or as a main with some basmati rice. Normally, this Indo-Chinese dish is enjoyed as a starter or finger food at parties and other gatherings.
This dish is best enjoyed right after cooking it as the paneer will be nice and crispy.
Paneer Manchurian is spicy, so if you are serving this dish for people that enjoy just a little hit, we recommend serving it with some yogurt on the side.
If you want to prepare other starters to serve with this Paneer Manchurian, you should have a look at our Onion Bhaji recipe.
FAQ and Tips
- What's the difference between gravy and dry Manchurian? Our recipe is a dry version of Paneer Manchurian, which consists in making enough sauce to coat the cheese. The gravy version is served with more sauce and normally as a main dish with rice.
- Can I bake the paneer to make Paneer Manchurian? Sure, you can get crispy Paneer by baking it and if you are planning on having this recipe often, you should bake it instead of deep-frying it. It's a much healthier version.
- Can this recipe be made gluten-free? Yes! Paneer Manchurian is an easy-to-make gluten-free appetizer. Swap the all-purpose flour for rice or arrowroot flour and substitute the soy sauce for tamari (gluten-free soy sauce).
- Can I make this recipe the day before serving it? The coating for the paneer cheese will get soggy, so we recommend making the sauce the day before and deep-frying the cheese the same day you want to enjoy this meal.
- How can I keep the paneer cubes from sticking to each other while cooking? Make sure the oil is hot enough and do not overcrowd the pan.
- 250 g Paneer cheese
- ½ cup all purpose flour rice or arrowroot flour for a gluten-free option
- ½ cup corn flour
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Water around ¾ cup
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Gobi Manchurian Sauce
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup spring onion
- 1 cup green pepper chopped
- 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek or chili sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce tamari for gluten-free option
- 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon corn flour
- 2 tablespoon water
- Salt to taste
- Cut the Paneer Cheese into cubes.
- Combine the flour, corn flour, white pepper, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix and slowly pour water while mixing the batter. Keep adding water until you have a thickish batter (around ½ cup).
- Coat one by one the panner cubes until they are properly coated.
- Add oil to a saucepan or a pan for deep frying and heat over medium heat.
- When the oil is hot enough, add the battered paneer in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan. When golden, transfer to a plate with a paper towel and set aside.
- Heat some oil over medium heat in a wok or a big frying pan and add the spring onion, chopped green pepper and chopped garlic.
- Stir for a few minutes and then add ketchup, soy sauce, Sambal Oelek, sugar, and white pepper.
- Add water, stir and cook for a few minutes.
- Dilute the corn flour in the water and add to the wok. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes and remove from the cooker.
- Add the deep-fried paneer into the sauce, mix well and serve.
- Serve with finely chopped fresh spring onions on the top.
- If you want something to cool down your mouth, you can add some plant-based yogurt on the side.
If you tried our recipe, please leave a comment or tag us on Instagram. We are always happy to see your creations!
This recipe is on list to make this weekend. We love to snack while watching football. And if the snacks are spicy it is even better. Thanks for posting the recipe.
Thanks Amy, hope you like this recipe!
This paneer is so incredibly delicious. Your recipe is so easy to follow and I can't wait to make it.
Loving this Chinese paneer recipe! This is super simple and the flavors are fantastic! YUM!
This recipe was easy to follow and packed with flavor. Couldn’t resist adding some veggies, and it turned delicious. Thank you for sharing.
I love Indian food especially paneer. I never tried this before so it was a real treat.
I always order this dish when we eat Indian food out...soooo excited I can try making it at home now! Since the cheese is hard to find, might try it with cauliflower as you suggested 🙂
Andrea Howe says
I was intrigued by the idea of combining Indian and Chinese flavors so I gave this recipe a try, and really loved it! it wasn't too complicated and definitely got me outside of my cooking comfort zone. Thanks for the great idea and cooking inspiration!
Amy Liu Dong says
This recipe looks complicated at first but it's not. I've tried it, and it is so easy and delicious!
Trust me, if you make up a batch of this amazing paneer manchurian for any party, they will disappear quickly and leave your guests raving.
I was intrigued and tried this paneer right away! I'm so glad I did. It was amazing, thanks!
Thank you Erin!