Paneer Manchurian – 2 Ways (Dry and Gravy)

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Paneer Manchurian is a popular and tasty Indo Chinese dish of pan fried spicy, sour and sweet cottage cheese cubes. There are two ways to make this recipe:

dry paneer manchurian recipe, paneer manchurian recipe

  1. Paneer Manchurian Dry (Restaurant Style) – A dry snack version
  2. Paneer Manchurian Gravy – A gravy saucy version.

You get the best of both these versions in this recipe post and they are easy to prepare. It is up to you to make the dish as a dry snack version or a gravy version for a Chinese main course.

What is Paneer Manchurian

Paneer Manchurian recipe is a snack of fried paneer cubes (firm cottage cheese cubes) tossed in a manchurian sauce.

The manchurian sauce is made with a mix of soy sauce, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce added to sautéed onions, capsicum (bell pepper), green chillies, ginger and garlic. The chilli sauce can be skipped.

It is the addition of tomato ketchup that makes the manchurian sauce different from the chilli sauce which is made for Chilli Paneer or Chilli Mushroom. Moreover less green chillies are added in Paneer Manchurian recipe than in Chilli Paneer.

Making Paneer Manchurian is easy and just about takes 30 minutes. Since you don’t need to chop many veggies unlike some other Indo Chinese recipes. For a vegan version, this recipe can also be made with tofu instead of paneer.

In this healthy recipe, I have pan fried the paneer cubes, instead of shallow frying or deep frying. For a crispy version, you will need to shallow or deep fry the paneer cubes. However as a healthier option, it is best to pan fry the paneer cubes for making this dish.

Serve it as a starter or an appetizer snack. You don’t need any other dip or accompaniment to go along with this dish.

A Few More Awesome Manchurian Recipes

How to make Dry Paneer Manchurian

Preparation

1. First chop the onions and bell pepper into 1 inch squares. Finely chop the ginger, garlic, green chilies and celery. Keep aside. Skip celery, if you don’t get it. You can also use spring onion/scallions instead of onions. Red or green or yellow bell pepper (capsicum) can be added.

dry paneer manchurian ingredients

2. Then dice cottage cheese in cubes. Pat dry them with a clean kitchen towel. Then add them to a mixing bowl.

paneer cubes

3. Add ½ teaspoon red chili powder or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon black pepper powder, ½ teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons corn starch.

add spices to paneer

4. Gently shake, toss and mix. Everything should be well mixed. You could also mix the corn starch and the spice powders first and then add the paneer cubes to it.

mix paneer with spices

5. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a pan or kadai or wok.

heat oil to make dry paneer manchurian

6. Add the paneer cubes. The oil should be medium hot. If the pan or wok is small, you will have to fry the paneer in batches.

add paneer cubes to make manchurian

7. Flip and pan fry so that all the sides get cooked evenly. For a crisp version, you will need to shallow fry or deep fry the paneer cubes.

pan frying paneer for manchurian recipe

8. Pan fry till the paneer cubes are light golden. Don’t fry for a longer period of time as the paneer cubes might become dense. Use good quality and fresh paneer. Homemade paneer is the best.

pan fried paneer for manchurian recipe

9. Drain the pan fried paneer cubes on kitchen paper towel.

fried paneer for paneer manchurian recipe

Making Paneer Manchurian Dry

10. In the same pan in which the paneer cubes were pan fried, add the chopped onions, bell peppers, ginger, green chilies, garlic and celery.

making dry paneer manchurian masala

11. Stir well.

making paneer manchurian dry recipe

12. While the veggies are getting stir fried, in the same bowl in which the paneer cubes were mixed, there will be leftover corn starch & spice powder mixture.

making paneer manchurian dry recipe

13. Add ¼ cup water to this leftover corn starch & spice mixture. Make a smooth paste. you will only get the above dry mixture if the paneer cubes were dry. If the paneer cubes are moist, then you will need to make a separate corn starch paste. For this, dissolve 1 tablespoon corn starch with 3 tablespoons water.

making paneer manchurian dry recipe

14. Meanwhile, on a medium flame stir fry the veggies till the bell peppers are half cooked.

making paneer manchurian dry recipe

15. Add ½ tablespoon soy sauce (1.5 teaspoons soy sauce).

making paneer manchurian dry recipe

16. Add 1.5 tablespoons tomato ketchup. About 1.5 tablespoons tomato ketchup is just sweet. For extra sweetness, 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup needs to be added.

making paneer manchurian dry recipe

17. Stir and mix.

making paneer manchurian dry recipe

18. Then season with salt as per taste, ½ teaspoon red chilli powder or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (black pepper powder). Add less salt as both soy sauce, tomato ketchup and the above corn starch paste we made, already have salt in them. You can also add about ½ teaspoon of sugar at this step.

making paneer manchurian dry recipe

19. Add the corn starch paste (corn flour paste).

making paneer manchurian dry recipe

20. Stir well and allow to simmer on a medium flame till the sauce thickens. About 1 to 2 minutes.

making dry paneer manchurian recipe

21. Once the sauce has thickened, then add the pan fried paneer cubes.

fried paneer for dry paneer manchurian recipe

22. Stir again very well so that the sauce coats the paneer cubes evenly. Then switch off the flame.

stir paneer manchurian dry recipe

23. Lastly add ½ teaspoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar or regular white vinegar.

vinegar for paneer manchurian dry recipe

24. Stir. check the taste and add more salt, soy sauce, vinegar or black pepper if required.

dry paneer manchurian recipe, dry paneer manchurian recipe

25. Serve Restaurant Style Dry Paneer Manchurian hot garnished with celery or some spring onion greens (scallion greens). You can also garnish with chopped coriander leaves or parsley. For more delicious paneer recipes, you can check this collection of 90 Paneer recipes.

dry paneer manchurian recipe, dry paneer manchurian recipe

This recipe post is from the archives and has been republished and updated on 23 May, 2020.

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paneer manchurian dry recipe, dry paneer manchurian recipe

Paneer Manchurian (Restaurant Style Recipe)

4.77 from 17 votes
This is a Restaurant Style Dry Paneer Manchurian recipe made healthy and a popular Indo Chinese starter recipe.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Cuisine Indo Chinese
Course: Starters

Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

for frying paneer

  • 250 grams paneer (cottage cheese) or 8 to 9 ounces paneer
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch or corn flour
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder or white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt or add as required
  • 3 tablespoon oil

for manchurian sauce

  • 1.5 to 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • ½ tablespoon soy sauce or add as required
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder or white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon rice vinegar or apple cider or regular vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • cup onions or spring onion whites diced into 1 inch squares
  • ½ cup capsicum diced into 1 inch squares. any color capsicum - red, green or yellow (bell peppers)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon finely chopped celery - optional
  • salt as required

Instructions

preparation

  • First chop the onions and bell pepper into 1 inch squares. Finely chop the ginger, garlic, green chilies and celery. Keep aside. 
  • Skip celery, if you don't get it. You can also use spring onion/scallions instead of onions. Red or green or yellow bell pepper/capsicum can be added.
  • Then dice paneer in cubes. Pat dry them with a clean kitchen towel. Then add them to a mixing bowl.
  • Add 1/2 tsp red chili powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tbsp corn starch.
  • Gently shake, toss and mix. Everything should be well mixed. You could also mix the corn starch and the spice powders first and then add the paneer cubes to it.

pan frying paneer

  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan or kadai or wok.
  • Add the paneer cubes. The oil should be medium hot. If the pan or wok is small, you will have to fry the paneer in batches.
  • Flip and pan fry so that all the sides get cooked evenly. For a crisp version, you will need to shallow fry or deep fry the paneer cubes.
  • Pan fry till the paneer cubes are light golden. 
  • Don't fry for a longer period of time as the paneer cubes might become dense. Use good quality and fresh paneer. Homemade paneer is the best.
  • Drain the pan fried paneer cubes on kitchen paper towel.

making dry paneer manchurian

  • In the same pan in which the paneer cubes were pan fried, add the chopped onions, capsicum, ginger, green chilies, garlic and celery. Stir well.
  • Whilst the veggies are getting stir fried, in the same bowl in which the paneer cubes were mixed, there will be leftover corn starch & spice powder mixture. 
  • You will only get this dry mixture if the paneer cubes were dry. 
  • If the paneer cubes were moist, then you will need to make a separate corn starch paste. Dissolve 1 tbsp corn starch with 3 tbsp water.
  • Add 1/4 cup water and make a paste of the remaining corn starch & spice powder mixture.
  • Meanwhile, on a medium flame stir fry the veggies till the bell peppers are half cooked.
  • Add 1/2 tbsp soy sauce. Add tomato ketchup. About 1.5 tbsp tomato ketchup is just sweet. 
  • For an extra sweetness, 2 tbsp tomato ketchup needs to be added. Stir. You can also add about ½ tsp of sugar.
  • Then season with salt, red chili powder and black pepper. 
  • Add less salt as both soy sauce, tomato sauce and the corn starch paste we made, already has salt in them.
  • Add the corn starch paste. Stir well and allow to simmer on a medium flame till the sauce thickens. About 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Once the manchurian sauce has thickened, then add the pan-fried paneer cubes.
  • Stir again very well so that the sauce coats the paneer cubes evenly.
  • Lastly add rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar or regular white vinegar.
  • Stir. Check the taste and add more salt, soy sauce, vinegar or black pepper if required.
  • Serve dry paneer manchurian snack hot garnished with celery or some spring onion greens. You can also garnish it with chopped coriander leaves or parsley.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Paneer Manchurian (Restaurant Style Recipe)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 416 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 1058mg46%
Potassium 93mg3%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 328IU7%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 22mg27%
Vitamin E 6mg40%
Vitamin K 4µg4%
Calcium 404mg40%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 6µg2%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 4mg1%
Phosphorus 14mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Recipe 2 – Paneer Manchurian Gravy

This Paneer Manchurian Gravy of crispy paneer cubes in a sour & umami gravy or sauce. You will find this Paneer Manchurian with sauce in many restaurants serving Chinese food.

About this Paneer Manchurian with Gravy

  • Without Maida – In the recipe you will also not find the addition of maida or all purpose flour. I have used cornflour.
  • Without Deep Fry – I have not deep fried the paneer cubes but shallow fried them. You can even pan fry them or deep fry them as per your preference.
  • Without Capsicum – I have also made this gravy without capsicum (bell pepper). However if you want to add capsicum then you can add it.
  • Substitute for Paneer – Instead of Paneer, you could also use Tofu for this recipe.

This Paneer Manchurian Gravy is easy to make. I have added celery in the gravy, but you can give it a skip if you don’t have and the recipe will still taste good.

paneer manchurian recipe

Serve it with steamed rice or noodles. You can even have it with bread or dinner rolls or naan.

How to make Paneer Manchurian Gravy

1: Dice 200 grams paneer (cottage cheese) into cubes or squares. Mix 2 tbsp corn flour, ½ tsp chopped ginger-garlic, black pepper powder (as required) and salt (as required). Mix the whole mixture well.

paneer cubes for paneer manchurian recipe

2: Heat 4 to 5 tablespoons oil in a wok or kadai. Shallow fry the flour-coated paneer cubes till light golden.

fry paneer to make paneer manchurian recipe

3: Drain on kitchen tissues and keep aside. Don’t over fry as the paneer cubes might become dense.

paneer cubes for paneer manchurian recipe

4: If there is extra oil in the wok, then remove it in a bowl. Add spring onions to the oil and stir fry till the onions become translucent. Add 5-6 finely chopped garlic, ½ inch finely chopped ginger, 1 finely chopped green chilli, 1 teaspoon chopped celery and stir fry for some seconds.

fried herbs for paneer manchurian recipe

5:  Now add 2 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 or 1.5 tablespoons tomato sauce and 1 to 1.25 cups vegetable stock or water. Cook till the mixture begins to simmer.

soy sauce for preparing paneer manchurian recipe

6: Add the cornflour paste (2 tablespoons corn flour + 2 to 3 tablespoons water). Stir so that the no lumps are formed.

making paneer manchurian recipe

7: Simmer and keep on stirring till the gravy begins to thicken. Once the desired consistency of thickness is done, add the fried paneer cubes, ¼ or ½ teaspoon black pepper powder, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon white vinegar and salt as required. If the gravy becomes too thick, then you can add some water before adding the fried paneer cubes.

paneer manchurian, paneer manchurian recipe

8: Stir and switch off the flame. Serve Paneer Manchurian Gravy hot garnished with spring onion greens (scallion greens) with some vegetable fried rice or vegetable noodles or steamed rice.

paneer manchurian, paneer manchurian recipe

Paneer Manchurian Recipe

Paneer Manchurian Gravy

5 from 11 votes
Sweet, sour, umami Indo Chinese recipe of Paneer Manchurian with sauce.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Cuisine Indo Chinese
Course: Main Course

Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

main ingredients

  • 200 grams cottage cheese (paneer) or tofu
  • 1 small capsicum (green bell pepper) - chopped or thinly sliced, optional
  • 1 to 1.25 cups water or vegetable stock
  • ¼ or ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ½ cup chopped spring onion (scallion whites)
  • 1 green chilli - finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger - finely chopped
  • 5 to 6 small to medium sized garlic - finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon celery - finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 or 1.5 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider or white vinegar
  • salt as required
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons oil for frying the paneer
  • a few spring onions for garnishing (scallion greens)

for the corn flour paste

  • 2 tablespoon corn flour
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water

for paneer marinade

  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger & garlic
  • salt as required
  • black pepper as required

Instructions

Frying Paneer

  • Mix all the ingredients for the paneer marinade.
  • Add paneer to the marinade to the paneer. Toss the mixture well, so that the paneer is well coated with the marinade.
  • Shallow or deep fry the paneer cubes in hot oil. Drain on paper napkins and keep aside.

Making Paneer Manchurian gravy

  • Remove the extra oil from the wok or kadai. When the oil becomes hot add the onions.
  • Stir fry the onions on medium to high heat taking care that they do burn.
  • Make the corn flour paste with water.
  • Let the onions become translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, green chili and celery. Stir for some seconds or a minute.
  • Now add the capsicum if adding them. Stir fry the capsicum also for 2-3 mins.
  • Now add all the sauces, veg stock or water. Stir and simmer. Add the corn flour paste and let the sauce thicken.
  • Now add the fried paneer cubes, vinegar, pepper and salt. Stir and simmer the gravy for a minute.
  • Garnish it with spring onion green and serve paneer manchurian gravy hot with veg fried rice, asian veg rice or veg noodles.

Notes

  • Add the cornflour paste slowly and keep on stirring while adding it so that lumps are not formed.
  • If you like to have more gravy, you will obviously use more water or stock. So in proportion you will have to increase the cornflour paste.
  • The cornflour is added to thicken to the gravy. If the gravy becomes too thick, then you can thin it by adding little water.
  • You can even add the paneer pieces directly instead of frying them.

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Dassana Amit

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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42 Comments

  1. I think all you’re receipe are marvellous they are so easy to follow and the step-by-step step photos makes it so much more helpful to use so thank you5 stars

  2. hey…. i m a new entry… i tried ur chilli mushroom n it was amazing… i m a starter in cooking.. n it was my first try…4 stars

  3. Awesome snack for lunch boxes. Started at 7.30am and lunchbox was ready at 8am with poori as combination! Thanks !

  4. Really it helped me as I’m a bachelor.
    I tried the Paneer manchurian dry recipe

    Do you have any recipe which can be cooked without Onion, Garlic, Ginger

    Thanks to you all

  5. Hi dassana..I just want to know what do we call corn starch in indian market? Is it same as arrowroot?
    Thank You..
    All your recipes are so easy and well described. Thanks alot.5 stars

    1. welcome ruchi. corn starch is called as corn flour in india and it is white in color. its not arrow root flour.

  6. This recipe is fantastic! The taste is absolute delicious! I did the Vegan version, so instead of Paneer I used Tofu. Very quick and super simple to do. Yummy!
    I also want to say that I use your website every time I want to cook something…and since I discovered it I cook almost every day! It helps me to improve my Indian cuisine knowledge, it helps me to stay vegetarian and allows me to cook fantastic dishes for my Vegan and Celiac friends!! Thank you so much! You are doing a very good job,
    Sending love and infinite admiration from Italy5 stars

    1. welcome margherita. glad to read your sweet and positive feedback. good to know that the recipes are helping you in maintaining vegetarian diet. thanks for your love and best wishes.

  7. Hi Dassana,

    Your recipes look amazing, and I can’t wait to make them!

    For the green chilies, can I use Serrano or jalapeño peppers?

  8. Didn’t have paneer and used a similar type of cheese instead. My cheese became a bit shapeless when I baked it; had pieces, not cubes. I also used green peas because I didn’t have bell peppers. It still tasted great!! We both loved it 😀 ! Next time I’ll try to make paneer when I want to make this recipe. Thanks!

  9. The dish turned exactly how it shows here and the taste came out great too. the steps were very helpful. i rarely cook.. but i tried making this first time and it turned out very good. i am looking forward to use many more receipes from this site and make dishes.
    Thank you for sharing.5 stars

    1. welcome snehal. thats nice to know. thanks for sharing positive feedback. do try some more recipes.

  10. Hey dassana
    Tried this & the banana walnut cake on the eve of our wedding anniversary. Must admit it was finger licking good(literally).
    U r too good!
    Made our day 🙂

  11. Thank u so very much,I do learn lots of recipes from your blogs.it is a treat to read your blogs.god bless.I tried this recipe n methi matur malai,Gobi Manchurian, thanku5 stars

    1. welcome vaishali. glad to know this. thanks for sharing positive feedback and for your blessings.

  12. This was one of the most mind blowing dishes I’ve had the privilege to prepare. As always, writing to thank you and give you the credit for making a beginner’s dish taste like a seasoned one. I must say the alternatives and options that you provide, pin to pin details that you provide for those tiny little things to keep in mind are like each brick inside a wall which easily is missed in other blogs. Once again, I’m amazed with the simplicity that you have explained it with.5 stars

    1. thanks again hemanth for your positive feedback. you are also very good with writing and explaining the finer details. may be thats why you observe them so clearly. all recipes in the blog are tried and tested… and if followed point by point as you do, will result in a good dish. happy cooking.

  13. Hi ,

    I’m in Saudi and recently started cooking (3 months ). I like cooking some thing that I haven’t tried and came across your site. Since then I follow your site everyweek for cooking. It was awesome and your steps are very easy to follow for anyone. This dish came out very well but had one challenge. When I mixed the corn powder the panneer cubes stuck between themselves. It was easy for me to separate them using spatola. How to avoid this in future?

    Thanks5 stars

    1. welcome karthik. glad to know that you are liking the recipes. actually it should not stick. may be the paneer cubes must not be dry. if there is moisture or water on the paneer then they will stick. next time just wipe the paneer well with a clean kitchen cotton napkin to remove the excess moisture/water.