Veg Manchurian Recipe – Instant Pot & Stove

November 13, 2018 (Last Updated: February 4, 2019)

Veg Manchurian is a popular Indianized Chinese dish, in which vegetable meatballs are simmered in an asian flavored sweet, spicy and tangy sauce.

Traditionally, it is a time-consuming dish where I make the vegetable meatballs from scratch, deep-dry them, and then simmer them in sauce on low-heat.  In my 30-minute hack for this recipe, I use store-bought soy-based meatless meatballs and pressure cook them in a flavored broth, in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot.

I serve it over fried rice, or, brown Jasmine rice and just like that, a delicious dinner comes together in under 30 minutes.

Vegetaable Manchurian made with frozen soy meatballs in Instant Pot

What is Indo-Chinese Food?

Indo-Chinese cuisine was extremely popular, when I was growing up in India.  It is a street-food style adaptation of popular Chinese dishes, catered to the Indian palette.

Some of my favorite Indo-Chinese dishes include Chicken Sweet Corn SoupChicken Manchurian, Hakka Noodles, American chopsuey, which is very different from the American chopsuey you get here, and then there is the super popular Vegetable Manchurian.

Original Veg Manchurian Recipe

If I am making Vegetable Manchurian from scratch, I start by finely chopping assorted vegetables like carrots, cabbage, bell pepper, onions, ginger, garlic and spring onions.

Then, I add seasoning and bind these chopped vegetables with flour, cornstarch and water, and shaped into round balls, about half the size of a golf-ball.

I deep fry these veggie balls and keep aside.  Simultaneously, I prepare a quick sauce or glaze by sautéing aromatics like fresh ginger, garlic, onions and red chilies.  I add water, soy sauce, vinegar, chili garlic sauce and thicken it with a cornstarch slurry.  I add the manchurian balls and simmer them in the sauce for about 30 seconds to a minute.

Dry Vegetable Manchurian

This dish is pretty versatile as it can served as an appetizer as well as a main course.  If you are serving this as an appetizer, simply reduce the quantity of water to one cup in this recipe, and follow the rest of the instructions.

That will result in just enough sauce to coat the Manchurian.  To serve them as an

Vegetable manchurian meatball between two chopsticks

Stovetop Veg Manchurian Recipe

It is very easy to adapt this recipe for the stove-top.

Heat a wok, or a deep skillet on medium-high heat.  Saute onions, ginger and garlic.  Add water, tamari, vinegar, sambal, agave, ketchup and seasoning.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Check for seasoning, add the store-bought vegetable meatballs and cook for a few minutes, till they become tender and absorb some of the flavored broth.

To thicken the Manchurian gravy, make a cornstarch slurry and add while stirring.  Add till you reach the desired consistency.  Garnish with sliced spring onions and serve with White or Brown Jasmine Rice and enjoy!

A gray bowl filled with Instant Pot vegetable Manchurian

Instant Pot Chicken Manchurian Recipe

Using this recipe, you can make Chicken Manchurian in your Instant Pot too.  Simply replace the meatless meatballs with chicken or turkey meatballs and follow the instructions.  That simple!

Vegetable Manchurian made in 30 minutes, served in a bowl with chopsticks

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Vegetable Manchurian made in 30 minutes, served in a bowl with chopsticks

Veg Manchurian Recipe: Instant Pot & Stovetop Recipe

Vegetable Manchurian is a popular Indianized Chinese dish, in which vegetable meatballs are simmered in an asian flavored sweet, spicy and tangy sauce.  
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 176kcal
Author: Spice Cravings


  • 1 lb. Meatless Meatballs (or any veggie meatballs, I get mine from Trader Joe's)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp spring onions thinly sliced


Cornstarch Slurry


  • Turn on Saute mode on high.  When the display reads, 'hot, add oil and chopped onions, garlic and ginger. Saute for 1 minute.
  • Add water, all sauces and seasoning listed under "sauce".  Stir and add the frozen veggie meatballs. Cancel Saute. Close lid. Press Manual or Pressure Cook at 3 mins.
  • When 3 minutes is up, manually release the pressure by turning the vent to 'venting' position in DUO, or, Press down the pressure release button in ULTRA.  When the pin drops, open the lid.  

After Pressure Cooking

  • Turn on Saute.  Stir together the cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch with water.  Mix till you get a smooth milk-like consistency.  Add a little as a time, while stirring.  Stop when the sauce thickens to your desired level.  
  • Garnish with sliced spring onions and serve warm



If you have regular soy sauce instead of Tamari, check for seasoning after adding the soy sauce, and add an extra pinch of salt or 1 tsp of soy sauce. 
If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 900mg | Potassium: 245mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 0.6% | Vitamin C: 3.2% | Calcium: 4.9% | Iron: 8.7%
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Indian
Keyword: Instant Pot asian recipes, instant pot indian recipes, instant pot indian vegetarian recipes
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  • Reply
    November 15, 2018 at 2:41 pm


    What can be used as replacement for rice vinegar? What other type of vinegar can be used?

    • Reply
      November 15, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Swetha, you can use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar instead. Would love to hear how that works!

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