Yaseen and I were like “Ah choo! Ah choo!” all morning as the pungent redolent struck the tips of our noses. My wok was like disco, flavours danced in the black licorice whirlpool with golden chunks of fish swam with the tune.
I learnt what Manchurian sauce was when I arrived in India. Manchurian in the form of chicken, seafood or vegetable is a part of Indo-Chinese cuisine found here in India. Indo-Chinese cuisine is the adaptation of Chinese cooking to Indian tastes. So surely, Chinese food here is very spicy, strongly fragrant, and desirably greasy.
When it is clouded, the wind is cold and I am happy/hungry, I always think the steam of fish Manchurian ascending to my face. The aroma of fresh ginger and the raw heat of green chili braided in the air while garlic and onion, hand-in-hand dip the mellow flavours down to the sauce. The combination in the wok is so wild but perfectly combined.
To make everything more exciting, fish is dip in the batter and deep fry until golden brown and crunchy before adding to the spicy dark lava. When you bite into the hot crispy fish and let it dissolve in the intensely flavoured sauce, it makes your stomach contract begging for more.
Ingredients (4 servings)
500 gm fish fillets- sliced into medium pieces
1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp corn flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced ginger
1 onion- chopped
2 green chili- chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 tbsp corn flour- dissolved in little water
Oil for deep frying + 1 tbsp for stir frying
A handful fresh coriander leaves- chopped
- Combine flour, corn flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in the mixing bowl. Gradually add water and mix to create a thick batter.
- Dip fish in the batter piece by piece and deep fry until golden brown. Keep aside.
- Heat oil in the wok or pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, onion, green chili and sauté until aromatic.
- Add soy sauce, sugar and stir further for 30 seconds or so. Add vegetable stock and bring to boil.
- Add corn flour solution, cook and stir further until thicken.
- Sprinkle over with some fresh coriander before serve.
When I served fish Manchurian with some hot rice for lunch, I wasn’t sure Yaseen was going to like it. I kept aside some deep fried fish and ketchup for him. Later, I realized he was forking around my plate and stealing some fish coated in burning hot sauce. He ate it as if these spicy fish have become one of his flavourite snacks, but “Ah choo!” again he sneezed, laughed and continued eating.