Try This Homemade Paneer Manchurian Recipe To Satisfy Your Desi Chinese Cravings

Whether you like it dry or with gravy, this paneer Manchurian recipe will have you licking the bowl clean.

Published On Jun 12, 2024 | Updated On Jun 12, 2024


If there’s one cuisine that we Indians have taken from the world, embraced as our own, and enhanced, it has to be what we all fondly devour as ‘Desi-Chinese’ or Indo-Chinese. paneer manchurian is one such gift of this very cuisine that’s probably on every family restaurant’s menu by now, loved by Indians across generations, and we might even say it’s healthy thanks to the goodness of paneer. And here’s the thing that matters- a paneer manchurian recipe is as straightforward as it gets. Whether you’re making paneer manchurian gravy or paneer Manchurian dry, the paneer manchurian masala or the spice mix that you will need remains the same. All it takes is a few tweaks in the recipe to get two variations of yumminess!

Tip to make paneer manchurian vegan: Have dietary restrictions? Fret not! To create a vegan paneer manchurian recipe, simply substitute paneer with tofu, and you’re good to go.


The popular Indo-Chinese recipe combines Indian paneer with Chinese-inspired flavours. A versatile dish enjoyed as an appetizer, snack, or a side dish, paneer Manchurian dry is both, a family favourite and a definite crowd-pleaser. This comes together in a maximum of 30 minutes with easy-to-source paneer Manchurian ingredients and can be effortlessly prepared in batches of any size you need. And well, if a saucy yet fuss-free accompaniment to your oriental mains is what you’re looking for, paneer Manchurian gravy should top your list of options, for this simple yet delicious blend of mainly soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and ginger hits all the right notes, complementing any rice or noodle preparations perfectly.

  1. 250 grams of fresh, firm paneer (cut into cubes)
  2. 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  3. ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  4. ½ teaspoon red chilli powder 
  5. ⅓ cup diced onions or spring onion whites
  6. ½ cup diced capsicum
  7. 1-inch ginger – finely chopped (finely chopped)
  8. 5 to 6 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  9. 1-2 green chillies (finely chopped)
  10. 1.5 to 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  11. ½ tablespoon soy sauce
  12. ½ teaspoon vinegar
  13. 3 tablespoons oil (for pan frying)
  14. Water
  15. Salt to taste

Optional paneer manchurian ingredients:

  1. 1 to 2 teaspoons celery (finely chopped)
  2. ½ teaspoon sugar

Marinating the paneer 

  1. In a bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, ½ teaspoon black pepper powder, ½ teaspoon red chilli powder, and ½ teaspoon salt. Add the paneer cubes to the bowl and coat them well with the mixture.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a pan and pan-fry the paneer cubes until they are golden and crispy. Remove and set aside on tissues or paper towels to drain excess oil.

Preparing the paneer Manchurian sauce

  1. In the same pan, add a bit more oil if needed. Sauté the onions or spring onion whites until they are slightly translucent.
  2. Add ginger, garlic, and celery (optional) and saute for a minute.
  3. Add the finely chopped green chillies and capsicum. Lightly season with salt and sauté on medium-high flame for 2-3 minutes until the capsicum is slightly tender.
  4. Add 1.5 tablespoons tomato ketchup (2 tbsp if you prefer the paneer manchurian to be on the sweeter end) and the tablespoon soy sauce to the pan. Mix well.
  5. Season with black pepper powder,  red chilli powder, and salt.
  6. Add ¼ cup water to the pan and stir well. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly on medium flame.

Combine paneer cubes with sauce

  1. Add the fried paneer cubes to the pan and toss to coat them evenly with the sauce. Be careful not to stir the mixture vigorously to prevent the paneer from breaking apart.
  2. Add ½ teaspoon sugar to balance the flavours, if required. Add a dash of vinegar and mix gently. Garnish with spring onion greens and sesame seeds.


With most of the paneer Manchurian ingredients being the same as the dry paneer Manchurian recipe, here are a few additional points for you to consider for finger-licking delicious paneer Manchurian gravy.

  • Vegetable stock (1 cup) adds more flavour to the gravy than using the same amount of water. Try it, and you will know the difference.
  • If you do not like your veggies to have a crunchy bite in the gravy, chop the onion and capsicum finely instead of dicing them.
  • Using an iron or carbon steel wok for any paneer Manchurian recipe is ideal as these ensure even heat distribution, resulting in a flavourful gravy. 
  • Paneer Manchurian Gravy that’s served in most restaurants contains excessive amounts of soy sauce and MSG, which can affect your and your family’s heart health. By using the right amount of soy sauce and skipping MSG in this paneer Manchurian recipe, you can relish a tasty yet guilt-free meal at home.

At the end of Step #7, once the sauce has been seasoned, add 1.5 cups of vegetable stock to the wok or pan and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil.
To thicken the gravy, add the cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water). Stir continuously to avoid lumps.
Cook until the gravy thickens to the desired consistency, checking for seasoning and adjusting before adding the fried paneer cubes.

A hot and flavourful paneer Manchurian gravy with a hint of sweetness from the tomato ketchup and a kick of garlic pairs beautifully with Schezwan fried rice, another irresistible Indo-Chinese preparation. Check out our Schezwan Fried Rice recipe and enjoy a restaurant-styled desi Chinese meal at home!

Photo: Shutterstock