Paneer Manchurian is a spicy, and delightful Indo-Chinese dish which is considered to be one of the best and most satisfying Indo-Chinese recipes. Here, batter-coated crisp fried paneer cubes are tossed in a dry, lightly sweet, spicy, and tangy sauce.
This dry Paneer Manchurian recipe is very easy and simple to make and comes together in just 30 minutes when made from scratch.
It can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish over fried rice, , steamed noodles, or . Paneer Manchurian is usually served as a dry or semi-dry version, but it can also be served in a gravy version.
On this page, you’ll find step-by-step picture and video recipes to make the best fail-proof paneer Manchurian with all the tips, tricks, and variations.
About Paneer Manchurian
Paneer Manchurian is a scrumptious Indo-Chinese snack prepared using crisp fried paneer cubes coated in Manchurian sauce.
This incredibly delicious Indo-Chinese fusion Paneer Manchurian has mildly sweet, sour, salty, and bitter taste sensations. Every single bite would give you a flavor and texture kick.
Here, you don’t need to do much preparation. Just marinate the paneer in flour mixture, deep/shallow fry them until fried to perfection, make the umami-flavored veggie Manchurian sauce, and then finally toss the crisp fried paneer (Indian cottage cheese) in the sauce. Simple, isn’t it?
While you can find the semi-dry version most commonly served in restaurants, there are also the dry and gravy variations. Dry & semi-dry Paneer Manchurian can be eaten straight as an appetizer and you just don’t need any side.
The dry version tastes good as it is, or serve it over noodles. On the other hand the gravy version of Paneer Manchurian goes well with plain/steamed rice.
In this post, I have shared how to make restaurant-style Dry Paneer Manchurian which can also be made into Paneer Manchurian gravy with a slight modification.
For making this dish, you need homemade fresh and soft paneer. I used homemade paneer, but you can also use store-bought paneer. Just make sure that the paneer you are using is high-quality and soft.
The Paneer Manchurian recipe tastes quite similar to other Indo-Chinese dishes ‘Chilli Paneer’, and ‘Gobi Manchurian’. Here, gobi (cauliflower florets) is swapped with paneer cubes and has a similar sauce. It is one of the easy paneer dishes of Indo-Chinese cuisine and an ideal party food as well.
You can serve this as an appetizer, snack, or as a side dish. They also make a wonderful appetizer or snack for parties or get-togethers.
If you want to make paneer crisp from the outside and soft from the inside, then you need to either deep or shallow fry them. Alternatively, you can grill them on a grill pan to make them healthier.
Just try this recipe once, and I am sure you won’t stop making it.
This Paneer Manchurian
✔ is simple and easy to prepare
✔ tastes amazing
✔ can be deep/shallow/air/pan fried
✔ is ready in under 30 minutes
✔ can be made dry or saucy
✔ tastes just like restaurant-style Paneer Manchurian
✔ makes a delightful appetizer for get-togethers
✔ can be customized according to your taste preference
Paneer Manchurian is made with a handful of ingredients which are easily available in any kitchen.
Below are the ingredients you will need to make Paneer Manchurian:
Oil for frying – For frying paneer cubes you can use any oil which is suitable for frying.
Soy Sauce – I have used dark soy sauce for making this recipe, but you can also use light soy sauce. They both will give the same taste, just the final dish would have a lighter shade when made with light sauce.
Ginger & Garlic – For this recipe, you will need chopped ginger and garlic for the sauce and ginger-garlic paste for the flour batter. Alternatively, you can use ginger-garlic paste in both.
Spices – You will need freshly ground black pepper for the sauce, and red chili powder for the paneer batter.
Tomato ketchup – It adds a sweet and slightly tangy flavor to the sauce. You can use any of your favorite tomato ketchup.
Chili sauce – It is added to a hot flavor. You can also replace chili sauce with Schezwan sauce.
Flour – You will need cornstarch for making slurry and also for making the batter. All-purpose flour or refined flour is used for making paneer batter.
Bell pepper – I used yellow bell pepper here. You can use any of your favorite bell peppers in Manchurian sauce.
Green chilies – They add a hot taste to the sauce, but it is completely optional. If you find green chilies too hot then skip adding them.
Onion & spring onions (scallions) – This recipe calls for diced and petals release onions and sliced spring onions. So make sure you add them both for making it authentic.
How to Make Paneer Manchurian
Making Paneer Manchurian is really quick and easy. This is how it is done in just 5 steps:
1. Cut paneer into cubes. Add flour, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, and soy sauce to a bowl. Coat paneer in this mixture and add 2-3 tablespoons of water to make a semi-thick batter. Marinate paneer for 30 minutes and then deep or shallow fry them until golden and crisp. Remove them from the pan and transfer them to absorbent paper.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch to a small bowl and mix it well with 2-3 tablespoons of water to make a slurry. Set this aside.
3. Heat oil in a wok or a pan. Add chopped ginger, chopped garlic, and chopped green chilies. Saute them for a minute. Then add 1 tablespoon of spring onion and sauté for 1 minute. Next, add bell peppers and onions and sauté until the veggies are slightly cooked.
4. Add soy sauce and mix them. Then add chili sauce, vinegar, and black pepper and mix. Add tomato ketchup and mix again. Then add spring onions and cook for 1 minute. Lower the heat, add the cornstarch slurry, and cook until the mixture thickens.
5. Then add fried paneer cubes to the prepared Manchurian sauce and toss until everything is well combined. Cook for 1 minute. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, and spring onions, and serve immediately as a snack or alonh with Vegetable Hakka Noodles.
You can get the detailed recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card on this page.
Salt – The soy sauce I used was salty enough, that’s why I didn’t add any salt to the sauce or the paneer batter. But if your soy sauce is not salty, then feel free to add salt according to your taste.
After frying paneer cubes, don’t keep them for a long time, or else they will turn soggy, and will not taste as crunchy as they should. Serve it immediately to keep the paneer crisp.
Hot and crispy manchurian tastes the best. So always add the paneer to the sauce when you want to serve.
The manchurian dishes get all the taste from different sauces. So, you can always adjust the seasonings and sauces to suit your taste preference.
Frying – While frying, do not overcrowd the pan, or else the paneer will not cook evenly.
Always, keep the manchurian sauce ready before frying the paneer. This way you can serve the it right after frying.
Leftover paneer Manchurian - If you have leftover paneer manchurian, then you can use it as a sandwich filling or make a wrap with it.
Slurry – Turn the heat to low before adding cornstarch slurry. Also, make the slurry lump-free and mix it again before adding it to the pan.
More paneer dishes you might like are: Paneer Butter Masala, Paneer Khurchan, Paneer Pakora, Paneer Pulao, Paneer Jalfrezi, Paneer Bhurji Dry, Paneer Lababdar, Paneer Korma, paneer pasanda, and Instant Pot Butter Paneer, etc.
Can I bake or Air Fry Paneer for Paneer Manchurian?
Yes, you can Bake or Air Fry Paneer cubes for making Paneer Manchurian.
Frying paneer using Air Fryer
Preheat the air-fryer or oven to 200°C/400°F for 5 minutes. Then, line the air fryer basket with a perforated parchment and brush/spray it with frying oil. Place batter-coated paneer cubes in a single layer. Brush/spray all the cubes with oil and Air Fry at 200°C/400°F for 14 minutes.
Halfway through, give the basket a quick shake and spray the paneer with some oil. Insert the basket again and air fry for the rest of the time. You will get crispy and golden-fried paneer cubes.
Baking paneer using the oven
Preheat the air-fryer or oven to 200°C/400°F for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange marinated paneer on the baking sheet on a single layer. Spray or brush paneer with oil and bake @200°C/400°F for 16-18 minutes or until golden and crisp.
How to make Vegan Paneer Manchurian?
Making a vegan version of paneer manchurian is very easy. To make a vegan paneer manchurian recipe, substitute the paneer with cubes of firm tofu.
How to make Gluten-free Paneer Manchurian?
Paneer manchurian is not entirely gluten-free as it uses all-purpose flour in the batter and soy sauce in batter and sauce both. To make it gluten-free, swap the soy sauce with a gluten-free variety of soy sauce and all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend.
Paneer Manchurian (Step-by-step photo instructions)
- Place the paneer onto the cutting board, cut the paneer (Indian cottage cheese) into cubes, and keep them aside. Add maida (all-purpose) flour, cornstarch, ginger-garlic paste, and soy sauce to a bowl. TIP: Also, add salt if you like. The soy sauce I am using is very salty, so I didn't have to add salt.
- Add paneer cubes and mix well to coat. Also, add 3-4 tablespoons of water to make a semi-thick batter of flour mixture so that paneer cubes are coated well in the flour mixture. Tip: The batter should neither be too thick nor too thin to get a crisp outer layer. Keep the paneer cubes aside for 30 minutes to marinate.
- Heat oil in a wide pan or kadai. Add the marinated, batter-coated paneer cubes to the pan and deep fry them over medium heat until they are lightly golden. Drain and transfer them to a kitchen-tissue-lined plate to remove excess oil. Keep them aside.
Make cornflour slurry
- Add cornstarch and 2-3 tablespoons water to a small bowl. Mix well until combined. Corn starch slurry is ready. Set it aside till use.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wide non-stick pan on medium heat. Once hot, add chopped ginger, chopped garlic, chopped green chili and sauté for 1 minute or until the ginger-garlic slightly changes color. Next, add 2 tablespoons of spring onions and sauté 30-40 seconds. After that, add onion petals, and bell pepper. Mix well and sauté for 2-3 minutes or till the onions are slightly fragrant.
- Add soy sauce, chili sauce, black pepper, and vinegar, mix and cook for 30 seconds. Add tomato ketchup and mix again. Tip: you can adjust the quantity of chili sauce and tomato ketchup to get the desired flavor. Add 1/4 cup spring onion greens and cook for a minute.
- Turn the heat to low. Mix the cornstarch slurry, and add it to the pan. Mix well and cook till the sauce thickens. TIP: To make paneer Manchurian gravy add 1 cup of more water or vegetable stock. At this point, taste and add salt to taste, if needed. Add the fried paneer cubes and toss well to combine. Cook for 1 minute on high heat. Paneer Manchurian is ready.
- Transfer Paneer Manchurian to a bowl. Garnish it with spring onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.