1peppercut into wedges (I used 1/2 red and 1/2 green)
1red onioncut into petals
6large cloves garlic
2-3green chilliessliced on the bias
2tbspdark soy sauce
1tsprice wine vinegarwhite, brown or apple cider are all fine to use
1/4tspwhite pepperor black pepper
1 1/2tbspcornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water
300mlwateror more for a more saucy Manchurian
2spring onionsfinely chopped
To make the vegetable kofta:
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, spring onions, ginger, fresh coriander and salt. Add the plain flour, cornflour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix with clean hands, squeezing the mixture to encourage the veggies to release their natural water. Once the mixture reaches a soft, dropping consistency, stop mixing and allow to sit at room temperature while the oil heats up.
Heat enough oil in a deep wok or pan to deep fry the kofta (the oil will need to be about 3 inches deep). Once the oil reaches 175°C/350°F, it is ready.
Use a small amount of cold oil to grease your hands. Take a small portion of the vegetable mixture in your hand (a little less than a tablespoon is perfect). Gently roll into a ball between your greased palms - the oil should stop it from sticking too much. You may not get a perfect sphere as this batter is quite soft but this is fine. Don't be tempted to add too much flour.
Once a ball is formed, carefully slide it into the hot oil. Repeat this for the remaining portions of batter. Try not to overcrowd the pan as this will reduce the temperature of the oil and the kofta may become soggy. Work in small batches. I fried my kofta in 3 batches.
Fry the kofta for 3-4 minutes per batch. They should be golden brown on the outside and cooked all the way through. If you find they brown too quickly and remain raw in the centre, reduce the heat and wait for the oil to cool before continuing. Drain the fried kofta on a plate lined with a kitchen towel - this will help absorb excess oil. Set aside.
To make the manchurian sauce:
Heat a large wok or pan until smoking hot. Add the oil and garlic. Saute the garlic for 5-10 seconds and then add the tomato puree. Cook for 15 seconds, stirring all the time. Next, add in the onions, peppers and chillies. Toss to combine everything well.
After a minute, add the soy sauce, vinegar, white pepper, MSG (if using), sugar and salt. Stir fry for another minute and then add the water.
Once the water comes to the boil, add the cornflour and water mixture. Stir well until the sauce thickens and develops a glossy, translucent sheen.
Add the cooked vegetable kofta to the sauce and toss well to coat. Garnish with chopped spring onions and serve immediately.