This recipe was created by Joni Condos of Opti Cook. Note: OPTIFAST licenses a selection of Opti Cook recipes and does not endorse or hold any further association with Opti Cook or its website content.
Ingredients (serves 4)
For Vegetable Manchurian Balls
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 1 tbsp stock powder or 1 stock cube
- 1 cup of carrot, finely chopped
- 1 cup of green beans, finely chopped
- 1 red capsicum, half finely chopped and half chopped into 2 cm squares (for the sauce)
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 tbsp garlic, finely sliced
- 1/2 tbsp ginger, crushed
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil for frying
For The Manchurian Sauce (Gravy)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup spring onions, sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp garlic, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp ginger, crushed
- 2 green chillies, finely sliced
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp low salt tomato sauce
- 1 sachet tomato paste (approx. 4 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce, gluten-free
- 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp Stevia
For The Balls
- Cook the cauliflower in the stock for approx 20 mins until nice and soft and falling apart. You can also start on the sauce at this stage (see below).
- Grate all your vegetables. Set aside on a paper towel to drain while the cauliflower cooks.
- Drain the cauliflower well in a colander. Get a large tea towel and tip cauliflower into the middle of it. With kitchen gloves on, grab all four corners and wring the mix out over the sink until much of the water has come out. * Warning: this is very hot. Make sure you use rubber gloves, so you can get all the water out successfully *
- Return to the saucepan and blitz until really smooth and creamy; it should not be watery but a solid, sticky mash. Add the grated vegetables and mix. Return to the tea towel and again wring out until most of the moisture is gone from the entire mix (again using gloves to protect your hands). Tip back into the saucepan. Mix well.
- Heat a frypan over medium heat. Add olive oil.
- Fashion the mix into small round balls, a large tablespoon per ball.
- Place the balls into the oil. Cook for approx. 15 minutes until brown turning, so all sides are cooked.
For The Sauce (Gravy)
- In a pan, add red onion, ginger, garlic and saute until light golden brown. Blitz into a puree. This will thicken the sauce later on.
- Add the Spring onion, chilli, black pepper, soy sauce, chopped red capsicum (from the balls recipes above), Stevia and vinegar plus 1/2 cup of water.
- Cook for 15 mins until it thickens slightly. Add more water when needed if it is getting a bit dry. Test the heat; if you like more, add some cayenne pepper, fresh red chilli, chilli powder and cook for a further 5 mins.
- Place your serve of balls in a bowl, spoon sauce on top, stir carefully to coat the balls, then top with black pepper and chopped coriander. Eat quickly, so the balls remain crispy under the sauce and not soggy.
- You can also cook the balls in the oven all at once.
- Great the next day; however, balls are soggy if placed in the sauce in the fridge.
- Suitable for freezing if done separately, cooked sauce in one container and uncooked balls in another. Last-minute assembly is definitely a must!