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Veg Manchurian Pakora

A gluten-free paleo veggie filled crispy pakora topped with a simple coconut amino or soya sauce based sauce makes for a great hakka chinese meal any day of the week.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese, hakka, Indian
Keyword: dairy free, gluten free, keto, Paleo, sugar free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole30
Servings: 4


For the Pakora

  • 1/2 cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 large Carrots, coarsely grated
  • 4 stalks green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos (or soya sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder (store bought or see my version below)
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (sriracha works well)
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder* (you will adjust the amount you use depending on how wet your batter is)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour* (you will adjust the amount you use depending on how wet your batter is)
  • oil for frying

For the Manchurian Sauce

  • oil, for frying
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • pinch red chilli powder (optional)
  • 1/2 black pepper
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos (or soya sauce - I suggest 2tbsp soya sauce and 2 tbsp water as the soya sauce is a bit saltier than coconut aminos)
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce
  • salt, to taste
  • water, as needed for the sauce


Make the Pakoras

  • In a large bowl, mix all your pakora ingredients together (except the oil). The mixture should come together to form a ball in the palm of your hand and not fall apart when you let go. If you find it is too wet, add more flour, if it is too dry, add a splash of water.
  • Heat up a large frying pan with about 1 cup of oil (enough to deep fry the pakora).
  • Form golf ball sized balls with your pakora mixture in the palm of your hand. They were more like flattened balls for me. Carefully drop a veggie 'ball' into the hot oil and allow to cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes till golden brown on one side. Flip over and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes.
  • Once browned all over, remove the pakoras to a paper towel lined plate or dish and repeat for the remaining mixture until you have cooked all your pakoras. Set aside.
  • At this point you can refrigerate your pakora for later, or even just serve them as is. They make a great snack! Or go ahead and double fry them to get them extra crispy - in the same hot oil add the pakoras back in, careful not to over crowd the pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes, flipping often to get them crisped up. Remove onto your paper towel lined plate and set aside while you prepare the sauce.

Make the Manchurian Sauce

  • Right before you want to serve, gather your sauce ingredients.
  • Heat a large saucepan on medium heat. Add 2-3 tbsp oil (you can use the leftover oil from frying the pakoras) and chopped onions. Cook for 5 minutes until the onions are starting to soften.
  • Add ginger, garlic and green chillies and cook 2-3 minutes till fragrant.
  • Add the chinese five spice powder, red chilli powder and black pepper, stirfry for about 30 seconds then add the coconut aminos and hot sauce.
  • Stir to combine. Add more water to create more sauce if you like. Bring to a boil and add salt to taste.
  • Add the pakoras to the sauce and serve immediately.


*For another gluten free version try using GF 1:1 flour in place of the arrowroot. Just make sure to add the tapioca flour as well to help the pakora bind. You many need to adjust the amount of flour you use based on how wet your veggies get. 
*For the non-gluten free version - Use plain flour in place of the arrowroot and tapioca flours. Again you may need to adjust the quantity of flour based on how much water your veggies give off. Start with 1/2 cup and add more a tablespoon at a time till you can form a ball with the mixture that doesn't fall apart.