Chilli Chicken Vs. Manchurian Chicken – What’s the difference?

Chicke is one of the most popular foods in the world, loved for its light flavor and versatility. You’ll find two main types of chicken dishes in every Indo-Asian restaurant:

  1. Chilli Chicken
  2. Manchurian Chicken

Both dishes may look similar, but they aren’t the same. In this article, will cover the main differences between chilli chicken and manchurian chicken. Let’s get started.

What is Chilli Chicken?

Chilli chicken is a popular dish of Hakka Chinese heritage. It has many variations with differences in spices and seasoning. It also has “wet” and “dry” versions with varying sauce or gravy quantities. The South Asian versions of this dish play with the spices, while the Hakka ones use Chinese cooking techniques to prepare chili chicken.

Though mainly boneless chicken is used in this dish, some chefs also use bone-in chicken for cooking chilli chicken.

Why is it called Chilli Chicken?

Chili Chicken got this name because it contains boneless chicken chunks mixed with dry red chilies. Also, chili chicken has chopped ginger and garlic, onions, and other spices to make a spicy Indo-Chinese dish. This dish is popular in India and pairs well with fried rice or chowmein noodles.  

The Ultimate Chilli Chicken by MasterChef

What is Chicken Manchurian?

Manchurian is a class of Indo-Chinese dishes made by chopping and deep-frying ingredients such as chicken, onions, and cauliflower and then sautéing them in a gravy flavored with soy sauce. This dish is an adaptation of Chinese cooking and seasoning techniques to match Indian tastes. It has become quite popular in Indian Chinese cuisine.

What is Chicken Manchurian Made Of?

Chicken Manchurian is made of diced chicken fried with ginger, garlic, and green chilies – an essential combination in Indian cuisine. It also contains soy sauce, corn starch, white rice vinegar, and ketchup for added flavor.

Why is it called Chicken Manchurian?

The word “Manchurian” translates to “native of Manchuria,” but the dish is a creation of Chinese restaurants in India and has a minimal resemblance to traditional Manchu Northeastern Chinese cuisine. Also, Manchurian is an Indian lingo or fried veggies or fried meat in this spicy-umami sauce.

What Does Chicken Manchurian Taste Like?

Chicken Manchurian has a distinct flavor and tastes sweet, savory, spicy, and umami. T

Key Difference Between Chilli Chicken and Manchurian Chicken           


The addition of oyster sauce in Manchurian chicken differentiates it from chilli chicken. Chicken chilly is prepared by adding chopped onions, red hot chill-peppers, and tomato sauce, whereas chicken Manchurian is a Chinese-inspired dish and contains sweet and sour sauce. And unlike Manchurian chicken, chilli chicken contains almost no soy sauce.


Chilly chicken is generally red in color with lots of split red chilies. In comparison, chicken Manchurian is flavored with black pepper powder, ginger, and garlic. Unlike chilli chicken, Manchurian chicken combines sweet and spicy flavors.

Recipe variations

When it comes to recipe variations, chili chicken has many variations, whereas Manchurian chicken has none. Also, chilli chicken has both “wet” and “dry” ingredients. Many variations exist for chili chicken depending on the restaurateur, including:

  • Green chilli chicken.
  • Bengal chilli chicken.
  • Tangrai chilli chicken.
  • Chinese chilli chicken.

Nutrition Information for Chilli Chicken vs. Chicken Manchurian

The table below contains the nutritional value per 214 g serving of Chilli Chicken.

Protein21 g
Carbohydrate21 g
Fat12 g
Sugar4.4 g
Fiber2.8 g

The table below contains the nutritional value per 214 g serving of Chicken Manchurian.

Protein9.6 g
Carbohydrate31.2 g
Fat7.2 g
Sugar3.6 g
Fiber3 g

Final Thoughts

When compared to Manchruian chicken, chilli chicken uses big slices of green chilli and stock water. The main difference is that chilli chicken is hot and spicy whereas Manchurian chicken has a sweet and savory taste.

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