Gobi 65 is the vegetarian version of chicken 65. Gobi is the hindi name of cauliflower and so Gobi 65 is literally a spicy fry of cauliflower. It is served as a vegetarian starter in most Indian restaurants.
Caulifower is a very rare vegetable purchased in our house, as we never get to see clean white ones. I was always brought up to think that cauliflowers and cabbages are heavily sprinkled with pesticides.
So it did surprise me when I saw cauliflower in the clean 15 list of EWG. It doesn’t hold good for people outside the US, I suppose 🙂 . So still treading with caution when it comes to cauliflower and cabbage.
Usually in India we pick the cauliflower florets, wash them and then keep them soaked in hot salt water for a few minutes. This way the worms if any in the vegetable gets dislodged.
But if you are worried about the pesticides, you can soak the florets in water+baking soda for 15 mts. Then wash with clean water and soak in hot water.
Gobi 65 which is a dry preparation and gobi manchurian (recipe coming up) which is a semi dry indo chinese starter are the ones I make mostly with cauliflower.
Both are unique and are equally good. Apart from this, cauliflower can be swapped for chicken and meat in most recipes for vegetarians.
I have adapted this recipe from my chicken 65 making changes to suit a vegetable. As usual I have avoided deep frying by using my air fryer. If you do not have an air fryer, you can opt to deep fry or shallow fry as per preference.
But finally tossing it in the tempering gives it a beautiful hue and flavour. And it will be more red if you use kashmiri chilli powder, though I have used the regular chilly powder.
The spice was perfect for us, and this recipe has become a family favourite. Try it my way and and it will become your family favourite too.
Over to the recipe…
For blanching cauliflower
- 1 tsp salt
- 3-4 cups water(as needed for immersing )
- 250 g cauliflower florets
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp chilly powder
- ½ tsp pepper powder
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt (or as needed)
- 3 tsps any vegetable oil
- 1.5 tbsp corn flour
- 1.5 tbsp rice flour
- a pinch turmeric
- 5 nos curry leaves (chopped)
- 2 tsps oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼-½ tsp chilly powder
- salt as needed
- few drops Apple cider vinegar(ACV)
- few curry leaves
- few green chillies(optional)
- Bring the water to a rolling boil with the salt. Add the cauliflower florets.Turn off heat once it comes to a boil and let sit for 10 minutes
- Drain the florets. Meanwhile in a container mix all the ingredients given under 'For marination'.
- Mix well using as little water as needed to make a smooth paste, neither too thick nor too thin.
- Taste test and adjust spices accordingly. Pour this over the cauliflower florets and mix well to coat.
- Oil the base of the airfryer basket and place the florets on the wired base of the basket.
- Air fry at 180°C, for 12 minutes pausing at half time to shake the basket or displace the pieces. Extend time as needed if you feel it has not browned enough.
- In a frying pan take oil for tempering. Add the cumin seeds. After they crackle add the powders and vinegar. Finally add curry leaves and whole green chillies.(I did not add). Add around 1-2 tbsp of water and mix well.
- Toss the fried cauliflower into the pan when the water starts bubbling. Mix well to coat. Turn off flame and transfer to serving bowl.
- Always do a taste test of the fried cauliflower and adjust spice in tempering accordingly.
- This time everything was perfect after air frying. Still to give it a red hue and enhance flavour I did the tempering part, balancing salt, chilly and vinegar.
- You can replace the ginger and garlic powders with a tsp of ginger garlic paste too.
- More oil has been added in marinating as cauliflower does not have any oil of its own as in meat.
- I normally use coconut oil, though you can use any oil of your choice.
- Similarily the corn flour and rice flour have also been increased to make it crispy.
- I fried for 15 minutes to make it more crispy, though cauliflower never becomes as crispy as chips.
- If after 6 minutes the cauliflower pieces are not dislodgeable, don’t worry. It’ll come out after frying for some more time.
Look up my other starter recipes