Gobi Manchurian or Cauliflower Manchurian is a very popular Indo-Chinese starter that you will find in all Indian restaurants. It can be very easily made at home.
Basically, cauliflower florets are seasoned and deep-fried in oil and then tossed in a flavorful sauce. It can be either made as a dry or semi-dry starter or with some gravy as a side dish for Chinese dishes.
The sauces used generally are the simple tomato sauce and soya sauce apart from the chilly sauce and the vinegar. These give the basic Chinese flavor for all Chinese or rather Indo-Chinese dishes.
Of course, you can add a pinch of the Chinese salt or Ajinomoto if you want, but I normally tend to avoid it.
Also, you can opt for deep-fry or air fry. Both work out well, though oil fried does have an edge 🙂 . In this recipe, I have deep-fried as I wanted it to be close to the real thing.
I have prepared a dry Manchurian. If you want a bit of gravy then increase the sauces and the quantity of cornflour slurry. Also do not wait for it to dry out completely and remove when the sauce is of the desired consistency.
In the restaurants, they do add red color, but you can totally avoid it as the tomato sauce gives a very nice red color. A bit of Kashmiri red chilli powder can also be added for the color.
Cauliflower is not a regular vegetable in our house, coz I rarely find clean white ones. And then the use of pesticides does linger at the back of the mind.
When after all this I do buy one it’s always the Gobi 65 recipe, which is the most demanded one in our house. Now, this has been added as the other favorite.
Try to buy organic cauliflower or make it a point to soak it in a baking soda solution for some time. This, it seems will remove pesticides to a great extent.
Over to the recipe..
- 250 g Cauliflower florets
- Water as needed
- 1 tsp salt (rock salt preferably)
- 2 tbsp All-purpose flour/maida
- salt (as needed)
- pepper powder (as needed)
- oil for frying(as needed)
For the sauce
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tbsp soya sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tsp chilly sauce
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp corn flour
- 2 tbsp water
- a few spring onions
- salt as needed
- Wash and chop the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Boil water with the salt, turn off flame, and immerse the cauliflower pieces for 5 minutes.
- Drain, and spread on a towel to dry a bit. Meanwhile, make a dry mix with the all-purpose flour, salt, and pepper as given under "for frying".
- Sprinkle this on the cauliflower pieces and mix well to coat.
- Heat up oil in a frying pan and fry the cauliflower florets in batches. Drain on to a paper towel.
- Chop the chillies, garlic, and spring onions finely. Make a slurry of the cornflour with the water.
- Heat up a tbsp of oil and saute the garlic and green chillies. Next, add all the sauces and fry for a few seconds. Add the cornflour slurry and let it thicken and come to a boil. Taste test for salt and spices and add more if needed.
- Quickly add the fried cauliflower florets and toss to coat. Turn off flame when it completely dries up.
- Garnish with chopped spring onions. Can be served as such or as an accompaniment to noodles and fried rice.
- Soaking the cauliflower in hot water is to remove the worms in them and not to cook them. The cauliflower should be crunchy.
- The moisture in the florets will hold the all-purpose flour mix onto it. You can also make a thick batter of the flour, coat the florets with it, and deep-fry. I prefer it this way.
- The addition of the sauces is purely based on personal preference. Generally, soya sauce and tomato sauce are added in the ratio of 1:2.
- Spring onions are a must for Chinese dishes. If you don’t have it, you can replace it with coriander leaves.
Do look up my other starter recipes