The ever popular “Manchurian” is an Indian Chinese dish. This is one of the famous starters in India and it is delicious, spicy and dry or with gravy. It is made of Cauliflower.
It is also known as Cauliflower Wings(BBQ version) these days, popular among vegan diet people!
Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian is the result of the adaptation of Chinese cooking and seasoning techniques to suit Indian tastes. It is believed to have been originally developed by a small Chinese community which lived in Kolkata for a century[when?]. In its two-stage preparation, the first stage requires preparing a spiced corn flour batter, dipping cauliflower florets in it and deep frying them. In the second stage, the deep fried florets are sautéed with chopped onion, capsicum, garlic, etc. in soy and chili sauce.
There are two different variants of gobi Manchurian, dry and with gravy. Both variants are prepared by using common ingredients like cauliflower, corn flour, maida flour, spring onion, capsicum, soy sauce, chili sauce, minced garlic, ground pepper, etc. and has typical garnish of spring onion. Few recipes call for use of Ajinomoto (MSG) to increase the taste profile however some avoid it due to misconceptions about its unhealthiness. Its taste can vary from mild spicy to hot and fiery based on the recipe and personal preference.
- 1 medium sized cauliflower (broken into medium-sized florets)
- oil for deep frying
- 2 tbsp chopped spring onion greens , for garnishing
- 1/2 tsp freshly crushed pepper or green chili paste can be used
- 1/2 tsp garlic , minced (or paste)
- 1/2 tsp ginger , minced (or paste)
- salt to taste
- 1 small onion , finely chopped(can be added to marinade mixture or into the batter)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup corn starch (Rice flour also works great in place of corn starch)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- about 3/4 cup water or as needed
- 1/2 cup sweet & sour sauce (tomato ketchup can be used)
- 1/2 tsp red chilli or hot sauce*
- 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp garlic , minced (or paste)
- 1/4 tsp ginger , minced (or paste)
- 1 tbsp corn syrup or corn starch dissolve with water (optional)-Arrowroot powder can be used to enhance the taste and texture of gravy and also good for heath.
- salt if needed only
Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Put the cauliflower florets in the bowl, and mix well so they're well coated with the marinade. Let them soak in the marinade for about 20 minutes.
In the meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients for the batter in another bowl. Add the water carefully so that batter has a reasonably thick coating consistency.
Heat the oil for deep frying.
Mix marinade cauliflower with prepared batter and make sure they're well coated with the batter. Carefully drop the batter coated florets, as one "lump" into the hot oil. You can deep fry about 5 or 6 such "lumps at a time. Fry the cauliflower fritters, over medium heat, till they're crisp and a nice brown in colour. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Do this frying no more than about half an hour before serving, as these cauliflower fritters tend to lose their crispness after a while.
To keep them crispy for later use, I turn on my toaster oven on lowest heat and spread all the fritters in a single layer and it stays crispy anytime you take them out.
Take medium size of pan and add all the ingredients liste for making sauce.
*I always have a bottle of "hot/sweet and sour chilli sauce" on hand. If I have that, I preder to use that over ketchup(it's not as spicy as red chilli sauce) instead of red chilli sauce.
Heat the sauce just till it starts bubbling. Add corn syrup if adding. Take the pan off the heat.
This sauce should be a bit on the thicker side. If you feel it is too thick, you may add a couple of spoons of water to thin it down slightly, before taking the sauce off the stove.
I have seen "Manchurian" dishes where the sauce is thick and just coats the dumplings and some where the sauce is a little thinner and more like gravy.
Place the fried cauliflower dumplings in a serving bowl and pour the sauce over the dumplings evenly covering them completely. Garnish with chopped spring onion greens and serve warm, with noodles or rice.
This recipe serves 4.
If you are looking for some healthy option, you can bake cauliflower instead of frying. Watch the video below: