Popular Indo-Chinese Dish, Gobi Manchurian – crispy cauliflower florets tossed in a spicy chinese sauce. Tastes great with hakka noodles & fried rice! Vegan.
How’s winter treating you guys? I returned back to Seattle on Sunday and I have to say it’s cold but Delhi was no less either! In fact this year, after so many years I got to experience Delhi winter. Every year we would generally return back to USA by Christmas and Delhi wasn’t really cold then.
But this January was freezing there so yeah when I landed back here, it didn’t really feel different. It snowed a lot this year in Seattle (very unlikely!) but all the snow has now vanished. In fact it’s quite sunny outside as I write this.
One of the worst things that I dread after returning back from India (and this time I was away for more than 2 months!) is the jet lag and the constant struggle to get back into the routine. It’s a very different feeling to return back and be all alone in the house again.
In India, I usually have 10-15 people present in my house at one time. So from that to this is not very pleasing. Also it’s super hard to get rid of the jet lag and feel normal again, I have been up since 3 am today and have done nothing because I just feel so tired.
For the last 2 months, I didn’t put a foot inside the kitchen. You have so much help back home that all you have to do is sleep and eat. Of course I wasn’t sleeping much as mom was in hospital for a month but the eating part? Yeah I just kept eating! Now back to cooking all by yourself and no one to even make you a cup of chai 🙁 Anyway enough of my rant, let’s talk about food because that’s what makes everyone happy!
Today I am sharing one of my very favorite recipes – Gobi Manchurian, the very popular Indo-Chinese dish in which crispy cauliflower florets are tossed in a spicy chinese sauce (a soy sauce + vinegar based sauce). This dish is usually prepared in 2 ways – the dry version (without the gravy) is served as an appetizer and the one I am sharing is served with rice or noodles. This recipe of Gobi Manchurian is very similar to the Chili Paneer recipe that I shared some time back. The sauce is almost same, I have just made few changes here and there.
One complaint which I hear from people when they make Gobi Manchurian at home is that the cauliflower florets don’t turn out crispy. When you are making the gravy, just make sure you make it before you fry the cauliflower. Your sauce should be ready and you should add the crispy fried cauliflower to the sauce just before serving. This way the cauliflower will remain crunchy.
I always recommend using sesame oil in Indo-Chinese recipes. It really makes a difference and so does celery. If possible, do not skip these 2, trust me on this. This gobi manchurian tastes great with fried rice and hakka noodles. Crispy fried cauliflower in a delicious chinese sauce, yes it can’t get better than that! This recipe is also vegan if you use sugar in the gravy in place of honey, I personally love honey here but sugar will work just fine or you can skip it all together. It’s also dairy-free, gluten-free and nut free.
Whenever you are making chinese dishes, make sure to do all prep work in advance. There’s a lot of chopping and everything should be done beforehand. The veggies in the sauce need to remain crunchy so we saute them at high heat for a lesser amount of time. You have to be super quick while cooking and hence the prep work must be done in advance.
In a bowl stir together all ingredients listed under “Chinese sauce”. Set aside.
Heat sesame + vegetable oil on high heat.
Add chopped ginger , garlic and green chili. Saute for few seconds.
Add chopped celery, onion and spring onion whites, saute for 1 minute.
Add red & green pepper and cook for 1 more minute on high heat. The veggies should remain crunchy.
Lower the heat and add the prepared “chinese sauce”. Cook for 1 minute.
Mix 3 tablespoons water with 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Add 1 cup water to the pan and then add the prepared cornstarch paste. Sauce will thicken.
Simmer for 1 minute. Add salt and honey (or sugar if vegan), mix and set aside. The gravy is now ready. Set aside and keep it warm.
In another bowl mix together flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper and ginger garlic paste. Add water to form a thick paste. The paste should be thick enough to stick to the cauliflower florets.
Dip florets into the batter and fry till crisp and golden brown from both sides.
Transfer fried florets to the prepared sauce (sauce should be warm).
Simmer for a minute, top with spring onion greens.
Serve hot with hakka noodles or fried rice!
I personally love it with fried rice!
* Remember to make the sauce first and then fry the cauliflower.
PS: Don’t get intimidated by the long list of ingredients. It’s not much, just prep everything well in advance before you start making it.
Popular Indo-Chinese dish, Gobi Manchurian. Crispy cauliflower florets tossed in spicy Chinese Sauce! Tastes great with fried rice or noodles. Vegan.
Batter for Cauliflower florets
- 1/2 head of a large cauliflower or 1 small cauliflower head, around 2 cups cut cauliflower florets
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- water, to form a thick paste, [around 1/2 cup]
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 3 tablespoons oil [1.5 tablespoons sesame oil + 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil]
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 green chili, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped celery
- 2 stalks of spring onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped pepper, I used mix of green and red
- salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar or use honey if not vegan
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato chili ketchup
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper powder
Cornstarch paste (for thickening the gravy)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
spring onion greens, for garnishing
- In a bowl stir together all ingredients listed under "chinese sauce". Set aside.
- Heat sesame + vegetable oil on high heat.
- Add chopped ginger , garlic and green chili. Saute for few seconds.
- Add chopped celery, onion and spring onion whites, saute for 1 minute.
- Add red & green pepper and cook for 1 more minute on high heat. The veggies should remain crunchy.
- Lower the heat and add the prepared "chinese sauce". Cook for 1 minute.
- Mix 3 tablespoons water with 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Add 1 cup water to the pan and then add the prepared cornstarch paste. Sauce will thicken.
- Simmer for 1 minute. Add salt and honey (or sugar if vegan), mix and set aside. The gravy is now ready. Set aside and keep it warm.
- In another bowl mix together flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper and ginger garlic paste. Add water to form a thick paste. The paste should be thick enough to stick to the cauliflower florets.
- Dip florets into the batter and fry till crisp and golden brown from both sides.
- Drain the fried florets on a paper towel.
- Transfer fried florets to the prepared sauce (sauce should be warm).
- Simmer for a minute, top with spring onion greens.
- Serve gobi manchurian hot with hakka noodles or fried rice!