We had a big head of cauliflower in the fridge and I was debating what to do with it last night when I decided that trying my hand at the delicious Indian-Chinese dish “Gobi Manchurian” would be fun (gobi is what cauliflower is called in Hindi). This is not a dish you find at traditional Chinese restaurants (its clearly not authentic Chinese), but it is an adaptation of Chinese food that you see all over India. I am not sure how to best describe it so if you are wondering if its more Chinese or Indian in it’s flavor profile, I can’t answer that!
I start with cutting up the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Whenever I cut cauliflower, it ends up flying everywhere so I seriously do not like doing it.
Then I make the batter for dipping the cauliflower. It is a pretty simple combination of flour, cornmeal, soy sauce and some spices.
I pan fry the pieces (you could deep-fry them but I wanted to be slightly healthier) in vegetable oil.
Then I start the sauce. I used onion and garlic as the base and then add soy sauce and vegetable broth with some other spices.
After letting the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes, I add the cauliflower and green onions.The final product tasted pretty close to the Indian-Chinese I have had at restaurants which I would say means it was a success! Its also not very hard to put together which is a plus. We ate it with leftover Indian food we ordered from the weekend and it was a perfect addition to the meal.
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 medium sized cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup corn meal
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons tandoori powder
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Half of a red onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
- 3 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1.5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (or use cayenne if thats what you have)
- 1 teaspoon tandoori powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 6 green onions, chopped
- To make the batter: in a large bowl, mix the flour and corn meal. Add the soy sauce, ginger garlic paste and other spices to the bowl and mix well.
- Add about a half cup of water to the batter and mix in. Add more water as needed so the batter thins out but make sure it doesn’t get too soupy.
- Dip each cauliflower piece into the batter to coat.
- Pour the vegetable oil in a frying pan. Pan fry the cauliflower florets on medium-high heat until they become dark brown all over (3-5 minutes). Set aside.
- In a frying pan, saute the red onion and garlic for a few minutes on medium heat with a little bit of oil. Add the ginger garlic paste and continue to saute.
- Add the soy sauce and spices and combine. Then add in the vegetable broth. Let the sauce come to a boil before turning down the heat.
- Mix in the corn starch to thicken the sauce. Stir and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower and green onion and mix into the sauce. Let it heat through for a few minutes.