Gobi manchurian (cauliflower manchurian)

The name gobi (cauliflower) manchurian is very popular in Indo-Chinese cuisine and you can find this in every restaurant in India. Gobi or cauliflower manchurian is also very popular among vegetarians. Cauliflower manchurian is made either in either dry or gravy form. My mom’s favourite starter is the dry gobi or cauliflower manchurian. She always orders gobi manchurian whenever she does to a restaurant. Hot chips is a popular chain in Chennai and whenever we go there to have any chat or tiffin, my mom orders gobi manchurian. I have cooked this in so many variations and among them I have about 3 to 4 versions which I like.

You can make your version of gobi or cauliflower manchurian too, by just adding the ingredients you like and how you want. I want my gobi manchurian to be spicy and hence all my versions will be a bit spicy.

Ingredients

  • Cauliflower (florets, cut) - 275 to 300 gms or 2 1/2 cups
  • Marinate (batter)

  • Maida (plain flour) – 2 tbsp
  • Corn flour – 2 tbsp
  • Rice flour – 1 tbsp
  • Ajinomoto (MSG) – 1/4 tsp
  • Pepper powder (a little coarse) – 1/4 tsp
  • Egg – 1 (optional)
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Water – 15 to 30 ml
  • Corn flour - extra 1 to 2 tbsp, if needed
  • For sauce

  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Onion (medium, finely chopped) – 1
  • Green chilli – 1 (optional)
  • Garlic cloves (finely chopped) – 4 to 5
  • Chilli paste – 3 tsp
  • Tomato sauce – 4 to 5 tbsp
  • Ajinomoto (MSG) – a big pinch
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Dark soya sauce – 2 tsp
  • Light soya sauce – 2 tsp
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Spring onion – 2
  • Corn starch

  • Corn flour – 2 tsp
  • Water – 1/2 cup

Method

    Batter and deep frying

  • Cut the cauliflower into florets, wash, drain and keep it aside.
  • Take a wide plate (will be easy to marinate) and add maida, rice flour, corn flour, salt, ajinomoto and pepper powder. Mix well and then add egg. Mix well to make a thick paste. If it is too dry add a little water and mix well.
  • Add cauliflower florets to the paste and mix well.
  • If the cauliflower is not coated well, then add more corn flour powder and sprinkle some water on top and mix well.
  • Deep fry the cauliflower in batches and keep it aside. It will become light brown in colour and will really cook very quickly.
  • Sauce

  • Take a wide pan or kadai. Add oil, when its hot add onions and stir well. Cook until the colour changes to a light golden colour. Add garlic, stir quickly so that it does not burn. After about 5 secs, add chilli paste. Stir well for 10 secs, add 50 ml of water and cook for a few minutes.
  • When the rawness of the chilli paste is gone and water is absorbed, add all the sauces and the remaining water.
  • Mix well so that all the sauces are mixed well with water. Add pepper, ajinomoto, sugar, salt (if required) and spring onions. Keep some spring onions to garnish at the end.
  • Keep stirring for sometime until the sauces are cooked well. It will not take much time. When the sauces are cooked, add corn starch and mix well. Let it cook for about 2 mins.
  • When the sauce is thick, add cauliflowers and mix well. Add the remaining spring onions and cook until the cauliflower is coated well with the sauce. Switch the heat off.
  • Taste the dish to make sure it is to your liking. If it is very spicy just try to adjust with a little more of tomato ketchup, add a little water and sugar, if needed.
  • The dish is not very dry or with too much gravy. The gobi manchurian is spicy and tastes good.

Notes

  • My chilli paste was not very thick and not very thin. Add the chilli paste, 1 tsp at a time, taste, add more until you are happy with the taste or spicyness
  • For making the chilli paste, I soaked about 5 to 6 dry red chillis in hot/warm water for sometime. When it becomes soft, I ground it into a fine paste. You can store it in the fridge or freezer.
  • You can add food colour for that reddish look (optional). Add the colour to the gravy while cooking. A pinch should be enough.
  • I cooked the dish on medium heat only. If the heat is very high and it is burning, just keep off the heat for a bit or reduce the heat.
  • Before adding corn starch if the sauce becomes thick and it is enough for coating the cauliflowers, then there is no need to add corn starch.
  • If the sauce becomes too thick and dry, then add little water to make it thin and then add cornstarch.
  • After adding corn starch, I think it gives a custard-like texture or consistency and this will make the cauliflower to be coated well with the sauce.
  • I could not give you sufficient pictures for the recipe, just follow the recipe and I guess it will be easy.
  • You can also use my vegetable manchurian recipe for gobi manchurian.

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