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April 24, 2009

Gobi Manchurian

Indian Chinese cuisine is the adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes. It is said to have been developed by the tiny Chinese community that has lived in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) for over a century.Indeed, in a curious twist, Indian Chinese has followed the mainstream Indian expatriate community as they have spread across the world, providing expatriate Indians with a taste of authentic Indian Chinese.- Wikipedia

Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian is one such dish which has a slight Chinese influence with the use of soy sauce and garnished with scallions.

I first had Gobi Manchurian in Salem, India in an Indo-Chinese restaurant and was hooked to it. Mom never made it at home and in Chennai, Chinese road side vendors sold Gobi Manchurian along with Chowmein. I have tried various recipes and we personally like this one the best.

When we started breaking the cauliflower into florets we realized we did not have tomato ketchup, scallions or bell pepper which are some key ingredients, but we made do without it, and did not miss a thing.

All purpose flour – 4 T
Corn Starch – 4 T
Farina/Rava - 2 T
Chill Garlic sauce – 1 T (use sparingly, if you want it less spicy)
Ginger – 2 tsp (finely minced)
Garlic – 2 tsp (finely minced)
Salt to taste
Water to make a batter – ½ cup, approx
Large Cauliflower – Broken into florets.
Vegetable oil for deep drying

For the Sauce

Oil – 3 T
Onion – 1 cup, thinly sliced
Serrano chillies – 2, thinly sliced (remove seeds if you can’t take the heat)
Ginger – 1 T, chopped finely
Garlic – 3 pods, chopped finely
Tomato paste – 2 T
Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tsp
Jaggery – 3 T ( use brown sugar if you don’t have jaggery)
Chilli Garlic Sauce – 1 T or more to suit your taste.
Soy Sauce – 2 tsp

We prefer making the sauce first and then went on to deep fry the cauliflower.
  • Heat oil in a wok or a pan and when the oil is hot, start sauteing the onions and after a minute, add the chillies, ginger and garlic and saute until the onions turn translucent. This takes about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir well, so that you have no lumps of the tomato and it is well incorporated with the onion.
  • Stir in the cides vinegar, jaggery, chilli garlic sauce and soy sauce and cook on medium low until the jaggery has melted and your house smells divine.
  • Check for seasoning, if you want more heat, add some more chilli garlic paste.
  • Set this aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and while the oil is getting hot, start working on the cauliflower.
  • In a medium sized bowl, add all the dry ingredients first, followed by ginger, garlic and red chilli paste. Mix well and slowly start mixing in little water at a time to make a smooth batter.
  • Dip the cauliflower in the batter and immediately start deep frying. Add as many florets as your pan can hold.
  • Deep fry until they tirn golden brown and set it on a paper towel to drain all the oil.
  • After you complete frying all the florest add it to the sauce and saute on medium high for about 3 minutes.
  • If you have scallions, you can garnish with them.
This is a great appetizer to serve, but I don't think I have the patience to deep fry a whole batch :). Gobi Manchurian taste best when it served piping hot!

Eileen and Sue, this is for you. Thank you for all your support and your friendship.

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