Indo Chinese cuisine is an exciting break from the everyday meals to make at home. It cuts the boredom of rolling flat-breads, boiling lentils & picking rice – the sizzling wok replaces the whistling pressure cooker. The kitchen suddenly beams with warmth of ginger garlic, tang of vinegar and smokey soya sauce. The bliss is rounded off with the kick from Indian spices like red chilli powder or garam masala. I’m still waiting to meet an Indian who doesn’t like it.
This is a widely popular vegetarian dish of the indo Chinese genre, Gobi Manchurian which is nothing but batter fried cauliflower florets in all Chinese sauce. It’s creatively masterminded by Chinese who lived in eastern parts of India for centuries; just imagine it to be an amber-colored, tangy and remotely sweet sauce with hints of Indian spices. Indo Chinese is what it is due to typical Indian condiments – I make it a point to use the Indian brands for the authentic taste.
Now this recipe can be dry or wet – it’s totally your call. I prepare the consistency somewhere in between. It coats the cauliflower florets thoroughly but is not runny. Anything from deep-fried cauliflower, paneer (Indian cheese), mushrooms or even baby corns, chicken strips, breaded tofu, shrimp or vegetable balls can be combined with this sauce to make lip smacking appetizers or main course. This dish cannot be made in advance, it tastes best when the cauliflower is crispy (freshly fried).
|Tip: To make the recipe more spicy, add red chilli and increase the ginger garlic quantity also.|
|Tip: Use blanched cauliflower and drains entire water and let them dry with kitchen towel before frying.|
Ingredients for the Gobi Manchurian Fritters
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon corn-starch
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 fatty garlic pods, minced
- 1 teaspoon dark soya sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- a Pinch of Black pepper
- 1/4 cup water (or as required to make the batter)
- Oil for frying (or vegetable oil)
Ingredients for the Chinese sauce
- 2 teaspoon dark soya sauce (I use Ching’s brand)
- 4 tablespoon tomato sauce (I use kissan)
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoon corn-starch +4 tablespoon water
- 3 tablespoon pure sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon ginger, chopped
- 3 garlic pods, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion, white parts
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1.5 tablespoon white vinegar (or to taste)
- For Garnish – chopped green onions (green parts)
Method for making Cauliflower Fritters
- Cut the cauliflower florets into halves or quarters. Wash thoroughly under running water & let the water drain.
- Meanwhile, in your fryer let the oil heat up. In a bowl, thoroughly mix all the ingredients listed to make a smooth batter.
- Dip the Gobi florets in the paste and deep fry on low-medium heat till golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Set aside.
(Tip – Let the fritters stay warm in the oven while you make the sauce)
|Note: I do not boil the cauliflower before frying. Do not fry the florets on very high heat else they will be raw from inside.|
Method for making the Sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together soya sauce, tomato-chilli sauce & honey. Set aside. In another bowl, mix corn starch & water and let stand.
- In a wok/pan, heat up the oil to smoking hot. Add chopped garlic & ginger and cook for 1 minute or till you smell the aroma. Next add the chopped scallions (white part) & red onion, Green capsicum and cook for 2-3 minutes or till light brown in color. Next, add the corn starch mix to the wok. Reduce the heat to low and let everything simmer for another 2-4 minutes till the sauce thickens.
- Next, taste & adjust the salt in the sauce. Sprinkle the garam masala & vinegar to the wok and stir everything well. Remove from heat and add the fried cauliflower to the pan & (very gently) toss so that the florets are evenly coated. Don’t stir too much with spoon at this point, else cauliflower gets mushy.
- Garnish with chopped green scallions & serve immediately.
| Note: Adding tomato – chilli sauce adds extra heat, you can substitute with plain tomato ketchup of choice.|
Enjoy with Fried rice or just like that and show off your chopstick techniques