Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian – Indo-Chinese Food

You go to a restaurant and plan to order an Indo-Chinese appetizer.  Which one would it be?
Chances are 8/10 vegetarians will choose either a dry/gravy Gobi, Paneer, or Vegetable Manchurian.  Sure, there’s Paneer 65, Gobi 65, Chili Paneer, and many others; Indo-Chinese cuisine does have a good long list of appetizers, but Gobi Manchurian happens to be a very popular choice.  Agree?

Crispy Cauliflower (= Gobi) fritters are sautéed in a tangy / spicy sauce (= Manchurian) either in a dry version with the sauce coating fritters, or a gravy version where the fritters are thrown in a thick soupy sauce.  So far, I’ve liked SMTC’s recipe the most for this dry appetizer version.  I’ve only added red chili powder to batter and ginger to sauce, rest is the same as theirs.

Recipe for Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian
½ a cauliflower
For sauce:
Oil for frying
1 Tbsp oil

½ onion, finely chopped
For batter:
1 tsp green chilies, or to taste, chopped
5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
½ Tbsp garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp corn starch
½ tsp ginger paste or ginger finely chopped
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp ketchup
¼ tsp black pepper powder
2 Tbsp red chili sauce (like Sriracha), or to taste
¼ tsp red chili powder
4 tsp soy sauce, or to taste
¼ cup water
2 tsp white vinegar

2 tsp cornstarch + ¼ cup water, mixed

For garnish:
Serves:  about 4
¼ cup spring onion greens, chopped

Let’s Begin!

1.  Snap off cauliflower florets along with their stems, cut bigger ones to bite-size florets, but don’t chop into small pieces.  Then heat oil (about 1-2 inch height) in a pan/kadhai/wok on medium heat while making the batter.

2.  For the batter:  mix all ingredients into a medium bowl, whisk so no lumps remain.  The batter should not be thin and watery, it should be of a thick dropping consistency.  In case you add more water, add a Tbsp or two more of all-purpose flour to get it right.

3.  When oil is hot (test by putting a drop of batter, it should sizzle but not come up right away), dip each cauliflower floret in the batter, coating it well, and drop it in hot oil (medium heat).  I find using tongs to do this much easier – my hands don’t get messy and I’m less worried of oil splashing.  Deep fry until medium dark brown color, place on paper towel or absorbent paper.  Keep aside.

4.  For the sauce:  heat oil in medium pan, add onion, sauté until almost translucent, then add garlic + green chilies + ginger and sauté till onions are golden-brown.  Add ketchup + red chili sauce & cook till oil starts to separate from the mixture.

5.  Add soy sauce + vinegar + cornstarch & water mixture, mix well & cook till sauce starts to thicken.  When you’re ready to serve, add the fried crispy cauliflower pieces to the sauce at this point, toss or mix gently to coat all well.  Add half of spring onion greens, toss again.  Garnish with remaining greens.  Your Cauliflower Manchurian is ready.  Serve right away.

To make for a party, you can fry the cauliflower and cook the sauce a day ahead, store separately.  In that case, do not leave the fried cauliflower pieces onto the paper towel otherwise the oil drained on the paper towel continues to soften the crispy cauliflower.  When ready to serve, place cauliflowers in a toaster/oven for 5-10 minutes (keep an eye) to regain lost crispiness, reheat the sauce (adding a little bit of water in case thickened up too much), then mix both, garnish, and serve hot.

And if you have too many fried cauliflower fritters remaining, you can cook them with rice and make your next meal cauliflower fried rice.  Or perhaps sprinkle chat masala and have the fritters, coz they are basically cauliflower pakora/pakoda in maida (all purpose flour) instead of besan (chickpea flour).

Blunder Alert!
The very first time I made Gobhi Manchurian, I parboiled the florets thinking they may be remain raw inside after frying, and then let the florets sit in batter for almost half an hour thinking the longer they are soaked in batter the better flavorful they may be.  DON’T do either of it!

Personally, I like to have Gobi Manchurian dry & the Vegetable Manchurian in gravy, but not the other way round.  How about you?

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  1. Gobi manchurian looks so tempting. A lovely post!

  2. wow....yummy n tempting manchurian.....awesome dear...

  3. Hey i too have posted the same recipe. Looks nice and yum

  4. Looks absolutely delicious!!

  5. Hey Nisha, glad to know about your space :), thanks for stopping by at mine. Gobi manchurian looks really yum and crisp. This is one of the famous dishes out here in Bangalore, my kids get this in school but I haven't tried at home yet, looking at your post I feel tempted, will now make this for sure...!!

  6. oh we ALWAYS order gobi manchrian, without it our meal wouldnt be complete! looks fantastic, u know the 1st time i made it even i parboiled the cauli (that stupid recipe said its necessary) & it was such an epic failure, reading this im feeling better thinking im not the only one who did that :)

  7. I liked your tiny miny tips there; gonna be very helpful for sure. :)
    The Machurian for sure is a big hit!! Clicks are smashing good. ;)

  8. Love them, you have made them perfectly, thanks for all the tips at the end, first time here and following U..

  9. i was just about to head to sleep.. now i will be dreaming about some manchurian! nice step by step clicks!

  10. Oh my god..such a mouthwatering gobi dish..it looks just awesome...vl try 4 sure....

  11. One of my favorite's....love the color.....looks delectable...

  12. Very tempting. Nice one.

  13. At the risk of sounding dirty, I'm gonna say that the pictures were soooooo pleasurable to watch! :P I wonder how they felt crunching in the mouth! :D Kudos! The photographs are par-excellence!

    LOLing at your comment on my post :P When I meant "Foods that make you feel great" I didn't mean comfort food :P I mean healthy food. You got any favorite healthy food? :D

    By the way, I didn't know your email ID so just posting here. I would love to have you do a post for my Cooking With Kin Series. DO have a look at my series and let me know if you can or cannot do so that I can draw up a schedule. It doesn't need to be something too difficult. Any simple recipe would do too. Just let me know.
    Edible Entertainment

  14. I found your blog randomly and I m so happy I found it! Love your recipes, very clear instructions, lovely photos! This gobi manchrian recipe sounds delish, and the colors are so appetizing! Look forward to trying this recipe! Please visit my blog and check out some of my stuff too! Have a great day:)!

  15. This dish indeed remains an ever-green favorite, probably one of the first Chinese dishes I have eaten. Your Gobhi Manchuri looks delicious, and I love mine dry too!

  16. This is absolutely mouthwatering... the pictures are simply superb!


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