About this recipe
Gobi Manchurian (or cauliflower Manchurian) is a popular Indo-Chinese dish made by tossing crispy-fried cauliflower florets in a spicy, tangy, and mildly sweet sauce. This popular Indo-Chinese dish is one of the favorite street foods in India and is also a part of restaurant menus.
It is naturally vegan and can be easily made gluten-free. This cauliflower appetizer is a must-try for your next party, gathering, or game day. It can be served as an appetizer or can be paired with Hakka noodles for a complete meal.
There are two steps in making this dish - first, batter-fry the cauliflower, and second make a Manchurian sauce for the batter-fried cauliflower to be soaked in. I am including all tips and tricks along with stepwise instructions to make the BEST gobi Manchurian.
Related: Chilli paneer.
Cauliflower: Use fresh cauliflower with a tight and firm head to make this dish.
All-purpose flour and cornstarch: They are used to make the batter to coat the cauliflower florets
Vegetable stock: Use vegetable stock instead of water to make the Manchurian sauce/gravy.
Sauces: Dark soy sauce, vinegar, and red chili paste are used in this dish.
Ginger and garlic: They are used in two forms - chopped ginger garlic for the Manchurian sauce and ginger garlic paste for the batter.
Vegetables: Finely chopped onion, carrots, and bell peppers are used in the Manchurian sauce/gravy.
Measurements and variations
I have used a medium-sized cauliflower here, which gave me approximately 3.5 cups of florets. The measurements for the batter and Manchurian sauce work perfectly well with this amount of cauliflower.
There are two ways to make it - dry version and with gravy or sauce. The dry version is served as an appetizer and the gravy version is served as a side dish. This recipe here is semi-dry and has some amount of Manchurian sauce. So it can be served as both an appetizer and as a part of the main meal.
If you want to make dry Gobi Manchurian, use one cup of vegetable stock and let it simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.
Combine all the ingredients to make the batter in a bowl - flour, cornstarch, red chili paste, ginger garlic paste, white pepper, and salt (steps 1,2).
Slowly add water and make a smooth and lump-free batter (steps 3,4).
Boil cauliflower in salted water. Drain the water and let it cool completely (steps 5,6).
Dip the blanched cauliflower in the batter and deep fry until they are crispy and golden (steps 7,8).
Heat oil in a large wok/kadhai. Add ginger, and garlic and saute for a few seconds. Next, add scallions and mix well. Add onion, bell peppers, and carrots. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes (steps 9,10).
Add red chili paste, tomato ketchup, dark soy sauce, and vinegar. Mix well (steps 11,12).
Add vegetable stock and bring to boil (step 13).
Add the cornflour-water mixture to the gravy. Let it simmer until the gravy thickens slightly (step 14).
Add the fried cauliflower florets and mix well. Garnish with spring onions and serve hot (steps 15,16).
Keep all the ingredients ready and handy before starting cooking. Chop the vegetables, measure the sauces, and deep fry the cauliflower before you begin making the Manchurian sauce/gravy.
Use vegetable stock to make the Manchurian gravy instead of water. While water can also be used, making the sauce with vegetable stock gives the best taste to the gravy.
Choose the right cauliflower. The cauliflower florets should be compact and the leaves must be green and crisp.
While cauliflower is the main vegetable in this dish, adding onion, carrots, and bell pepper give a great texture and crunch to the dish. Make sure they are chopped finely and stir-fried briefly so they retain their crunch.
I use dark soy sauce to make this dish which gives the dish its deep color. However, you may use light soy sauce or a mix of both.
Soy sauce is quite salty. So adjust the salt level accordingly.
Red chili paste is a common ingredient in Indo-Chinese cooking and is made using dried chilies. To make it, soak one cup of dried chilies in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Drain the water and add ¼ cup of vinegar. Grind it into a smooth and thick paste (add a little water if needed). You can use the water in which the chilies were soaked for grinding.
Chinese cooking is done on high heat very quickly. Stir-frying on high heat produces the characteristic smoky flavor – but take care not to burn the food.
Pro-tip: Use vegetable stock instead of water to make this dish delicious and best-tasting.
Indian-Chinese or Indo-Chinese food is a distinct fusion cuisine where Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques are adapted to Indian taste buds. Popularly known as Desi Chinese, they are one of the most famous forms of street food in India. This cuisine originated from the Chinese community in Kolkata and is very famous within and outside India. Chinese sauces like soy sauce and vinegar combined with Indian ingredients like ginger, garlic, and chili create the most unique-tasting and delicious dishes.
It can be served as an appetizer or can be paired with Hakka noodles or fried rice and served as a part of the main meal.
To make it gluten-free, replace the all-purpose flour used to deep fry the cauliflower with rice flour.
Red chili paste is a common ingredient in Indo-Chinese cooking and is made using dried chilies. To make it, soak one cup of dried chilies in hot water for 15-20 minutes. Drain the water and add ¼ cup vinegar. Grind it into a smooth and thick paste (add a little water if needed). You can use the water in which the chilies were soaked for grinding.
This dish is:
- unique yet easy to make,
- great as both an appetizer and with the main meal,
- restaurant quality, yet free from the nasties that come with Indo-Chinese foods from restaurants,
- a great way to enjoy street food at home,
- 1 medium cauliflower
For the batter:
- 6 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon red chili paste see notes
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- Oil for deep-frying
For the Manchurian gravy/sauce:
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 inch ginger finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ¼ cup scallion finely chopped
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 small carrot finely chopped
- ¼ cup bell pepper finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon red chili paste
- 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoon green onions
Frying the cauliflower florets:
- Boil water in a large stockpot. Once it comes to a rolling boil, add 1 teaspoon salt.
- Add the cauliflower florets and let it simmer for 4 minutes.
- Strain the cauliflower and let it cool completely.
- Combine all the ingredients to make the batter in a bowl - flour, cornstarch, red chili paste, ginger garlic paste, white pepper, and salt.
- Slowly add water and make a smooth and lump-free batter.
- Heat oil for deep-frying.
- Dip the blanched cauliflower in the batter and deep fry until they are crispy and golden. Set aside.
Making the Manchurian gravy/sauce:
- Heat oil in a large wok/kadhai. Add ginger, and garlic and saute for a few seconds.
- Add scallions and mix well.
- Add onion, bell peppers, and carrots. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes
- Add red chili paste, tomato ketchup, dark soy sauce, and vinegar. Mix well.
- Add vegetable stock and bring to boil.
- Meanwhile, mix 1 tablespoon of cornflour in ¼ cup of water to make a slurry.
- Add the slurry to the sauce.
- Add salt and pepper, and mix well.
- Let it simmer until the gravy thickens slightly.
- Add the fried cauliflower florets and mix well.
- Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Garnish with green onions and serve hot.