Indianizing Chinese food and taking it to another level of delicious is what Indo-Chinese recipes are all about. And epitomizing Indo-Chinese cuisine is the one and the only finger-licking Gobi Manchurian. Made by tossing crispy golden cauliflower florets in a sweet and spicy sauce, this epic dish promises to elevate your taste buds with its zesty flavors.
Gobi Manchurian or cauliflower Manchurian is truly one of the most gratifying meals of all time. It’s hard not to pop the sizzling golden fried battered cauliflower florets in your mouth, even as the Manchurian sauce simmers away filling your kitchen with delectable aromas.
Indo-Chinese food is best had in India and is a popular addition to most restaurant menus. Surprisingly, you can also sample some of the best spicy piping hot Indo-Chinese fare at quaint roadside eateries in India. Where can one find the “world’s best Indo-Chinese food” is often a topic of discussion at parties and at dinner tables.
So what exactly is Gobi Manchurian?
Gobi means cauliflower in India
Manchurian is a spicy-sweet & tangy sauce made by combining a few basic pantry ingredients such as chili sauce, soy sauce, and ketchup.
Gobi Manchurian is the blissful marriage of fried cauliflower florets and the flavorful Manchurian sauce.
Gobi Manchurian – Dry or Saucy
This dish can be made saucy as an entree or it can be tossed up as a stir fry dish and served up as a party appetizer. Either way, you are sure to have a winning dish to serve to your guests.
I grew up eating and totally loving Indo-Chinese food in India. When I moved to the United States, this was one of the main things I sorely missed. I knew I had to master the art of making the “world’s best Indo-Chinese food” right here in my kitchen.
Cauliflower is versatile and healthy and we all love it at my home. My kids think I make fantastic Gobi Manchurian, and I am happy to share this easy Indo-Chinese recipe with you. This recipe is for dry Gobi Manchurian and can be served as an appetizer or as a side, served with Hakka Noodles or fried rice.
Healthier spin on Gobi Manchurian
Since I am not very comfortable with deep frying, I have always made this recipe using an alternate healthy cooking technique. I pan fry the battered cauliflower using just a fraction of oil instead of deep-frying it like the restaurants usually do. Pan fry them on medium heat, turning a couple of times until the cauliflower starts to crisp up and turn golden brown. Fry it in batches, and you have perfectly crisp cauliflower ready to be coated in the spicy, sweet, and tangy Manchurian sauce.
Using Air Fryer or Oven
I know you guys will ask this and I have you covered. I tried this recipe using both the Mealthy CrispLid air fryer and oven to crisp up the cauliflower.
Here is how: Use a perforated parchment paper liner and coat it with oil. Line the steamed & batter coated cauliflower in a single layer in the CrispLid basket. Brush or spray the cauliflower with oil. Cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn the cauliflower over, brush with oil again and continue to cook for another 5 mins. You will have perfectly crispy cauliflower to use in the Manchurian recipe.
If you do not have an air fryer you can also bake it in the oven. Arrange the steamed & batter coated cauliflower in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush or spray with oil and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cauliflower starts to turn light golden brown. Turn halfway through.
Here are the steps to make healthy Gobhi Manchurian recipe
Step 1: Steam the cauliflower & coat in batter
Step 2: Pan fry battered cauliflower
Step 3: Make the quick sauce and coat cauliflower in the sauce
Enjoy piping hot Gobhi Manchurian as an appetizer or as a meal with Hakka Noodles, Fried Rice, or plain steamed rice. If you enjoy Indo-Chinese dishes do try my Instant Veg Manchurian recipe with ready-made veggie meatballs.
Here are some homemade drinks to pair with this spicy yummy Gobi Manchurian
Did you enjoy this vegetarian recipe? Here are some more Indian Street Food Recipes that kids and grownups will love:
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Steam the cauliflower using either Instant Pot or Stove top
- Using Instant Pot: Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot insert and place the trivet inside. Put the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket and place the basket over the trivet. Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the pressure release valve to sealing. Steam for zero minute followed by quick release. Open the Instant Pot and take out the cauliflower florets. Allow to cool. Using Stove Top: Boil 6 cups of water in a large pot. Place the cauliflower florets in the hot boiling water for 2 minutes. Carefully take them out of the water making sure to drain all the water out. Allow to cool
Make the batter and coat the cauliflower florets
- Next, make the batter to coat the cauliflower. In a medium mixing bowl mix cornflour, all-purpose flour, salt & pepper. Gradually add little water making sure that the batter is not runny.
- Add the steamed cauliflower florets to the batter and gently mix to coat them with the batter.
Pan fry battered caulilfower (see notes for airfrying)
- Heat oil in a nonstick skillet or pan over medium heat. Slowly add a batch of battered cauliflower florets to the oil. Note: I only add half of the cauliflower at a time so they are not too crowded.
- Fry for 6 to 8 minutes, turning halfway through as they start to turn golden brown. Use a slotted spatula to transfer the cooked florets from the pan to a platter lined with a paper towel.
- Pan-fry the remaining cauliflower. Add another tablespoon of oil if needed. Transfer the fried cauliflower to the platter. Set aside.
Make the Machurian sauce, toss in the cauliflower & garnish
- In the same pan, add white part of the chopped scallions, ginger, garlic and green chili. Cook for 3 minutes on medium heat and then add chili sauce, soy sauce and ketchup. Mix well and cook for a minute. Add vinegar, sugar and mix well.
- Next, add water and cook until the sauce comes to a gentle simmer and starts to thicken about 3 to 4 minutes..
- Add the pan-fried cauliflower and gently mix in the sauce coating cauliflower florets evenly. Cook for another 1 minute. Turn the heat off, garnish with green scallions and enjoy hot.
- Use a perforated parchment paper liner and coat it with oil.
- Line the steamed & batter coated cauliflower in a single layer in the CrispLid / Air Fryer Basket.
- Brush or spray the cauliflower with oil. Cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Turn the cauliflower over, brush with oil again and continue to cook for another 5 mins. You will have perfectly crispy cauliflower to use in the Manchurian recipe.