Gobi Manchurian step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Gobi Manchurian (or cauliflower Manchurian) is a popular Indo-Chinese dish made with cauliflower tossed in a spicy, tangy, and mildly sweet sauce. There are two steps in making this dish - first, batter-fry the cauliflower, and second make a Manchurian sauce/gravy for the batter-fried cauliflower to be soaked in.
This popular Indo-Chinese dish is one of the favourite street foods in India and is also a part of resturant menus. Like many other Indo-Chinese dishes, it is also a popular dish in Indian resturants outside India.
About Indo-Chinese food
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 chilli create the most unique-tasting and delicious dishes.
Cauliflower: Use fresh cauliflower with a tight and firm head to make this dish.
Plain flour (all-purpose flour) and cornflour (or 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 chilli 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 capsicum is used in the Manchurian sauce/gravy.
Step by step instructions
Combine all the ingredients to make the batter in a bowl (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. Add scallions and mix well. Add onion, capsicum, and carrots. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes (steps 9,10).
Add red chilli 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).
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 Gobi Manchurian - dry version and with gravy or sauce. The dry version is served as an appetiser 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 appetiser and side dish.
If you want to make dry Gobi Manchurian, use one cup of vegetable stock and let it simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.
Tips for making perfect Gobi Manchurian
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 gravy with vegetable stock makes 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 capsicum give a great texture and crunch to the dish. Make sure they are chopped finely and are stir-fried briefly so they retain their crunch.
I use dark soy sauce to make this dish which gives the dish its deep colour. However, you may use light soy sauce or a mix of both.
Soy sauce is quite salty. So adjust the salt level accordingly.
Chinese cooking is done on high heat very quickly. Stir-frying on high heat produces the characteristic smoky flavour – but take care not to burn the food.
Pro-tip: Use vegetable stock instead of water to make this dish delicious and best-tasting.
This dish is:
- unique yet easy to make
- great as both appetiser and side dish
- 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 plain flour
- 4 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon red chilli paste
- 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 capsicum finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon red chilli paste
- 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- Salt to taste
- Spring onions for garnish
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
- 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, garlic and saute for a few seconds
- Add scallions and mix well
- Add onion, capsicum, and carrots. Stir fry for 2-3 minutes
- Add red chilli paste, tomato ketchup, dark soy sauce, and vinegar. Mix well
- Add vegetable stock and bring to boil
- Meanwhile, mix 1 tablespoon cornflour in ¼ cup water
- Add the cornflour-water mixture to the gravy
- 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 spring onions and serve hot
Click here to watch gobi Manchurian web story.