Weather has been so gorgeous and perfect, I don't want to jinx it but I have to admit that the balmy skies bring a wonderfully peppy outlook. It is easier to plan outings, enjoy the beautiful nature and terrain and that is what we have been doing for the last 2 weekends. Get up in the morning, pack stuff for lunch and head out on a drive or a hike and I am loving it. Last weekend, we came back in the evening from one of our outngs and made some delicious Gobi Manchurian for dinner, yes it was a full dinner and we made up for eating all that deep fried goodies with some fresh fruits we had got in the morning :-)
Gobi Manchurian is easy to prepare as long as you follow a few simple tricks which will make you dish out a perfectly crispy and juicy Gobi in the sauce. We like the dry form of the Gobi Manchurian and as you can see in the pictures, the sauce is well coated on every Gobi floret but it is not floating in it.
For Gobi Manchurian:
1 medium head of fresh cauliflower/gobi
1 cup all purpose flour/maida
1 heaped Tblsp corn flour
3/4 Tsp rice flour
2 inch long fresh ginger root - peeled and pound in a mortar & pestle or use 1 Tsp fresh ginger paste
2 garlic cloves - mashed into a paste
2-3 green chilies - pound in mortar and pestle
1/4 Tsp turmeric powder
1 cup water
Oil to deep fry - I used Sunflower oil
For the sauce:
1/2 cup tomato ketchup (I used Heinz)
1/3 cup soy sauce - I used the less sodium, naturally brewed
1/4 Tsp black pepper powder
1/2 medium red onion - chopped roughly
1 small jalapeno pepper - deseeded and cut into 1/4 inch thick roundels or use roughly chopped bell pepper
1 Tsp salt - divide and use - adjust to taste
1 Tblsp finely chopped sprig onions
1 Tblsp finely chopped cabbage
How do you make Gobi Manchurian?
- Remove the stem of the cauliflower and separate the florets, chop them as small or big as you would prefer individual bites to be.
- In a wide bowl mix 1/2 Tsp salt, turmeric powder, ginger, garlic and green chilies paste and coat them over the cut Gobi florets. Let it marinate for 30-40 minutes.
- Mix all the flours, remaining 1/2 Tsp salt and make into a thin batter. The consistency should be flowing.
- Heat the oil on medium heat and test readiness by dropping a small pinch of the batter into it. If the batter comes right up to the surface, the oil is ready for frying.
- Take the marinated Gobi florets one batch at a time (sufficient to fill your oil pan but not overload it) and dip it into the batter and drop gently into the hot oil.
- Let it cook for 2 minutes without disturbing and then turn them over and let cook on the other side for 2 minutes. Keep the oil on medium heat and let the Gobi cook well. The bubbles in the oil subsides when the Gobi is done.
- Drain the fried Gobi and set aside on a paper tissue to absorb oil.
- Heat 1 Tsp oil in a wide pan, keep the heat on high.
- Add the onion slices and let cook on high for just a minute, the onion should not get soft, should be crunchy.
- Add the sliced bell pepper and fry for another minute, again make sure it doesn't become soft.
- Add the tomato ketchup, black pepper powder and soy sauce in to the pan and stir it quickly to coat all the onion and bell pepper pieces.
- Add the fried Gobi and mix it well to coat every fried floret well with the sauce.
- Serve hot Gobi Manchurian immediately garnished with thinly chopped spring onions and cabbage.
- Corn flour and rice flour give a crispy layer to the Gobi, so make sure you use them.
- Marinating the florets in the ginger, garlic and green chilies paste allows them to absorb the flavors well and gives you the authentic, restaurant taste of the Gobi Manchurian.
- Make the batter thin, it should only coat the Gobi in a single layer and should not be lumpy as it will make the Gobi soggy.
- Remember you are adding salt in 2 places and the store bought tomato ketchup and soy sauce have sodium in it, so make sure you do not over salt the end product.
- Adding turmeric powder to the batter gives a nice color to the Gobi Manchurian when fried.
- It is a good practice to soak cauliflower florets into warm salted water before marinating it.
- Garnish is completely optional and you can use anything you like or omit it completely, it is my way of getting some healthy vegetables in as part of the process.
- Mix fried Gobi into the sauce just before serving.
- After taking the Gobi out of oil, if the covering feels soft to touch, refry another 2 minutes until it is crispy.