Gobi Manchurian: Spicy Cauliflower Manchurian Style

We invited our ground floor neighbors over for dinner yesterday! And they are pure vegetarian. It is quite a predicament for me to cook for guests who are vegetarian. Don’t get me wrong, I can cook vegetarian stuff, just that nothing fancy-schmancy to serve guests! And when I look at my blog I just see a handful of vegetarian recipes (most are desserts) so now I have decided that I am going to do something about it. While I was racking my brains to come up with a decent menu, I  remembered the Gobi Manchurian (which everyone had loved) that I had made way back in 2006! That was when I was just learning to cook. I went looking and stumbled upon a long list of recipes that I had collected from here and there – some from Ma, some from friends, some from Food Network while some (like this recipe) I have no idea from where! That was years before I started blogging and had no idea about the importance of ‘name your source’ bit! 
The menu was a simple fare – Cilantro Fritters (appetizer), Jeera Rice, Saag Chholey, Gobi Manchurian and Sooji Halwa (Dessert). 
  • Cauliflower Florets: About 2 1/2 Cups 
  • Onions – 1/2 Cup, finely chopped
  • Garlic – 2 tsp, finely chopped or grated
  • Ginger – 1 tsp, grated
  • Green Chilies – 4 or 5, thinly sliced
  • Cilantro – 2 packed tbsp, finely chopped
  • Soy Sauce – 3 tbsp
  • Sweet Tomato Chili Sauce – 2 tbsp (I used Mae Ploy Sweet Chili sauce)
  • Corn flour – 1/2 tbsp
  • Water – 2 tbsp
  • Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp, freshly ground
  • Salt to taste (careful, as soy sauce is salty)
  • Oil – 1 tbsp + enough for frying cauliflower florets
For the batter:
  • Flour – 1/2 Cup
  • Corn flour – 1/4 Cup
  • Paprika – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water – just enough to make a thick batter
Heat enough oil in a wok or kadai to deep-fry the cauliflower florets. In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients listed under ‘batter’ and give it a good whisk. Coat the cauliflower florets evenly in the batter and fry till golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and keep aside. In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil and fry the onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies for few minutes till fragrant. Quickly add the soy sauce, sweet tomato chili sauce, corn flour mixed with 2 tbsp of water, salt and pepper and cook till the sauce thickens. Add the fried cauliflower florets to the sauce, cook for a minute or two, sprinkle the chopped cilantro and take it off the heat. If you want you can garnish with some finely chopped spring onions.

Note: If you are using regular ketchup instead of Sweet Tomato Chili Sauce, make sure that you add extra green chilies for the desired level of heat.

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