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ACCORDING to Wikipedia, during British rule, a small Chinese community in Kolkata, India, came up with the Gobi Manchurian dish – adapting Chinese cooking to suit local tastes.

The result is an awesome dish that is a fusion of Chinese techniques and the robust flavours of Indian spices.

However, despite its name, it has no relation to Manchurian, Mongolian or north-eastern Chinese cuisine.

This is one of my favourite dishes to order at an Indian restaurant even though it is very easy to prepare at home.

The combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours in this dish makes eating vegetables a happy experience.

The video shoot of this dish was also an unforgettable experience for all of us at the studio.

Do watch the video for that flash in the pan moment – when the oil ignited as I added in the scallions.

The resulting wok hei (cooking over high heat) really gave an authentic Chinese flavour to this Indian dish.

Ingredients

  • 300g cauliflower
  • 500ml cooking oil

Fritter batter

  • 8 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbs tapioca flour or cornstarch
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup water

Manchurian sauce

  • 2 tbs cooking oil
  • 4 sprigs scallions, dice and separate whites from greens
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red chilli, minced
  • 1 green chilli, minced
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbs chilli sauce
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 50ml cold water

Method

  1. Cut cauliflower into florets.
  2. Blanche cauliflower in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain cauliflower and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking. Pat dry in towel and spread out to air dry.
  3. In a dry bowl stir together flour, tapioca flour, chilli powder, pepper and salt. Add enough water to make a medium thick batter. Add cauliflower and coat completely.
  4. Heat 500ml oil in pan, deep fry battered cauliflower in batches for even browning. When fritters turn light golden and crispy, remove from pan and drain off excess oil.
  5. Heat 2 tbs oil in wok. Add whites of scallions, ginger, garlic, and red and green chillies to saute about a minute. Then add vinegar, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce, chilli powder, soy sauce, sugar and pepper and stir together. Finally, add scallion greens and 50ml water, and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the cauliflower fritters and coat with gravy. Serve immediately.

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