Gobi Manchurian

Not that I pretend to know any of the Hindi language, but thanks to my favorite Indian dish, aloo gobi, I know that the word gobi means cauliflower. While I have aloo gobi as my go to dish to order when at an Indian restaurant, long ago I tried another cauliflower dish, only this was by way of China.

Gobi Manchurian is an Indo-Chinese fried cauliflower dish that’s popular in India and is the result of the adaptation of Chinese cooking and seasoning techniques to suit Indian tastes. If there’s one thing I love in the culinary world, it’s dishes that have been adapted by another country or culture to suit their own individual palates (the only positive of colonialism).

Gobi Manchurian

Weeks ago I had bought a head of cauliflower and it had sat unused in my refrigerator until I knew that I would need to take action lest I let it spoil for good (some of the florets were starting to brown). And so, off to Saveur’s website I went where I actually discovered a whole section on cauliflower recipes. While a couple sounded particularly good, none really grabbed my attention until I saw on the sidebar a recipe for “Indian-Chinese Sweet and Spicy Fried Cauliflower.” What to do with my near-to browning cauliflower head was finally decided.

Gobi Manchurian

As is often the case, this turned out to be one of those recipes where your kitchen resembles a minor disaster zone by the end. It’s not that it was necessarily a difficult or time consuming recipe, but rather one requiring a multiple step process, so hence more mess and clutter being created from it.

Gobi Manchurian

I didn’t find my batter to be as smooth and creamy as I would have liked (or what I would have gotten in an Indian restaurant), but it worked. I didn’t use peanut oil as the recipe suggested since I didn’t have any, but standard canola oil seemed to work just fine. I realize frying cauliflower definitely cancels out any nutritional value associated with it, but once in a while one needs to bend the rules for the sake of eating ethnic (deep fried Oreos do not count).

As someone who loves cauliflower, this dish was obviously a treat, but another reason I liked it is that it breaks the stereotype that all Indian food is spicy and deathly hot. The recipe that I used is not, although it does offer a suggestion if you want a spicier sauce. However, if you’re like me, and prefer food more on the mild and meek side, then you will definitely enjoy this version of Gobi Manchurian. I could almost equate it to a type of sweet and sour sauce.

Gobi Manchurian

It’s a great meal to make for a meatless Monday or a meatless Friday during the season of Lent.

To check out the recipe for Gobi Manchurian click here.

Gobi Manchurian


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