Get ready to savor every bite of this tasty Gobi Manchurian! This popular Indian-Chinese recipe is filled with so much flavor and deliciousness. Make this popular dish in two ways by tossing fried cauliflower florets in a spicy, sweet-sour, umami sauce. Serve dry gobi manchurian as an appetizer snack and gobi manchurian with gravy as a main.
Table of Contents
What is Gobi Manchurian
In Hindi ‘Gobi’ means Cauliflower. ‘Manchurian’ refers to the Manchurian sauce which is made with sautéed spring onions (scallions), capsicum (bell pepper), green chillies, ginger and garlic in a mix of soy sauce, tomato ketchup and chilli sauce.
In simple words, the classic Gobi Manchurian is made with batter coated, fried, crispy cauliflower florets tossed in this spicy, sweet, hot and umami manchurian sauce.
The addition of tomato ketchup gives the manchurian sauce sweet notes and makes it different from the chilli sauce which we make for Chilli Gobi or Chilli Paneer. More amount of green chillies are added in Chilli Gobi as compared to Gobi Manchurian. So now you know what is the difference between Gobi Manchurian and Chilli Gobi.
As I have mentioned above there are two ways to make this recipe. The dry version can be had as a starter or appetizer snack. The gravy version can be served with steamed rice, vegetable fried rice or noodles.
Fairly easy to prepare, my recipes are not very spicy like the Indian restaurants or the street versions. If you want, you can add more of the ginger, garlic and green chilies and increase the spice and heat in the dish.
About Gobi Manchurian Dry
To make dry gobi manchurian you will need to fry the cauliflower florets once you have dipped them in the batter. You can deep fry or pan fry the florets but, I prefer to pan-fry them to reduce the fat.
Though pan-frying is slightly healthier it can reduce the crispiness of the florets so if you prefer crispy gobi Manchurian then deep fry them once they are coated in batter. For even crispier florets chop them into smaller sizes before deep frying.
You’ll probably notice that when dry gobi manchurian is sold it usually has a red color. This is because artificial colors are added which are not particularly healthy.
To get an orangey-red using healthy ingredients add Kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch. Bear in mind that these spices will also add a bit of heat and a smoky flavor to the dish.
Whenever I make Indian-Chinese recipes I don’t add MSG or Ajinomoto. However, if you prefer the street food taste, then feel free to add a pinch of it.
Use good quality soy sauce like naturally fermented soy sauce to make this dish as it makes a world of a difference. Alternatively, you can use Braggs Liquid Aminos or tamari too.
Serve gobi manchurian with roti, Schezwan Sauce, red chili garlic chutney or tomato ketchup.
How to Make Gobi Manchurian Dry
Blanch Cauliflower – Optional
1. Firstly chop or break 1 medium sized cauliflower (gobi) into medium or small florets. Then, bring salted water to a boil.
Rinse the cauliflower florets and add them to the hot water. Cover and blanch cauliflower florets in water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside for later.
This blanching step is optional and you can choose to skip it if there are no insects or worms in the cauliflower.
2. To make the batter add the following ingredients in a bowl:
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons of corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper powder
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon of kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
- salt to taste
3. Add 1 cup of water to the bowl and whisk to make a smooth lump-free batter.
4. Dip cauliflower florets into the batter one at a time.
Pan Fry Cauliflower Florets
5. Fry the batter-coated cauliflower florets in hot oil. I added 6 tablespoons of oil while pan-frying. Alternatively, you can deep or shallow fry the florets to make them crispier.
I fried mine in batches of three because I used a small pan but feel free to fry them all at once if you have a larger pan. Patience is key when it comes to frying the florets as it can take some time.
TIP: Make sure that there is some space between each floret when frying to ensure that they cook evenly and don’t stick together.
6. Once one side is cooked and crisp, flip over the floret and pan fry the uncooked side. Flip a few more times until the florets are evenly fried and golden in color.
7. Drain the excess oil from the fried cauliflower florets on paper towels. Similarly fry the remaining batter coated florets in batches.
Make Dry Gobi Manchurian
8. In the same pan, there will be some oil left. Add 3 teaspoons of finely chopped ginger, 3 teaspoons of finely chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon of finely chopped green chilies. Sauté for a few seconds.
9. Then add ¾ cup of chopped spring onion whites (scallion whites) and ½ cup of finely chopped capsicum (green bell pepper). Increase the heat and stir fry until the capsicum is half cooked.
TIP: If you are using celery, then add at this step. You can add about ½ a tablespoon of finely chopped celery.
10. Add 1.5 tablespoons of light soy sauce or ½ to 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Feel free to add less or more depending on your preference.
Also, add 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce and ¼ to ½ teaspoons of black pepper powder. Mix and stir well.
If you prefer, at this step you can add 1 to 2 teaspoons of a spicy chilli sauce or sriracha sauce.
11. Add the pan-fried cauliflower florets.
12. Mix well until the spice and cauliflower florets are well combined. Add 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar, ½ a teaspoon of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar then stir well.
Switch off the heat. Mix in chopped spring onions greens or garnish when serving.
Expert Tips for Gobi Manchurian
- Frying: You have a few options when it comes to frying the cauliflower florets. Once they have been dipped in batter pan fry, shallow fry or deep fry the florets. Pan frying is a terrific option for anyone who wants to cut down on fat. Shallow frying will require slightly more oil and deep frying will make super crispy florets with a high fat content. It really is up to you!
- Soy sauce: Don’t skip the soy sauce as it adds a delicious umami flavor to this dish. Go for good quality soy sauce for this recipe the best results. I like to use naturally fermented soy sauce because it tastes amazing but if you are not a fan of soy sauce then swap it for Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari instead.
- Oil: To make the perfect crispy gobi manchurian make sure the oil is hot. If the oil is not hot enough then the florets won’t be crispy and will absorb more oil. To test the oil add one cauliflower floret covered in batter in the pan and fry it on both sides until golden. If the florets crisp up then the oil is hot enough.
- Batter: Make sure that the batter is the right consistency for this recipe. It should be silky smooth and have a medium consistency. Not too thick and not too thin. If you fry florets in a thick batter then the florets will not crisp up and if the batter is too thin then the florets will become too crispy.
- Street food style gobi manchurian: I prefer to make dry gobi manchurian without MSG or Ajinomoto but, if you want street food style gobi then add a pinch of either ingredient to it.
Yes, feel free to bake the florets for a healthier option but, bear in mind that if you bake the florets they won’t be crispy. If you decide to bake the florets blanch them in water, make a dry mixture with flour, spices and mix well.
Next, toss the cauliflower florets in the dry mixture and make sure they are evenly coated. Finally, add the florets to an oven tray lined with foil, spray oil on the florets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated oven at 390F/200C or until done.
This batter can be used to make lots of delicious veggies. Feel free to coat potatoes, mushrooms, french beans, broccoli florets or paneer with this batter and fry until crispy.
Manchurian sauce is made with sautéed spring onions (scallions), capsicum peppers (bell pepper), green chilies, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, tomato ketchup and chili sauce.
Manchurian sauce originates from Mumbai and was invented by Nelson Wang in 1975. It is believed that a customer asked him to create an original dish that was not from the menu and he came up with Manchurian sauce!
Gobi Manchurian can be served with a variety of things. Serve as a snack or side dish with steamed rice, vegetable fried rice, schezwan fried rice, cabbage fried rice, mushroom noodles or plain noodles.
About Cauliflower Manchurian Gravy
This recipe of Cauliflower Manchurian Gravy (with sauce) is slightly healthier and super delicious to taste. You simply can’t stop eating it.
When I make veg fried rice or simple fried rice without any veggies, I prepare this gravy version.
This is a slightly healthy gobi manchurian gravy as the batter is made without all-purpose flour. For the batter, I have used whole wheat flour (atta). Do note that you can opt to use an equal mix of both the flours or include only all-purpose flour (maida).
I have not deep fried the florets but pan-fried them. However you can choose to deep fry them if you prefer. Another healthier option would be to air fry them or bake them.
In all the Chinese meals that I cook at home, I do not add MSG (monosodium glutamate or ajinimoto). So is the case in this recipe. But, if you want you can add a pinch of it to get a restaurant-style taste.
I always use naturally fermented and naturally brewed soy sauce and recommend the same to my readers. Do use a good quality soy sauce.
Making this gobi manchurian gravy does take some time as the cauliflower florets need to be fried first. Then a spicy, umami, sweet, sour gravy is made to which the fried cauliflower florets are added.
Frying cauliflower takes time but making the sauce or gravy is easy and does not take much time.
This gobi manchurian gravy dish pairs very well with some steamed rice or noodles or fried rice. Also excellent with some roti or naan or bread.
How to make Gravy Variation
Blanching Cauliflower – Optional
1. Firstly chop or break 500 grams or 1 medium sized gobi or cauliflower in medium-sized or small florets. You will need 3 cups chopped cauliflower florets. Rinse them very well.
2. Then in a bowl add enough hot boiling water.
3. Add the cauliflower to the hot water so that all the cauliflower florets are immersed in the water.
Let them get blanched in the water for about 10 minutes. Later drain all the water and keep the blanched cauliflower aside. Blanching the cauliflower is an optional step.
4. When the cauliflower is getting blanched, you can prep the remaining ingredients like chopping ginger-garlic, chopping spring onions and getting the sauces ready.
5. In a mixing bowl take the following list of ingredients:
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons cornflour or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ tsp black pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- salt as required
Instead of whole wheat flour, you can also use all-purpose flour or an equal mix of both flours.
6. Add ¾ cup water. If you have used all purpose flour (maida) then add about ½ to ⅔ cup water. Whisk to a smooth batter.
7. Add the gobi florets in the batter. Remember that there should be no water in the gobi florets. So drain all of the water from the florets very well before adding them in the batter.
8. Mix well.
Pan Frying Cauliflower
9. Heat 6 tablespoons oil in a pan or wok or kadai. When the oil becomes medium hot, coat the cauliflower florets well with the batter and add them in hot oil. Fry in batches. You can even deep fry gobi.
10. When one side becomes light golden and lightly crisp, then turn over each cauliflower floret.
Make sure the oil is hot or else while frying the cauliflower florets may start to stick to each other due to the cornflour.
11. Turn them over a couple of times and fry till they are crisp and golden.
12. Fry the batter coated cauliflower florets in hot oil. You can choose to deep fry or shallow fry.
Remove the fried cauliflower florets with a slotted spoon and keep them on kitchen paper towel. Continue to fry the cauliflower florets in batches this way.
Making Gobi Manchurian Gravy
13. When the gobi florets are frying, you can mix 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch) with 2 tablespoons water and place aside.
14. In the same pan, there will be some oil. So no need to add more oil. Add only if all oil has been used up while frying gobi.
Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger, 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic and ½ to 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies.
15. Then add ½ cup chopped spring onions and 1 teaspoon finely chopped celery (optional). Stir fry on a medium heat till the onions turn translucent.
Note that celery can be skipped if you do not have it.
16. When the onions turn translucent, then add 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup and ½ tablespoon of a spicy chili sauce (green or red).
You can use either red chili sauce or green chili sauce. Make sure they are not sweet, but spicy. You can also use sriracha sauce.
17. Add 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
18. Mix well.
19. Now add 1.5 cups water. You can add more or less water depending on the gravy consistency you want. For a thick gravy or sauce you can add 1 cup water. Mix again.
20. Add ½ teaspoon black pepper powder.
21. Stir and let this mixture come to a boil.
22. Now stir the cornstarch paste in the bowl as the cornstarch settles down at the bottom of the bowl. Lower heat and then add the cornstarch paste to the pan.
23. As soon as you add cornstarch paste, mix very well so that no lumps are formed.
24. Simmer for few minutes till the sauce thickens and the cornstarch gets cooked. Its raw taste should go away.
25. Now add the fried cauliflower.
26. Mix the the florets with the gravy.
27. Season with salt as per taste. Do keep in mind that the tomato ketchup, soy sauce and chilli sauce already has salt in them. So add less salt.
28. Add ½ teaspoon sugar or add as required.
29. Add 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or regular vinegar to the gravy. Mix well.
If you are not a fan of vinegar then skip adding it.
30. Switch off the heat and add 2 tablespoon chopped spring onion greens.
31. Mix again.
32. Serve Gobi Manchurian Gravy. While serving you can garnish with a bit of spring onion greens.
It goes well with steamed rice or veg noodles or fried rice or schezwan fried rice or hakka noodles. You can also serve it with flatbreads like chapati, parathas or bread or naan.
Indo Chinese Recipes
Indo Chinese Recipes
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for pan frying gobi florets
- 1 cauliflower – medium head
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 4 tablespoon cornstarch (known as cornflour in India)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder (ground black pepper)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder or deghi mirch (can about 1 teaspoon to get a good color. But this will also increase the heat a bit.)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce – naturally brewed
- 1 cup water or add as required
- 5 to 6 tablespoons oil – for pan frying
- ¾ cup chopped spring onion (scallion whites) – reserve the greens for garnish
- ½ cup finely chopped capsicum (green bell pepper)
- 1.5 inch ginger – finely chopped or 3 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
- 8 to 10 garlic – medium-sized cloves, finely chopped or 3 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
- 2 green chilies finely chopped or 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies
- ½ tablespoon finely chopped celery (optional)
- 1.5 tablespoon light soy sauce or ½ to 1 tablespoon soy sauce, add as per your taste
- 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup or add as required
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or ½ teaspoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon black pepper powder (ground black pepper)
- salt as required
Preparing Cauliflower Florets
- Firstly chop or break the gobi (cauliflower) in medium or small sized florets.
- Heat water with salt and boil it. Rinse the cauliflower florets and add them to the hot water.
- Let them get blanched in the water for 15 to 20 minutes. Later drain and keep aside.
Pan Frying Cauliflower Florets
- In a bowl mix together the ingredients for making the batter – all purpose flour, cornstarch, soy sauce, black pepper, kashmiri red chili powder and salt.
- Add water and whisk to make a smooth batter without any lumps.
- Dip each cauliflower floret in the batter.
- Fry the batter coated cauliflower florets in hot oil. I have pan fried and added about 6 tablespoons of oil. Later I have not added any oil while stir frying the spring onions etc.
- You can also deep fry or shallow fry. I have fried in batches of three. So depending on the size of your pan, you can fry at once or in batches. This frying takes some time.
- When one side gets cooked and crisp, turn over each cauliflower florets and pan fry the uncooked sides.
- Flip for a couple of times more, so that the cauliflower florets are evenly fried and light golden.
- Drain the fried cauliflower florets on a kitchen paper towel. Fry all the cauliflower florets this way in batches.
Making Gobi Manchurian
- No need to add any oil again as there will be some oil remaining in wok or pan. To the same wok or pan, add chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies. Sauté for some seconds till the raw aroma of ginger and garlic go away.
- Then add the chopped spring onions and capsicum. Add chopped celery if using. Increase the heat and stir fry till the capsicum is half cooked or almost cooked.
- Add soy sauce, tomato ketchup, black pepper and salt. Stir.
- Add the pan fried cauliflower florets.
- Mix very well ensuring that the spiced sauce coats the fried cauliflower florets well.
- Lastly add rice vinegar and stir well. Switch off the heat. Check the taste and add more of soy sauce or tomato ketchup as per your taste.
- Mix in the chopped spring onions greens or garnish with them while serving cauliflower manchurian.
- Serve Dry Gobi Manchurian as a snack or as a side dish with veg fried rice or mushroom fried rice or veg hakka noodles or veg noodles.
- Capsicum (Bell Pepper): You can skip the capsicum in the recipe. You can even use red or yellow bell peppers.
- Spring Onions: Instead of spring onions, you can use white onions or red onions or shallots.
- Green Chillies: A serrano pepper or anaheim pepper can be substituted for green chillies. You can even substitute dry red chillies instead of green chillies. Just crush them and use. Dried red chilli flakes can also be added instead of green chillies.
- Corn Starch: Instead of cornstarch, you can even use tapioca starch or potato starch.
- All-purpose flour: Whole wheat flour can be used instead of all purpose flour (maida).
- Frying: Fry the cauliflower florets in oil which is neither too hot nor at a low temperature.
- Ajinomoto: You can choose to avoid Ajinomoto completely in the recipe or use it sparingly.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
Gobi Manchurian Gravy
- 1 cauliflower – medium head, 500 grams or 3 cups chopped cauliflower
- hot water as required, for blanching
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 teaspoon Ginger Garlic Paste or 1 teaspoon minced ginger-garlic
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- salt as required
- ¾ cup water or add as required
- 6 tablespoons oil
For cornstarch paste
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (cornflour)
- 2 tablespoons water
For making gobi manchurian gravy
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- ½ to 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies
- ½ cup chopped spring onions or 2 small to medium spring onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon chopped celery – optional
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce or add as per your taste
- ½ tablespoon green chili sauce or red chili sauce – spicy and not sweet
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1.5 cups water or homemade veggie stock, add as required
- ½ teaspoon sugar or add as required
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar or regular white vinegar or mirin or rice wine
- salt as required
- 2 tablespoons chopped spring onions
- Firstly chop or break a medium sized gobi or cauliflower to small or medium-sized florets. You will need 3 cups chopped cauliflower florets. Rinse them very well.
- Then in a bowl add enough hot boiling water.
- Add the gobi to the hot water. Let them get blanched in the water for about 10 minutes. Later drain all the water and keep the blanched gobi aside.
- When the gobi is blanching, you can prep the remaining ingredients like chopping ginger and garlic, chopping spring onions and getting the sauces ready.
- In a bowl take the whole wheat flour, corn starch, ginger-garlic paste, red chili powder, black pepper powder and soy sauce. Also add salt as required.
- Add water. Whisk to a smooth batter.
- Add the gobi florets in the batter. Keep in mind that there should be no water in the florets. So drain them well of all the water before adding them in the batter. Mix well.
Pan frying cauliflower
- Heat 6 tablespoons oil in a pan or wok or kadai.
- When the oil becomes medium hot, coat the cauliflower florets well with the batter and add them in hot oil. Fry in batches. You can even deep fry cauliflower.
- Fry the batter coated cauliflower florets in hot oil on medium heat.
- When one side becomes light golden and lightly crisp, then turn over each cauliflower floret. Make sure the oil is hot or else while frying the florets may start to stick to each other due to the cornstarch. They will also absorb more oil if the oil is not hot.
- Turn them over a couple of times and fry till they are crisp and golden.
- Remove the fried cauliflower florets with a slotted spoon and keep them on kitchen paper towels. Continue to fry the cauliflower florets in batches this way.
Making gobi manchurian gravy
- When the cauliflower florets are frying, you can mix 1 tablespoon corn flour (corn starch) with 2 tablespoons water to a smooth paste and set aside.
- In the same pan, there will be some oil. So no need to add more oil. Add only if all oil has been used up while frying gobi. Add finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chilies.
- Then add chopped spring onions and finely chopped celery (optional). Celery can be skipped if you do not have it.
- Stir fry on a medium heat till the onions turn translucent.
- When the onions turn translucent, then add tomato ketchup and spicy chili sauce (green or red) and soy sauce. You can use either red chili sauce or green chili sauce.
- Mix well and add 1.5 cups water. Mix again.
- Add black pepper powder. Stir and let this mixture come to a boil.
- Now stir the cornstarch paste in the bowl (as the cornstarch settles down at the bottom). Lower the heat and add this paste to the pan.
- As soon as you add cornstarch paste, mix very well so that no lumps are formed.
- Simmer for few minutes till the sauce thickens and the cornstarch gets cooked. Its raw and floury taste should go away.
- Now add the pan fried gobi. Mix to combine.
- Season with salt as per taste. Do keep in mind that the tomato ketchup, soy sauce and chilli sauce already have salt in them. So add less salt.
- Add ½ teaspoon sugar or add as required.
- Add rice vinegar or regular vinegar to the gravy. Mix well. If you do not like ᵗʰ flavor of vinegar, then skip it.
- Switch off the heat and add 2 tablespoons chopped spring onion greens. Mix again.
- Serve the gobi manchurian gravy hot garnished with a bit of spring onion greens hot with steamed rice, veg fried rice or hakka noodles. You can also serve it with roti, paratha or bread.
- Fry the cauliflower florets in oil which is neither too hot nor at a low temperature.
- You can substitute dry red chillies instead of green chillies. Just crush them and use.
- You could also use fine strips of capsicum.
- Ajinomoto can be completely avoided in the recipe or used sparingly to make a healthy gobi manchurian gravy.
- Celery can be skipped if you do not have it. But it gives a very good taste.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Gobi Manchurian post from the archives (September 2014) has been republished and updated on 2 October 2021.