This slightly healthier and tasty Chinese gobi manchurian gravy (with sauce) is a delicious dish of fried cauliflower florets in a spicy, sweet and sour sauce . A vegan recipe made without all-purpose flour and without deep frying.
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.