Friday, February 27, 2009

Pseudo Gobi Manchurian!

A loves Gobi or cauliflower, and sometimes when I see him drooling over Gobi, I think he may just eat it raw in the Farmer's Market! We usually end up using the Gobi in Alu Gobi or Gobi Raswali. This time around, A wanted to try out the very popular Gobi Manchurian in a rather healthy but street food way :) A contradiction, you may agree! So, we decided not to deep-fry the Gobi like the so-called 'dry' Gobi Manchurian is usually cooked. We decided to make it a 'wet' Gobi Manchurian with some gravy to eat with the Chinese Fried Rice that we love so much. It turned out so well that we thought we should put it on the blog and send it for the JFI- Gobi event hosted at Paajaka this time around. JFI, as we all know is an initiative of Indira of Mahanandi fame.

A loves trying out new stuff, and he saw on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives show hosted by Guy Fieri that a popular Chinese-Mexican diner added tomato sauce to hot oil to increase the 'red' colour of the sauce. Of course, the amount of oil used by that diner was waaaaaaay more than we'd have used even if we'd deep fried the Gobi! We decided to reduce the oil and increase the tomato sauce for our version of the red sauce for Gobi Manchurian.


1 whole cauliflower or Gobi - chopped into florets
1 bunch spring onions - finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 16 oz can tomato sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp ajinomoto (optional)
1 tsp red chili powder
salt to taste

1. Cut the cauliflower into florets.

2. Bring 3 cups of water in a saucepan to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt and blanch the florets for 5-6 mins or until semi done. The florets should still be firm and shouldnt crumble whereas the 'stem' part should be half cooked. Remove the florets, drain the water and run them through some cold water to prevent additional cooking. Place the florets on a tea towel to drain further.

3. In a pan/wok, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Crank up the heat to high. When the oil is piping hot, add 1 tbsp sesame oil. Add the florets immediately. Make sure that the florets acquire the char marks. Keep stirring to avoid over-burning. Once all the florets are roasted, reduce the heat to medium and add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp red chili powder. Stir to distribute the spices evenly. Cook until the florets are almost done. Remove them from the pan and store them separately.

4. In the same pan, add the remaining vegetable oil. Keep the heat at medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add the remaining sesame oil. Add the tomato sauce. It should sizzle. Stir well. After a few seconds, add the spring onions and garlic. Cook for about 2-3 mins. Add the ginger and cook for another 2-3 mins. Add some water if the sauce thickens too much. Add salt, ajinomoto and stir well.

5. Add the florets and stir well. Cook for another 5 mins at medium heat. The dish is done when the florets are 'bite-right'. They should be tender, yet crisp. However, they should not be too tender. You know what I mean!

I added the oils in step 4 to cover the whole pan and then added the tomato sauce in such a way that it covered only 3/4 of the pan. To the remaining 1/4th, I added the spring onions and garlic. That way, I was able to fry both in oil before mixing them. I dont think it is necessary to fry the ginger. Add more ginger, and make it Ginger Gobi if you are a ginger fanatic like I am!

The key to this dish is actually frying the tomato sauce. As weird as it sounds, this is what the lady at that diner suggested. Not only it gives the red color to the cauliflower, but it also lends a great flavor. Also note that for being a Chinese dish, this doesnt use any soy sauce! It came out really well and it was gone in 10 minutes. We had to fight for the crumbs remaining in the pan ;) and ate half the fried rice without the Manchurian with it :(

Thats pretty much it! What are you waiting for? If you have some fried rice ready,like we did :) go for it! Otherwise, this is a good snack just by itself ;)


Cham said...

Ha ha u make me laugh like a mad at 10.30 PM,the fried rice should be jealous about Gobi Manch :) This one sounds very interesting recipe without deep frying and frying the tomato sauce. U make me drool and crave for midnight snack, Not Fair!

TBC said...

This one's a fav here. The husband is the one who makes it.:D

Soma said...

We are all Gobifans in our house, so immediately save all the gobi recipes I find. A good one here. I make a gobi stir fry with soysauce a little bit dofferently thatn this. Love to read your posts:)

meeso said...

That color looks awesome!!!

sra said...

Ah! Kopi Manjurian, and Lite, at that! The Kopi season is just finishing here ...

Indhu said...

very very yummy... really love the colour due to tomato sauce :)

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

thanks for visiting my blog!! you have a wonderful space here.. loved all your recipes..

manchurian looks yum.

Usha said...

Loved your idea of making a healthier version of gobi manchurian, looks delicious. A definite must try :-)

roop said...

omg That's SOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!! such a good presentation too! fabulous.

Sia said...

no deep frying? really, really? girl, u just made my day! :)

Mallugirl said...

gobi manchurian without corn starch and soy sauce!! beware of the manchurian police. i do like the idea though of frying the sauce.

Dershana said...

hey, that looks really fantastic! looking at that picture one would assume its been deep fried. I love the idea of stir frying it and frying that masala seperately. whoa!!

Maya said...

Ohh, that looks very yummy. Your recipe looks very good too. My first time here, lovely blog.

Deepa Hari said...

You have a beautiful blog and nice clicks....Loved ur gobi manchurian...Looks delicious....Thank you for stopping by.

Vani said...

Gobi manchurian looks great! Loved the tip about frying ketchup in oil for color. Who'd've thought of that?!
Your pic looks great! U'd left a comment on mine about sunlight. I realized that I never got my light settings right (as my earlier pictures reveal) and discovered that sunlight always works for me. I then use auto-correct to tone down the light.

DEESHA said...

wow, what a recipe, didnt knw abt frying the ketchup in oil .. I love gobi manchuri soo much but I do avoid it cuz it has too much oil in it .. am gonna try this

AnuSriram said...

WOW... That looks lovely! Inviting!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

as I love cauliflower and spices, this dish is definitely for me! Delicious!



Preety said...

my husband was asking me to make gobhi manchurian.your yummy manchurian reminded me that i also have to make this for him..nice pic

Madhuram said...

You could also try roasting cauliflower in the oven for 30 minutes. It get's nice and crispy and then you can prepare the manchurian as usual.

Thanks for the detailed comment in my blog. You should try the chocolate cake (with silken tofu) I have in my blog. It's simple to bake and comes out so good. A couple of others have also tried it have given their feedback. All the best for your eggless baking ventures.

Ramya Bala said...

wow wow truly drooling..superb post

Arch said...

Lovely blog..first time here, thanks for dropping by...gobi manchurian - total bangalore street food !! looks yum...

Priya Sriram said...

Gobi looks wonderfully awesome!! :)
A must-try!

Varsha Vipins said...

oh yum yum..initially hearing the name I thought something else..:p..This sounds a quick fix tasty dish..Ill try this..:)

Aparna said...

A sounds just like my daughter (who is also an A) when it comes to cauliflower. I shall definitely try this one out, though she might tell me the fried version is better!
At her age, she can afford to.:D

Paru ... said...

Amazing..what a color...Great recipe..

Ranjani said...

When are you making this for me?

Sharmi said...

thats a different kind of manchurian! looks delish!

Archy said...

Gobi manchuri without deep fry.. drolling !! Lovely pic with nice color of gobi !!

A_and_N said...

@Archy: Thak you! :)

@Sharmi: It IS delish, you should try it!

@Ranj: Next time. LOL, like this we have a million recipes. But this is low fat, I promise.

@Paru: Thanks, Paru!

@Aparna: I'm sure she can afford to, Aparna. Sigh.

@Varsha: What did you think? :D

@Priya, Arch, Ramya Bala: It is worth the drool. Do try it! And thanks :)

@Madhuram: True! We've used the oven before :P but when a dessert is baking in the oven, then we are forced to use the gas. I will surely try your chocolate cake!

@Preety: Make it then ;)

@Rosa, Anu: Danke!

@Deesha: Oh, its hardly any oil compared to regular Gobi Manchurian, Deesha!

@Vani: That must have been A :) And thanks for visiting our site.

@Deepa, Dershana, Maya: Gracias!

@Mallugirl: No? I also found that interesting :)It works brilliantly though.

@Sia: I know! :) I jumped too when I heard about it

@Usha, Roop, Mahima, Indhu: Thanks so much!

@Sra: I know! What would we all do without some kopi in our lives!

@Meeso: Thanks, Meeso :)

@Soma: Hey, thanks so much for the writing compliment!

@TBC: For me too :D

@Cham: Try, try, try this no?

Rekha said...

This is the first time, i have seen a gobi manchurian without deep frying, being a fitness freak and a foodie, this is surely a must-try recipe fr me, Bookmarked :)

Gayathri said...

Gobi manchurian dish is very much different, looks very tasty, love to try it..

A_and_N said...

@Rekha: Thanks so much. Do try!

@Gayathri: Thanks! Do try it!

Uj said...

I love reading your posts. somehow missed a lot of posts in between. Shall add you to my reader :D This sounds definitely healthy. I have 2 small cauliflowers sitting in the fridge guess it might make my weekend dinner :D

eda said...


Julia Roberts said...

Nice recipe looking so delicious. I like this dish.