Gobhi Manchurian Banned, Let's Revisit The Dish's History

Gobi Manchurian, a beloved fusion dish celebrated for its crispy cauliflower bites drenched in a fiery red sauce, finds itself at the center of controversy in Mapusa, Goa. Concerns over synthetic colors and hygiene have led the Mapusa Municipal Council to impose a ban on the dish at stalls and feasts, adding to the ongoing cultural clash between local preferences and its widespread popularity. This culinary discord is not new, as similar restrictions were imposed during the Vasco Saptah fair in 2022, indicating an ongoing battle between tradition and culinary evolution. 

History of Gobi Manchurian 

Gobi Manchurian's origins can be traced back to Mumbai's Chinese culinary pioneer, Nelson Wang, who is credited with inventing its chicken counterpart in the 1970s. Challenged to create something innovative, Wang deep-fried chicken nuggets in a spicy cornflour batter and served them either dry or in a tangy gravy made with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and occasionally tomato sauce. This inventive dish quickly gained popularity and paved the way for Gobi Manchurian, where cauliflower florets are coated in a similar spicy, sweet, and tangy sauce. 

Despite the recent ban in Goa, Gobi Manchurian remains a beloved dish across India, so here’s a simple recipe.  


1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets 

½ cup all-purpose flour 

¼ cup cornstarch 

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste 

2 tbsp soy sauce 

1 tbsp tomato ketchup 

1 tbsp red chili sauce 

1 tbsp vinegar 

1 tsp sugar 

Salt to taste 

Oil for deep frying 

Method: In a bowl, mix all-purpose flour, cornstarch, ginger-garlic paste, soy sauce, tomato ketchup, red chili sauce, vinegar, sugar, and salt to form a smooth batter. 

Dip cauliflower florets into the batter, ensuring they are evenly coated. 

Heat oil in a deep pan and fry the coated cauliflower florets until golden brown and crispy. Drain excess oil on paper towels. 

In a separate pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and sauté ginger and garlic until fragrant. 

Add soy sauce, tomato ketchup, red chili sauce, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Cook until the sauce thickens. 

Toss the fried cauliflower florets in the sauce until well coated. 

Serve hot and garnish with chopped spring onions, if desired.