Ravi Gobi's Bindu Chinese Center, a small shop serving gobi manchurian in Bengaluru, is visited by hundreds of people daily. He opened the shop in 1999, which is 23 years back. And even today, people from all over the city flock to the tiny shop to have a plate of his famous gobi manchurian.
Gobi manchurian – the legacy of this dish goes beyond the regular Indo-Chinese cuisine that we have regularly. This dish has made a place in history and on our plates due to the amazing taste and the fascinating story behind this spicy, Desi Chinese street food. Originally a result of experiments with Chinese food in Bengal, how did this dish become one of the most loved food items of Karnataka, especially Bengaluru? And what is so special about Ravi Gobi Bindu Chinese Center, a small shop serving gobi manchurian in Bengaluru, that is visited by hundreds of people daily? Let us find out.
Unlike what the name denotes, gobi manchurian has not originated in China. It is a dish that was modified and made in India by Chinese travelers who came here after the World War. The spicy dish, catered to the tastebuds of Indians, was a result of the Chinese community in Kolkata trying to make their authentic dishes more suitable for the Indian taste palate. The process of making gobi manchurian is not very complex. There are two parts of the recipe – first, the gobi or cauliflower florets are dipped in a batter and deep fried to make them crispy. The second part involves preparing a spicy sauce with garlic, onion, capsicum and soy, in which the deep fried gobi is mixed and served.
Now, when we talk about gobi manchurian, the first place that comes into our mind is Bengaluru. Although Kolkata was where the dish was formulated and sold first, it has become a rage in the capital city of Karnataka in the last two decades. One the major reasons behind the popularity of the dish in the city is this small Chinese food center run by a gentleman called Ravi Gobi. He opened the shop in 1999, which is 23 years back. And even today, people from all over the city flock to the tiny shop to have a plate of his famous gobi manchurian.
So, what is the secret behind the success of Ravi Gobi’s Bindu Chinese Center, despite there being ample competition and many similar shops in the market? Why is this particular shop the go-to destination for foodies from all over the city, state and even country? Well, there are little secrets that have made the shop legendary and successful throughout the years. Mr. Ravi started the shop when he was still a student, appearing for his class 10 board exams that year. His uncle used to run a shop and sold gobi manchurian, but he closed it, which prompted Ravi and his brother to open a stall of their own. Ravi even took training from a Chinese cook so that he does justice to this dish. Since then, the taste, quality and popularity of Bindu Chinese Centre has been unrivalled.
Ravi uses little tricks that keep his customer base happy while attracting new customers too. He believes that people might get bored of the same taste, so he tries to introduce new flavours and plays around with the texture of the food. But he makes sure that the base, the identifying taste of the dish remains the same, while only including minor changes to amp up the flavours. He also does not use ajinomoto in his food and only uses light spices, unlike most street food corners that tend to serve an overload of spices. These principles that he follows has not only help sustain the shop for decades, but taken it to a position where a Bengaluru food trail is incomplete without trying the food at Ravi Gobi’s humble shop.
So, foodies, if you still have not eaten at Ravi Gobi’s Bindu Chinese Center, it is time to change that. Hog on the gobi manchurian, gobi rice and potato rice to get the true flavours of Desi Chinese food.