Gobi Manchurian Gravy: Perfect Blend of Indo-Chinese Cuisine

Gobi Manchurian is a dish created by an Indian chef sometime in the 1970s, which was initially an experiment using Indian spices and Chinese sauces cooked together using Chinese practices. The original version contained chicken pieces coated in corn flour, and dipped into a gravy. Subsequently, the vegetarian version was created with the sauce being versatile enough to absorb all kinds of crispy balls made from cabbage or paneer or minced meats. Irrespective of how it was christened or created, Gobi Manchurian is a perfect blend of Indo-Chinese cuisine and remains a hot favourite at small eateries and fine dining restaurants. 

Preparation time: 10-15 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins 

Servings: 3-4 

Ingredients for boiling Cauliflower florets

4 Cups – Water 

20-25 Florets – Cauliflower (Cut Or Broken Into Bite Sizes)

½  Tsp – Salt

1 Cup – Cold Water

Ingredients Batter

¾ Cup – Maida / All Purpose Flour

¼ Cup – Corn Flour / Rice Flour (For Crispiness)

½ Tsp – Kashmiri Lal Mirch / Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder

½ Tsp – Ginger – Garlic Paste

¼ Tsp – Salt 

½ Cup - Water

Oil – For Deep Frying 

Ingredients Manchurian Sauce

4 Tsp – Oil 

2 Cloves – Garlic 

1 inch – Ginger

1 - Green Chilli 

¼ - Medium Sized Onion (Sliced)

¼ Cup – Spring Onion Greens (Chopped) 

½ - Capsicum (Cubed) 

2 Tbsp – Tomato Sauce 

1 Tsp - Chilli Sauce 

2 Tsp – Vinegar 

2 Tsp – Soy Sauce 

¼ Tsp – Pepper (Crushed)

¼ Tsp – Salt 

Ingredients Corn Flour Slurry 

1 tsp – Corn Flour

¼ cup – Water 

Method Gobi Manchurian Gravy

Put the cauliflower bite-sized florets into hot water and let them soak for five minutes. It shouldn’t be boiling water. After 5 minutes, pour some cold water on them. This helps the florets retain their fresh white colour. Drain the water and let dry naturally to remove excess moisture. Dry them with a paper towel or kitchen towel if needed. 

Prepare the batter by mixing the plain flour, corn flour, red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, salt and water. Pour water gradually in batches as the batter should remain thick and pasty, not become runny. Whip the batter well and remove all the lumps. 

Take the florets, and dip them in the batter one by one and start to put them in the heated wok for deep frying. Put them in batches and fry till golden. Do not over fry as they continue to cook in their own heat even after being taken out of the wok. So take them out and put them on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Fry all the florets.

For the Manchurian sauce in a deep pan / wok, put in oil, add garlic cloves, ginger and let fry till the garlic’s raw smell goes off, then add green chilli. Add the onion and saute well till it turns translucent. Add the capsicum, and saute a bit more. Add the tomato sauce, soy sauce, chilli sauce, pepper and ¼ tsp salt. Once the veggies are nicely coated, add vinegar. Mix well and saute the whole for a minute or so. Add the fried florets to the mix and stir well. Add the cornflour slurry gradually and keep stirring till there is sheen to the curry. Garnish with spring onions and serve hot with fried rice. 

The Chinese curries are too bland for the Indian palate so a lot of what passes off as Chinese cuisine in India is really a far removed cousin of the original versions, but it's delicious and loved by people.