Gobhi manchurian is one of the most popular Indo-Chinese dish. Rarely would there be an Indian who is not familiar with Gobhi manchurian. It is often served as a vegetarian option in appetizers/starters and also as a side-dish. Like most tasty dishes, this one packs a lot of calories, primarily due to the fact that the cauliflower florets are fried and then again sautéed in oil! I too love this dish, but refrain from making it often due to the high oil content. I have pondered for long on ways to make it gluten-free and healthy. I once put the florets in corn flour batter and baked it and made it but was not happy with the results. I tried a combination of corn flour and rice flour and baked it.. Didn't work either. The batter would flatten one side of the florets that stayed on the parchment paper and didn't give a nice appearance.
Recently, an idea struck me when I was making Butternut squash fries! How about I use the technique of putting the florets in a ziplock bag and adding corn flour to it and then baking it?? Well, guess what?? I tried it and the florets baked beautifully to the desired consistency. I however had blanched the florets in the microwave to reduce the cooking ( baking) time. I am happy that I have finally found a method to make the Manchurian without too much oil while maintaining the same taste.
Cauliflower: 1 medium head, separated into florets.
Water: 4 quarts for blanching the cauliflower.
For the cauliflower coating:
Corn flour: 2 tbsp
All purpose flour: 1 tbsp
Kashmiri red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp ( optional)
Ginger garlic paste: 1/2 tsp
Soy sauce: 1 tbsp
For the sauce:
Cooking oil: 1 tbsp
Onion: 1 medium, chopped fine
Garlic: 4-6 cloves, chopped fine
Ginger: 1 inch piece, chopped fine
Green chillies: 4-6, slit
Scallions: 2-3, chopped fine, white and green parts kept separate.
Soy sauce: 2 tbsp
Tomato sauce: 2 tbsp
Chilli sauce: 1 tsp ( optional)
Salt: to taste
Sugar: 1/4 tsp
Boil 4 quarts water with 1/4 tsp salt in a saucepan. Turn off the flame. Add the cauliflower florets to the water. Let it sit for 5mins. Remove them and dry the florets completely using paper towels.
Take the florets in a microwave-safe bowl and steam them for 4-5 mins.
Let it cool down.
Preheat the oven to 400 deg F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep ready.
Once the cauliflower florets have cooled down, add them to a ziplock/ plastic bag. Add cornflour, all purpose flour( maida), red chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, soy sauce and mix well by shaking the bag.
Arrange the florets on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake them for 20-30 minutes, turning them once half-way through.
The florets should be nice and crisp ( not burnt).
While the cauliflower is baking, prepare the sauce to go with it.
Heat a wok/skillet/ frying pan on high flame.
Add in the sauces.
Add the baked cauliflower florets and mix until well blended.
Serve hot! Can be served as a starter or as a side dish with rice/bread/roti.
Enjoy! I am bringing this to Angie's Fiesta Friday! Suzanne@apuginthekitchen and Sue@birgerbird are co-hosts this weekend.
Cooking made easy:
To get restaurant style taste to Chinese-style cooking, it is essential to use a iron wok. Don't use any other metal. Also cook on high flame. Heat the wok first. Once it is hot enough, add in the oil. If you add the oil first, then the oil will be too hot and the garlic will turn brown! Also, all cooking should be done at high heat. You do not need to cook for long while cooking on high heat. Sauté everything just for a few seconds.
Tip for healthy living:
While using oil for cooking at high heat, use oils that don't degrade upon heating at high temperatures. Examples for such oils would be coconut oil, sesame oil, mustard oil and peanut oil. These oils can sustain high temperatures and don't generate free radicals upon heating.
Food for thought:
Start by doing what's necessary ; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. Francis of Assisi