Thursday, June 10, 2010
Gobi Manchurian - Indo-Chinese Fritters
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...When I came across this dish, I knew it had to be tried and shared. This saucy cauliflower is both a curiosity and a contradiction. Kitchen lore insists the dish is an Indian adaption of an old Chinese recipe. While that makes for a wonderful story, cauliflower is rarely seen in China and until recently you'd be hard pressed to find it served in Manchuria or any other region of the country. It is, however, extremely popular in India where it is called Gobi Manchurian. Gobi is the Indian word for cauliflower and Manchurian is the name of a spicy Indian sauce that has Chinese overtones. The dish was developed in India by Chinese immigrants who adapted Indian foods to their way of cooking. In doing so, they created a new cuisine called Indo-Chinese. Interestingly, the dish is starting to work its way into China and you'll occasionally find it on Chinese menus in other countries. Gobi Manchurian is served as an appetizer or a side dish and it is prepared in a manner that is similar to making Japanese tempura. Florets of cauliflower are dipped into a savory batter and then quickly deep fried. Once drained, they are coated with a nicely spicy tomato sauce and warmed through for serving. This dish was an enormous hit with my family and friends, and when served hot it is absolutely delicious. It does not hold well, so be prepared to move and get it to the table as soon as it is sauced. The sauce I use is quite mild, so, if you need more heat, add it to taste. You'll love this one. Here's the recipe.
Gobi Manchurian...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and broken into about 20 large florets
1/3 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup all-purpose flower
1/2 to 3/4 cups water
2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
Salt to taste
½ cup chopped spring onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped green chillies
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup water, divided use
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt to taste
1) To make batter and fry: Heat enough oil to deep fry in a wok or deep fryer. While oil heats, combine cornstarch, flowe, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add enough water to form a pancake-like batter. Dip cauliflower florets into mixture to coat with batter. Add a few florets at a time to hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Continue until all florets are fried.
2) To make sauce: Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup water. Stir in soy sauce, ketchup and salt. Set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic, ginger, green chillies and spring onions. Stir fry for about 1 minute to soften. Add cornstarch mixture and remaining , remaing 3/4 cup water and cook until thickened. Remove pan from heat.
3) To serve: Place fried cauliflower into sauce and stir-fry over high heat to warm and coat florets. Garnish, if desired, with cilantro sprigs or scallions. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.
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