Gobi Manchurian is a popular Indo-Chinese recipe made of crispy cauliflower florets coated in the spicy, sweet, and tangy Manchurian sauce! It can be served as an appetizer or side with some noodles and fried rice.
½teaspooncornflour mixed in 2 tablespoon waterfor the slurry
Make the batter
Prep: Cut the cauliflower into small to medium size florets (not too small or large) & wash them thoroughly. Allow them to dry off completely before adding them to the batter. You can prep this a day in advance.
Mix all ingredients like flours, salt, pepper, ginger garlic paste, and red chili sauce (optional) together & add water as required (little less than ½ cup) to make a thick batter (not runny consistency). If your batter gets runny, add a tablespoon at a time of cornflour and mix.
Add the dry cauliflower florets & mix well so that each floret gets well coated with the batter. These florets can now either be deep-fried, shallow (pan) fried, air -fried or baked.
For Deep frying - First Fry
For deep frying, I use the double frying technique which is used in restaurants which ensures the florets turn out really crispy. Please see notes for single fry technique.
Heat oil in a wok on the medium heat & line a plate with a paper towel and keep it ready. Once the oil is hot, check by dropping a small drop of batter, it should sizzle back up.
Now add the batter coated florets a few at a time & deep fry on medium-low heat till crispy and develop slight golden brown spots & crispy. Don’t fry them on high flame as we want the cauliflower to be cooked from inside too.
Remove on absorbent paper to drain any excess oil. Continue frying the remaining florets in a similar manner. Keep these crunchy florets aside.
Make the Manchurian sauce
Prep: Mix all the sauces (soya sauce, tomato ketchup, red chili sauce & vinegar) along with salt, pepper, and sugar. Chop and prep all ingredients and have them ready since we will be working on high heat.
Heat oil in a wok or pan (big enough to hold the florets too) & to this hot oil add ginger, garlic,c, and saute for few seconds until aromatic.
Stir in spring onions, red onions, and bell peppers. Saute for a minute or two
Add the mixed sauce mix & sauté for 1 min. In the meantime, make the cornstarch slurry and add it too. Saute till the sauce thickens slightly. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as needed.
Add ½ teaspoon sesame seeds and some green onions saute again (reserve ½ teaspoon sesame seeds for garnishing).
For Deep frying - Second Fry
Fry these florets a second time and add to the gravy just before serving. This helps make the florets really crispy.
Heat oil on high and once hot add the pre-fried florets as many you can fry without overcrowding and fry on high for 1-2 mins or until golden. Drain and remove the tissue paper.
Assembling the dish
Heat up the sauce, mix the crunchy florets with the sauce. Stir fry for 1 min on hot flame till the florets get well coated with the sauce.
Garnish with some spring onion greens & sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
For best crispy Gobi Manchurian:
Cut the cauliflower into similar small to medium-sized florets so that they cook evenly.
Double deep fry the cauliflower florets. You can also use one of the below techniques for frying the florets.
Single Fry technique:
Single fry for a simple and quick recipe. If in rush, simply fry the cauliflower on medium heat until almost cooked and then on low heat until golden brown. In this case, fry the cauliflower after making the sauce.
To Pan-fry (shallow fry) the cauliflower florets:
Heat oil in a pan and fry florets in batches without overcrowding. Flip after 5-6 mins when one side is golden. Fry the other side too until golden and then drain on a paper towel.
To air-fry the cauliflower florets:
Air fry the batter coated cauliflower florets in batches at 400F for 10-15 mins rotating halfway through.
Time may vary based on the make and model of the air-fryer.
To bake the cauliflower florets:
Place the batter coated cauliflower on to a parchment paper-lined baking tray and bake at 400°F preheated oven for 25-30 mins until golden and crispy, turning halfway through.
To make Gobi manchurian gravy:
Add ¾ to 1 cup water to the Manchurian sauce and cook until it thickens slightly before adding the florets.