I am a big time lazy bum! There I said it. I finally managed to find some time to ooze my taste buds. It’s not every time that I get a chance to cook, but when I do I make sure I do it with passion. After sorting through zillion recipes in YouTube, I decided to stick with my quick reference channel – Nisha Madhulika. One thing I love about her channel is the absence of onions and garlic in the recipes. Not sure why, but I like to steer clear of onions and garlics in the food most of the time. All these time, I had an impression that any Manchurian will taste bad without onions and garlic, but as always this channel proved me wrong. I, instantly and irrevocably fell in love with the recipe.
Onion: Binomial name is Allium cepa.
Garlic: Binomial name is Allium sativum.
Cauliflower: Binomial name is Brassica oleracea.
I would waste no more time and get going with the recipe. So here are the ingredients required to make an easy Manchurian recipe, only without onion and garlic (belonging to Allium genus). Now, I am not giving the exact amount here. You might want to add it proportionately to the other ingredients.
Cauliflower (Gobi) – 1 or 2 based on the number of servings required.
Maida (All purpose flour)
Corn Flour (Maida and corn flour to be mixed equally)
Ginger paste (not Garlic-Ginger)
Green Chilly – finely chopped
Sauce mix (Tomato-Chilly) and Soy
Get the florets out of the cauliflower. Wash it once. Now in a big vessel, pour some water and boil the Gobi florets- Helps you clean them better. Not sure if it was just for me, but boiling seemed to improve the taste of Gobi.
Take equal amounts of Maida and Corn Flour and mix it with water to make a moderately thick batter. As I move on with the addition of ingredients, I would recommend doing it in proportions since I am not mentioning the exact amount. It is important to make sure that there are no lumps in the batter. Smoother the batter is, better the fried Gobi’s’ taste.
Now a bit of corn flour is taken separately and water is added to make a thick solution.
I sometimes deviate from the normal process just to make it look fun. This time, I faced a shortage of chilli sauce and hence I had to add some water to the little sauce available to get a diluted sauce. To spice up things a little more, I mixed the tomato sauce with chilli sauce (solution).
Sometimes, you just get lucky. My sister helped me with chopping the chillies so it looks finely chopped :D, while I tried making a fresh paste from ginger. Obvious enough, the paste was too liquid and I had to mix the ginger paste-like solution with chopped chillies. However, believe me, nothing made the dish go bad!
Now that we are done with the initiation, let us proceed to the rest of the process.
To the maida-corn flour batter, add some black pepper powder and a pinch of salt. Dip the Gobi florets in this batter before frying them. Frying Gobi, Paneer cubes or mushrooms before adding them to the sauce always improves the taste multi-fold, and it follows that we need to fry the Gobi florets in a pan with heated oil.
In a frying pan, heat some oil (or you can just use a part of the oil used for frying Gobi). As a person with little experience but enormous passion for cooking, this part always gives me headaches. I was supposed to put the semi solid ginger paste and chopped green chillies here. Instead, all I had was the ginger-chilly solution from the initiation phase :D.
I had to pour this to the heated oil. I turned the gas to low flame believing that it would reduce the popping. One flip and the entire solution was in the pan; I was in the next room! The poppings soon simmered down and this time, it was time to add the sauce mixture (Tomato and chilli). Stir for 30 seconds before adding the corn flour solution. Add soy sauce too and stir it for a minute or two. The mixture takes a thick solution form which just means that corn flour did its work.
It’s time to add the vinegar, salt and sugar to the mix and stir for another 30 seconds. As a final step, add the fried Gobi to this sauce and stir well so that the sauce mixes with the Gobi uniformly. You can add the green coriander now to boost the flavour.
Transferring the dish to another vessels will bring the cooking process to an end. Voila! Your guess is right. The Gobi Manchurian is now ready to be served.
Surprise: I thought the lack of onion and garlic will show up in its taste and to my surprise, it tasted as good as the real Manchurian which made me wonder why they were added in the first place! I would definitely recommend everyone to try this recipe and I am sure you won’t regret it.
Quick Tip: Cauliflower (Gobi) can be replaced with any other vegetable of your choice.
Thank you mom and sister for helping me in preparing the dish. Thank you dad for bravely tasting the dish and giving the verdict. Finally, thank you Nisha Madhulika ma’am for this awesome recipe inspiration.
You can also watch this recipe on YouTube here: