Our cauliflower Manchurian recipe features baked cauliflower with a tender interior and crispy exterior coated in a delightful sweet and sour sauce.
The dish is quick and straightforward to make, using only simple pantry ingredients. Thus, cauliflower Manchurian doesn’t require any complicated cooking techniques. It can be found everywhere from street stalls to restaurants to households.
What Is Cauliflower Manchurian?
Cauliflower Manchurian is a popular Indo-Chinese dish made with cauliflower florets. The food has earned another name — Gobi Manchurian — since gobi is an Indian term for cauliflower. It’s not an authentic Chinese or Indian dish but is instead an attractive fusion of both Indian and Chinese cuisine.
To make cauliflower Manchurian, you’ll first coat cauliflower florets in a batter mixture of egg and flour, then deep fry them until crisp. After that, the veggies are tossed in a sweet and sour sauce made from garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and various seasonings.
Generally, the dish is served in two ways — either dry or in gravy. Both variants are prepared with similar ingredients and cooking processes but differ in the use of cornstarch gravy. The dry version is coated in a thin layer of sauce and is considered an appetizer, while the runnier, gravied version can be easily turned into a main meal.
Though you can find Manchurian recipes using different ingredients such as chicken, fish, and mixed vegetables, the version with cauliflower is still the most popular and beloved.
Is Cauliflower Manchurian Healthy?
Traditional Gobi Manchurian recipes coat cauliflower with the batter and then deep-fry it in oil until crisp. However, we challenged ourselves to construct a healthier version by baking rather than frying the cauliflower.
This technique makes the cauliflower crispy without any deep-fried guilt — it cuts a significant amount of saturated fat out of the end product. Scientists have linked diets low in saturated fat to health benefits, including lower risks of heart diseases and diabetes.
Nutritionally, cauliflower is a powerhouse of fiber and vitamin C. This vitamin is essential for a healthy immune system while fiber plays a vital role in supporting digestion.
While testing and making the dish, we also kept a strict eye on the added salt and sugar. We included just enough to bring out the flavor. This is an essential part of a healthy diet as defined by the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines that we follow in all our recipes.
Cauliflower Manchurian Ingredients
- Cauliflower: Choose cauliflower with fresh, firm heads so that the dish comes out crunchy yet juicy from the oven.
- Bell Peppers: Bell peppers are added in large cubes for extra flavor and for their crunchy texture.
- All-Purpose Flour: We used plain flour to make the batter to coat the cauliflower florets.
- Eggs: Eggs act as the “glue” to stick the batter together and hold it onto the veggies.
The Manchurian sauce is a gravy that melds sweet, sour, and umami flavors. It builds depth with shallots, garlic, and ginger, all chopped into small pieces so they’re extra aromatic.
For seasonings, we used a flavorful blend of soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, and ground pepper. The addition of sriracha gives it all a vibrant red color but does not make the finished product overly spicy. If you don’t have sriracha on hand, go with a different chili sauce but add just a teaspoon at a time until it reaches your spice tolerance.
Another secret in our tasty gravy is sesame oil. It is a great flavor enhancer that will bring out all the taste layers of the dish, making it extra wholesome.
Finally, you still need to add a bit of cornstarch and water to make the sauce “sticky” enough to coat the cauliflower.
How to Make Cauliflower Manchurian
Learn how to make this cauliflower Manchurian with easy step-by-step instructions:
Preheat the oven to 400 ℉.
Make the batter and coat the cauliflower.
Bake the cauliflower.
Make the sauce.
Stir fry the veggies.
Pour the sauce into the pan and stir until the gravy slightly thickens.
Return the bell pepper mix and cauliflower to the pan.
Garnish and serve.
Tips for Making
- If you are going to bake the vegetables the way we did, don’t forget to add butter or oil to the batter. This helps crisp up the batter while lending a lovely richness to the food.
- Once the cauliflower Manchurian is prepared, you should serve the dish immediately. It will turn soft and soggy after a while.
- You can prepare the cauliflower in advance and sauté it in the Manchurian sauce when needed. To maintain the coating’s crispiness, only reheat the florets in the preheated oven or air fryer for a few minutes before you’re eating them.
What to Serve With Cauliflower Manchurian
If you serve Gobi Manchurian as an appetizer, starter, or snack, you don’t need to add a side. The food is packed with a good balance of sweet, sour, and tangy notes and tastes delicious on its own.
However, if you make it for a meal, consider serving it alongside steamed rice or noodles. That way, the dish can provide you with a good amount of extra calories and nutrients.
Also, we encourage you to eat it with vegetable soup and fresh juice, ensuring the whole meal is appealing and nutritious. Either way, this dish will hit the spot and have you craving it time and again.
|Cauliflower Manchurian||Main Dish||497||7.9 g||521 mg|
|Winter Melon Meatball Soup||Side Dish||143||3.5 g||293 mg|
|Orange Pineapple Juice||Beverage||112||0.0 g||6 mg|
|Total||752||11.4 g||820 mg|
Cauliflower Manchurian Recipe
- 20 oz cauliflower
- 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1.5 medium egg
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3 tbsps unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 3 tbsp Heinz ketchup
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 4 fl oz water
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 oz green bell pepper cubed
- 2 tsp garlic chopped
- 1 tsp ginger chopped
- 1 tsp shallot chopped
- 2 tbsp scallions chopped
- 3 1/2 cup cooked long-grain rice
- Preheat the oven to 400 ℉.
- Make the batter: In a mixing bowl, mix 6 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1.5 medium egg, 3 tbsp milk, 1 tsp paprika, and 3 tbsps unsalted butter. Coat 20 oz cauliflower florets well with the batter.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a baking tray. Place it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp sriracha, 3 tbsp tomato ketchup, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp ground pepper, 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp cornstarch, and 4 fl oz water.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add 2 oz green bell pepper and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Transfer the veggies to a plate.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in the same pan. Add 2 tsp garlic, 1 tsp ginger, and 1 tsp shallot, and stir them until fragrant. Then pour the sauce into the pan and stir until the gravy slightly thickens (about 15 – 30 seconds).
- Return the bell pepper mix and cauliflower to the pan and gently mix so that the sauce coats everything uniformly. Remove from heat.
- Transfer the food to the serving bowl. Garnish with 2 tbsp scallions and serve with 3 1/2 cup cooked long-grain rice.