A few years back, if you had asked me to plan a menu for a dinner party, I would have given a blank look and said ‘Lets order’! My brother still finds it difficult to believe that I enjoy cooking and my dad is having difficulty understanding the term ‘blogging’ 😀 Still, they are proud of me and they feel very happy that I have found something that I like and that keeps me engaged.
Last weekend, we had some friends over for dinner and as you might have guessed.. I didn’t give a blank look while planning the menu. I knew what I wanted to make! They wanted to eat Indian food and that made my life much easier 🙂 Some of them were vegetarians and so, I wanted to make a vegetarian appetizer that could be enjoyed by vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
As I was tapping my pen on the notepad thinking of an appetizer, I heard Arvind say “Lets make Gobi Manchurian, and you don’t even have that in your blog, right ?”
I liked the idea but I was a little surprised when he mentioned ‘blog’.. “Well, we also need to take pictures and after cooking .. I doubt sweetie “
“I’ll help you with it. And taking pictures can be a break in between all the cooking. You had said that photography helps you relax 😉 “
I didn’t think of clicking pics and doing all the food styling in between cooking the dinner menu. But when you have such a sweetheart in your life, who is willing to help you and motivates you, life can become really easy and fun! I am blessed .. seriously 🙂
Manchurian is a Chinese dish that can be made with any vegetable/meat of your choice. They are usually dry, deep fried and should be served hot or else, they tend to become a little soggy or mushy. I don’t know why this sauce is called Manchurian. I do know that there is a place called Manchuria, which is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. I tried to Google and find out some connection between the two, but I didn’t find anything. So, if you have some fun facts about the Manchurian sauce, feel free to share it with me 🙂
This will serve about 6 to 7 people :
Lets start by deep frying the florets and then we will make the sauce.
- 1 medium cauliflower cut into small florets
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup corn flour or corn starch
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp grated garlic
- 1 tsp chilly powder
Boil the florets in a deep pan with water and some salt. Don’t boil for too long as it should remain crunchy.
Once the florets are boiled, put them in ice water for a minute.
Drain the water and dry rub the florets with a paper towel. Keep them aside.
In a big bowl, mix flour, ginger, garlic, chilly powder, salt and pepper.
Add some water to the bowl and make the batter just thick enough to coat the florets.
In a wok, heat enough oil to deep fry the florets.
Dip the florets in the batter, coat it properly and deep fry them. Don’t overcrowd the florets in the wok.
Once the florets are fried, keep them in a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
Now lets make the sauce .
- 2 bunch green onions, finely chopped (leave about 1/4 cup aside for garnishing)
- 1/2 cup ginger, very finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 green chillies, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 tsp sambal oelek chili paste
- 2 tbs sugar
- 2 tbs tomato sauce (I used ketchup)
- 1 tbs corn flour or corn starch
- 2 tbs dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp white vinegar
In a pan, heat some oil and add garlic and ginger.
Next, add green onions, chopped green chillies, sugar and cook for about 3 minutes.
Now, add the sambal chili paste, soya sauce, vinegar, tomato sauce and salt . Mix it properly and let it cook for another 2 minutes.
In the mean time, take a cup of water and mix corn flour in it.
Add the corn flour mixture to the pan and make a thick sauce. If required, add little bit more water.
Finally, add the fried florets and make sure that the sauce properly coats all the florets. Let it cook for another 2 minutes .
Just before serving, garnish it with some finely chopped green onions.
Enjoy it as an appetizer or as a side.