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Gobi Manchurian

Gobi Manchurian is an Indian and Chinese fusion dish made with battered and fried cauliflower that is a little sweet, sour, spicy, and loaded with flavor. Don't worry about the ingredient list, because it does come together fast. It's a recipe that will quickly become your favorite!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, Indian
Keyword vegan
Prep Time - 30 mins
Cook Time - 45 mins
Total Time - 1 hr 15 mins
Servings - 4 servings


  • Deep fryer If available


Cauliflower and Batter

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6 cups of florets)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or Szechuan powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water (Start with 1/2 cup and add more )
  • Oil for frying

Gobi Manchurian Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon neutral flavor oil (vegetable, avocado, etc. )
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup chopped red peppers (or green)
  • 4 ounces diced green chilies (La Preferida is one I like)
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha (can omit)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or Szechuan powder)
  • 1/4 cup water (or more as needed)


Step 1: Prep the Cauliflower

  • Bring 8 cups of water to a boil.
  • While the water is heating, cut the cauliflower into small florets. Think bite sized about 1" tall. Boil the cauliflower for 5 minutes only. Drain, rinse under cold water, and then sprinkle on the 2 tablespoons of flour on to help soak up excess liquid. Set aside.

Step 2: Make the Sauce

  • In a large non-stick frying pan or wok, sauce the onion, garlic, ginger, peppers, and green chilies with the oil. The onion should be translucent rather than browned. About 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the sriracha (if using), tomato paste, maple syrup, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili powder. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the water, stir, and bring to a light simmer. It should be a thick but liquid sauce more like a glaze. Add more water as needed. Keep on low heat and go on to the next step.

Step 3: Cook the Cauliflower

  • In a mixing bowl stir together the 1/2 cup flower, corn starch, chili powder, black pepper, salt, and water. Start with 1/2 cup water and add more as needed to make a thin batter. It should be similar to a thin pancake batter.
  • Bring 2-3" of oil to heat, around 370°F. You can use a small sauce pan, but make sure your pan is sturdy and has high enough walls so oil doesn't spill while you're cooking.
  • Toss some of the cauliflower into the batter, turn to coat, carefully drop into the heated oil. The amount that you fry per batch depends on the size of your pot. Fry until crispy and lightly golden, about 3-5 minutes per batch. Transfer the cooked cauliflower directly to the sauce but don't stir it in. Repeat until all cauliflower is cooked.
  • Gently fold the sauce over the cauliflower until it is completely glazed and coated. Serve with fluffy basmati or jasmine rice and top with green onion and/or chopped cilantro.


Can you bake or air-fry the cauliflower? 
In order to bake or air-fry the cauliflower you'll need to make a thicker batter with a little extra flour. Air-fry at 370F for 10 minutes, flip, 5 min more. Or. Bake at 425F on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes, flip, 10 minutes more. 
I'll be honest. Frying in oil for this recipe makes it best. Baking or air-frying just doesn't get as crispy and the batter doesn't stick quite as well.