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Gobi Manchurian (Cauliflower Manchurian) – Hakka-style

I was first introduced to Gobi Manchurian way back when I was studying in college, in Bangalore. There were dozens of hawker stalls around our campus dishing out mouth-watering, finger-licking good Chinese food – made especially for the Indian palate of course! The menu ranged from various types of Noodles, Fried Rice, Stir-fried Veggies, Paneer and Meat. My favourites to order was always the Chilli Chicken, Gobi Manchurian and Hakka Chowmein.

Recipe for Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian taken from www.hookedonheat.com. Visit site for detailed recipe.

The first time I walked into a Chinese restaurant here in Canada, I was surprised to find none of those on the menu. It was only until much later, that I realized that the Chinese food we all love and relish in India, didn’t actually come from the kitchens of real Chinese cooks! Instead, it began as an Indo-fusion creation that has now been perfected by hawkers on the streets of any major city in India!


While most Hakka joints here in the GTA cater to our Indo-Chinese loving palates by dishing out all the usual favourites, somehow, Gobi Manchurian seems to be the ONE thing missing from most of their vast menus. Of the handful of places that I’ve found them served at, it’s always been a hit-or-miss to get the right flavour and texture.

This Gobi Manchurian recipe is a wonderful blend of easy Chinese-style cooking with a dash of Indian spices thrown in!

I love fusion cooking! I enjoy mixing and matching non-traditional methods and ingredients and creating something different. Which is why, one fine Sunday morning, armed with a fresh head of cauliflower, larger than the size of my own, I decided to give this a go!

The ONE piece of advice I would give you before you decide to jump into this, is to not skip the Tomato-Chilli sauce. I’ve tried a few different brands and come to the conclusion that Maggi Hot & Sweet gives the exact flavour I’ve been hunting for. So put on your apron and dish this up. It’s as close to the real thing as it may get!

Gobi Manchurian (Cauliflower Manchurian)

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Meena, www.hookedonheat.com

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets
  • light cooking oil for deep frying
  • 2 tbsp light cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato-chili sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • salt to taste
  • finely chopped spring onions for garnish

For the Batter:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • water as needed

Instructions

  • Combine together all-purpose flour, corn starch, red chili powder, garlic powder, salt and a little bit of water to form a batter thick enough to coat each cauliflower floret.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and deep fry the cauliflower florets coated with batter, till golden brown and crisp. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick pan. Add in garlic and ginger, and fry for a few seconds till fragrant. Add in the onions and fry for a few minutes till lightly browned.
  • Stir in white pepper, coriander powder, tomato-chilli sauce and soy sauce, and let it come to a simmer to form a thick saucy consistency. Season with salt if needed.
  • Toss in the fried cauliflower florets, and mix with the sauce to coat well.
  • Garnish with chopped spring onions and serve immediately.

Notes

I’ve tried a few different brands of tomato-chilli sauce and have come to the conclusion that Maggi Hot & Sweet gives the exact flavour I’ve been hunting for.

This post was originally published in March 2006 and has been recently updated.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you will surely love my Chilli Chicken – Hakka-style, Chilli Paneer and Ginger Shrimp Stir-fry recipe as well.

Tried this recipe? Leave a Comment and let me know, also Rate it by clicking the number of stars on the recipe card. Want to share your version with me? Tag me on Instagram @hookedonheat

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60 Comments

  • Reply
    Silvia
    June 9, 2020

    I want to make this dish this weekend but don’t have corn starch. Can I make this dish without corn starch and use all-purpose flour instead? Please let me know, Thanks!

    • Reply
      Meena
      June 11, 2020

      Hi Silvia! You definitely can, but it won’t be quite as crisp without it. But yes, it won’t affect the flavour of this dish at all. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Anita Haribabu
    June 6, 2020

    5 stars
    Hi, this is such a wonderful recipe. My folks loved it!
    Anita

  • Reply
    Naureen
    May 23, 2020

    5 stars
    Hi there,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for this recipe!!! I am from the US and currently living abroad in Pakistan and I love this recipe so much. I make it on a weekly basis. I am more vegetarian centered, so finding this was a huge delight! My in-laws are huge meat eaters but even they loved it… You’re site is awesome!! Keep it up!

    P.S. Please post more veggie Indian dishes! If possible, Malai Kofta and Masala Dosa!

  • Reply
    aarthi
    December 14, 2019

    5 stars
    thx for this recipe…i always thought gobi manchurian was very tough but this one was soo easy…my husband loved it too…pls post more veggie stuff..

  • Reply
    Reena
    March 16, 2018

    5 stars
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe! I’d always been apprehensive of trying Gobi Manchurian. Somehow it seemed like a lot of work. But really it wasn’t and my husband was peeking over my shoulder, wondering why I’m cooking this when it’s so close to dinner time, and commenting that today we’ll get food late! But he and I were both pleasantly surprised. I made the Manchurian and the Veg Fried Rice in about 45 mins. Not bad! The only thing I did differently was to steam the gobi in the microwave for 3-4 minutes before coating with batter and deep-frying. I was worried that only deep frying wouldn’t cook it completely. It was fabulous and my kids were fighting over leftovers the next day! Thanks a lot!

    • Reply
      Meena
      March 20, 2018

      I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it, Reena. You really don’t need to precook the cauliflower, just deep-frying them is good enough. I usually leave this dish to the very last minute before I serve the meal. It’s best eaten right out of the pan! 🙂

  • Reply
    Malathi
    June 19, 2017

    5 stars
    I treid this recipe and it turned out GREAT. Exactly the way it tastes like in restaurants. The process is so easily explained and simple to follow and cook.

  • Reply
    Smitha
    December 12, 2015

    5 stars
    I always thought that Gobi Manchurian was a long process. This is sooooooooooooo easy…… my daughter is a very picky eater, and she loves it. For non-vegetarians, substitute cauliflower with small pieces of boneless chicken.

    Cheers to you!! – Smitha

  • Reply
    imran
    July 22, 2014

    5 stars
    Great recipe – love all of your recipes that I have tried to date. Keep posting and sharing 🙂

    Thx once again!

  • Reply
    Swathy
    January 31, 2013

    5 stars
    Hi,
    I’ve been browsing through your site for quite a few days wondering which recipe to do, they all look so very delicious, and finally settled on the Gobi Manchurian and Fried Rice.
    They both turned out to be really good and delicious. My whole family loved it.
    I’ve been preparing Fried Rice in so many different styles to get that ‘restaurant’ taste, and it’s your recipe that has finally clicked!
    Thanks a bunch…
    Regards,
    Swathy.

  • Reply
    ann
    January 26, 2012

    5 stars
    it looks fabulous.
    what’s the tomato-chili sauce made of?
    can I buy it at a store?

    • Reply
      Meena
      January 27, 2012

      Yes Ann, tomato-chilli sauce is usually easily available at regular grocery stores. If you can’t find it, try substituting with Chilli-Garlic sauce otherwise.

  • Reply
    sritika
    February 27, 2011

    5 stars
    Hi Meena… I just stumbled on your website when I was searching for Gobi Manchurian recipe. The photo looked mouth-watering and I tried it out immediately. I didn’t have tomato chilli sauce, I used plain tomato sauce instead. It was great and tasted exactly like the one in the restaurants!! My hubby loved it… Thanks a lot…

  • Reply
    M.R.
    May 21, 2010

    5 stars
    Hi, I came here via another blog, but as soon as I saw that picture, I started smiling, thinking I must’ve stumbled upon something yummy! That picture itself makes me want to try it right now! Keep up the good job.

  • Reply
    Ruma
    February 20, 2010

    5 stars
    This recipe is super and extremely easy. I upped the garlic a bit and used a little chilli vinegar and it took me less than an hour to make. The cauliflower was small so I threw in some baby corn as well. My only advice is to consume hot and immediately after mixing, it tends to get a little soggy. But my husband and I gobbled all of it up.

  • Reply
    Bronwen
    June 5, 2009

    5 stars
    This is such a popular dish in my house! My husband and 19-year-old son love it and are always asking me to cook it. I love your website and whenever I want Indian food I head to Hooked on Heat.

  • Reply
    Vidhya Ravi
    March 2, 2009

    5 stars
    Meena, You’re such an inspiration! I love gobi-manchurian, and your version seems simple enough to try at home. Keep up the great posts!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    November 24, 2008

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe. I tried it and my family loved it A LOT. I like your website, and I printed out a bunch of your recipes to try later. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Jizm
    May 13, 2008

    5 stars
    That looks lovely, I’m making it as one of my assignments for fusion cooking at school. Hoping I get a good grade!

  • Reply
    Caren
    April 6, 2008

    Hi I love your website! Can you please tell me which brand of tomato chili sauce you use?

    Thanks!

  • Reply
    MAP
    April 1, 2008

    5 stars
    Can your recommend a good place to find Manchurian cuisine? I knew one out on Gerrard but it closed down. Where are these “Hakkas” in Mississauga?

    Thanks for any tips. This has been a quest for a long time!

  • Reply
    Reena
    March 14, 2008

    5 stars
    I am going to try this tonight! I do have a question though. Before deep-frying the gobis should they be steamed a little or parboiled? Wouldn’t they be less cooked if directly deep fried? Or maybe it depends on the size of the gobi? Should they be cut into small florets?

  • Reply
    sweta
    December 2, 2007

    5 stars
    could you please give the recipe for Vegetable Manchurian? I tried the Gobi Manchurian and realised that even I can cook! I am such a big admirer of yours. I look at your site at least 25 times a day.

  • Reply
    AD
    November 9, 2007

    5 stars
    hi…just tried this. it turned out great. i did salt the gobi first to draw out excess liquid. i also added a splash of rice vinegar to make it a bit tangy. yum!

    btw…you have the best food pics.

  • Reply
    Antara
    November 1, 2007

    5 stars
    yum..lovely, delicious picture..i’m going to try it out. This is the first time i visited your web site looking for gobi manchurian recipes. Looks very interesting and mouth watering! i’ll be a regular reader from now on..

  • Reply
    Beverly
    October 17, 2007

    5 stars
    I ate this dish at Woodlands restaurant in Silver Spring, Maryland and have been wondering how I could possible make it at home. Thanks to google I found you and I will get the ingredients and make it this weekend. Great photo!!!I can taste it already.

  • Reply
    JESNA
    October 6, 2007

    5 stars
    THE RECIPE IS REALLY GREAT..
    I TRIED THIS FOR TODAYS IFTAR PARTY..
    EVERYONE LIKED IT..GREAT

  • Reply
    Maddie
    October 5, 2007

    5 stars
    Awesome !!!!! The picture, the recipe, others’ comments….. all of it increased my craving for eating Gobi Manchurian. Took me a couple of days before I could go out and get cornstarch. Anyways, I tried and it came out super. Your picture is just tooooo good. I was delighted that mine looked like it too 🙂 Thank you.

  • Reply
    dr sneha
    September 27, 2007

    5 stars
    tried out your recepi…………it was absolutely delicious.thanks to u, I received a lot of compliments!!!!

  • Reply
    chinchu
    April 13, 2007

    i am an ever time fan of gobi manchurian. i was waiting for such a recipe.thanks for your kindness.

  • Reply
    Garnet
    April 1, 2007

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe. It came out great !! Thanks a bunch 🙂

  • Reply
    Gini
    March 28, 2007

    5 stars
    Meena, we have made this a few times now. We love the recipe. The cauliflower is crunchy and tastes great. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  • Reply
    Vidhya
    March 4, 2007

    5 stars
    Where do you get tomato chilli sauce?? Great blog Meena, kudos!

  • Reply
    Preeti
    January 17, 2007

    5 stars
    Your photos look yummy, i’ll soon be trying out the recipes and will let you know how they turn out.

  • Reply
    mom of twins
    January 9, 2007

    can you please tell which type of tomato chilli sauce you used. it looks yummy i will make it right now.

  • Reply
    Sona
    January 2, 2007

    5 stars
    Nice recipe … tried it out and it turned out quiet delicious !!!

    Sona

  • Reply
    jay
    December 28, 2006

    5 stars
    I have just tried this – It is delicious! thanks!

  • Reply
    mini
    November 21, 2006

    5 stars
    Hi,

    The Gobi Manchurian looks gr8..any tips to get crisp gobis after frying??? Mine always get soggy…even if I don’t add much water..please give any suggestions.

    • Reply
      Meena
      November 22, 2006

      Hi Mini, my only tip would be to lay them out on a flat baking sheet lined with paper towels, once out of the oil. this should give them enough room to breathe so that they won’t turn soggy. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Mythreyee
    November 19, 2006

    5 stars
    hmm…. yummy.great pic.

  • Reply
    Jayashree
    November 8, 2006

    5 stars
    Meena, I tried this out and it tasted delicious….just like something I’d expect to eat at a restaurant. Thx for the recipe.

  • Reply
    Supriya
    November 6, 2006

    which brand of tomato chilli sauce did you use?
    email me if possible

  • Reply
    Trupti
    September 27, 2006

    5 stars
    This looks so good….I was in Toronto a couple weeks ago and we went to this Indian hakka noodle place,and let me tell you, girl, the food was DIVIIIINE….The gobi manchurian, spicy eggplant, and Hakka style noodles were amazing…I can’t wait to come back and try some more…..

    Oh and while I was there, I also visited Brar’s….and I was impressed! Loved it.

    Cheers,Trupti

  • Reply
    Christine
    August 23, 2006

    5 stars
    Meena – I have tried a different recipe from your website every night this week, and had the Gobi Manchurian tonight. Fantastic! You are a rock star! I can’t thank you enough for this website. You are making me look very good to my family ;~)

  • Reply
    Roshin
    August 16, 2006

    5 stars
    This recipe is just mind bobbling… the funniest part was when my mom asked me if was chicken.hahaha..
    your site is too good I should say.. and the pictures add more colour and mouth-watering dishes.. I’m sure going to look out for more new dishes on this site…

  • Reply
    Nisha
    June 25, 2006

    5 stars
    I prepared this recipe and my whole family loved this. Very tasty. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Summi
    May 1, 2006

    5 stars
    This is so incredibly, Meena! I’ve been meaning to find a good Gobi Manchurian recipe, too! And your picture is mouthwatering!

  • Reply
    Tina
    March 14, 2006

    5 stars
    Hey Meena… that pic looks so real terrific, exactly like the ones you get in the hotels in India… This is a must try on my list…

  • Reply
    Kay
    March 13, 2006

    5 stars
    Meena, This looks so delicious!

  • Reply
    willow
    March 11, 2006

    5 stars
    I am adding you to my blogroll immediately!
    It’s a wonderful site, Ive spent the better half of my morning looking around. I already know what I will try from your recipes this week!

  • Reply
    Karthi Kannan
    March 11, 2006

    5 stars
    Look too delicious and yummy: definitely going to try this:)

  • Reply
    Chilefire
    March 10, 2006

    5 stars
    Always nice to find another spicy food blog! Love your recipes. I am adding your site to my blogroll. Keep the great recipes and wonderful pictures coming. 🙂

  • Reply
    Annita
    March 10, 2006

    5 stars
    Wow..looks great& crispy..is there any tip for the fried gobi pieces to retain its crispness. Whenever i prepare this, it was not as crisp as we get in restaurants.

  • Reply
    Barbara
    March 10, 2006

    5 stars
    Now, see–I want to go to India and try Indo-Chinese food!

    I’m still thinking on the fusion idea….we’ll see what happens!

  • Reply
    Sonali
    March 10, 2006

    5 stars
    Yummy. Looks exactly like the one in restaurants. Great pic.

  • Reply
    Saffron Hut
    March 9, 2006

    5 stars
    Oh Wow! That is a fantabulous picture!! I’m sure it tastes fabulous too!

  • Reply
    Gini
    March 9, 2006

    5 stars
    That looks as good as the restaurant Manchurian!

  • Reply
    Kalyn
    March 9, 2006

    5 stars
    Looks fantastic. Great photo.

  • Reply
    Yum
    March 9, 2006

    5 stars
    That photo is torture!
    This is surely one of my favs, but always been hesitant to try it at home.

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