Monday, February 18, 2008

Gobi Manchurian aka Indian-Chinese food!

a wonderful combination of flavors

By Cookbad.

I've had Chinese-Cuban food before. It took me a while to figure out where these 2 cuisines would possibly meet and I'm not sure I can claim I figured this out on my own, but the answer is/was communism. Delicious Communism.

Then, in this months Saveur magazine I was hit with another Chinese hybrid revolation. Chinese-Indian. Makes more sense geographically and turns out, not surprisingly to be delicious.

Very simple to make (if frying is something you like to do) and quite possibly one of the most delicious vegan things I've ever put in my mouth is Gobi Manchurian. A lovely batter fried cauliflower in a spicy sweet sauce that hits every level. Saveur suggested that it be served with white rice, but I went with black for dramatic effect.

It is kind of like an Indian influenced NYC version of General Tso's Chicken ( a personal favorite hangover cure).

Here is the recipe:
Gobi Manchurian
12 cloves garlic
4 2" pieces peeled fresh ginger
(3 cut into thin coins, 1 julienned)
1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
2⁄3 cup cornstarch
2⁄3 cup flour
1 tsp. red chile powder
Freshly ground white pepper
2 tsp. plus 3 tbsp. soy sauce
Peanut oil for frying
2 small onions, chopped
8–10 Thai chiles, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup ketchup
1 1⁄2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Cilantro leaves

1. Purée garlic, ginger coins, and 1⁄3 cup water in blender; set aside. Boil cauliflower in a pot of salted water until tender, 6–7 minutes; drain.

2. Whisk together cornstarch, flour, chile powder, 1⁄2 tsp. salt, and 1⁄4 tsp. pepper in a bowl. Stir in half the garlic paste, 2 tsp. soy sauce, and 3⁄4 cup water to make a batter. Pour oil into a large deep skillet to a depth of 1"; heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dip cauliflower in batter; fry until golden, 5–6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. Drain all but about 6 tbsp. of the oil. Add onions; cook for 3–4 minutes. Add chiles and remaining garlic paste; cook until paste is lightly browned, 3–4 minutes. Add ketchup, remaining soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1⁄3 cup water. Boil; lower heat to medium-low; simmer until thick, 1–2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste; toss cauliflower in sauce. Garnish with remaining ginger, scallions, and cilantro. Serve with white rice, if you like.
Cauliflower after being fried, but before the sauce

My only suggestion would be to cook the cauliflower for only 4 minutes and blot it dry afterwards. This will keep it crispier after it is fried.

Not bad left over either.

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