Muncie’s Best Dish Contest–Gobhi Manchurian


This past week I found out that I won the grand prize and best in the entrée category for a local recipe contest. $550 is the prize—a little much for just a recipe, I think. I am going to donate it to 2 local food pantries who are hurting this time of year. I really couldn’t believe it and totally forgot I submitted it to the Star Press. Regardless, I was honored to have won. I submitted this recipe because it could be prepared with ingredients found at the local supermarket and fairly easy for those not familiar with Indian cooking. It is also Indo-Chinese and not many Americans are aware that there is that type of cuisine in India So today John Carlson from the Star Press came over to interview me about the dish and take pictures for this Sunday’s feature. I have always been a big fan of his pieces in the paper so felt like I was meeting a celebrity. I made the winning dish with vegetable fried rice, Chili Chicken, hot chai, and Gulab Jamun. I think he enjoyed it. Was little spicy for the photographer. Then my friend “G” came over thinking it was my planned ladies lunch (which is next week!) I was happy I had food to feed her, looked presentable and had a clean house. Perfect timing for a mistake and she liked the dish too!

Gobhi (Cauliflower) Manchurian

Cauliflower – 1 medium sized cut into medium sized florets
Green onion chopped- a small bunch (Separate whites and greens)
Chopped Garlic and chopped ginger – 5 tsp
Green chilies (jalopenos or serranos)– chopped, 2 tsp (Use according to your spice level)
1 medium sized Onion- sliced
1/2 Bell Pepper- sliced
Soy Sauce – 2 tbsp
Ketchup – 4 tbsp
Vinegar – 1 tsp
Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves – for garnishing
Oil – as needed
Salt – add only if needed
For the batter :
All purpose flour– 1/2 cup
Corn Starch – 1/4 cup
Rice flour – 2 tbsp
Egg – 1
Ginger and Garlic in equal parts made into a paste – 2 tsp
Red Chilly powder – 1/2 to 1 tsp ( to taste)
Salt – to taste (consider the saltiness of soy sauce while adding it)
Prepare a batter with the given ingredients adding necessary water. The batter should be made a little thick, otherwise it won’t coat the cauliflower well. Heat oil in a big wok. Dip each floret in the batter and gently put it into the oil. Do not overcrowd the wok while frying .Fry it until it turns golden brown in color. Drain onto a paper towel and keep them aside and allow it to cool.
Now heat 2-3 tsp oil in another pan and add chopped green onion(only the whites),green chillies, chopped garlic and ginger. ( You can also add a tsp of cumin powder) Sauté them for a few minutes until soft. Add sliced onions and bell pepper. Sauté until soft. Now add soy sauce ,vinegar and ketchup. Then add cumin powder. Mix them well and check for the salt. Add the cooled cauliflower florets. Turn the heat to high and mix them together until all the florets are well coated with the sauce. Add the green parts of green onions, coriander leaves and toss it well for few minutes. Serve immediately. Can be served with white rice or fried rice.