No-fry Cauliflower Manchurian Gravy

If you have ever stopped yourself from making a Manchurian b’cos it entailed deep-frying the manjoos (‘Gopi Manchuri’, or ‘manjoorian’, or just plain ‘manchuri’ is what you’d hear it being said as, coming from the local ‘Gopis’ and ‘Manjus’ owning and selling ‘China-in-a-cart’ kinda food on the pavements!! If you’d like a more intent description of how these guys sell, you should totally read this), this no-fuss, no-fry, quick-fix, yet delicious recipe should have you running into your kitchen to fix it to go along with your dinner tonight. Throw in some Fried rice like this one, or some simple veg hakka noodles, and you have one of the best ‘made-in-heaven’ marriages in a gourmet’s perfect world. Now, now, I know you’re conjuring in your pretty head, images of a foodies’ heaven, with a multitude of tables, laden and shrieking from the weight of all the good food you are capable of conjuring at such short notice as well, but but but…let’s come back to where you’re seated now shall we? Yes, right there, stay rooted! You will thank me later on, cos if you’re making this for dinner tonight, you cannot afford to get distracted from the recipe, could you? ;) Read on, while I conjure up images of you seated at your dinner table later tonight, polishing off every morsel of the manjoo!

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower – 1 no (medium-sized; cut into florets and soaked in hot salt water)
  • Ginger – 1″ long piece; finely chopped/minced
  • Garlic – 10-12 pods; finely chopped/minced
  • Spring Onion Shoots – 10-15 nos (chopped to 1/2″ pieces)
  • Soy-sauce – 1 tbsp
  • Tomato ketchup – 1 tbsp
  • Red pepper sauce (optional) – 1-2 tbsps (as per your taste)
  • Hot Water – 1 1/2 cups (omit if making a dry, crispy version)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 2-3 tbsps for shallow-frying the florets + 1-2 tbsps for the manchurian

For the coating:

  • Maida/All-purpose flour – 5-6 tbsps
  • Cornstarch powder – 3-4 tbsps
  • Soy-sauce – 2-3 tsps
  • Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp (alter to suit your taste)
  • Salt – to taste

Procedure:

  • Drain the water from the cauliflower florets, and transfer to a clean, dry bowl.
  • Add all the ingredients mentioned for the coating – maida, cornstarch powder, soy sauce, red chilli powder, salt to taste, and toss the bowl so all the cauliflower florets are well-coated. Set aside for about 10 minutes to allow the florets to absorb some of that wonderful flavour. Since the florets are damp, the coating ingredients will stick on well, and easily.
  • In a non-stick wok, heat the oil.
  • Shallow-fry the marinated cauliflower florets till they turn golden brown on the edges and tips.
  • Transfer to a clean plate covered with a tissue to absorb any excess oil.
  • In the wok, heat some more oil.
  • Add the finely chopped ginger and garlic. Saute for half a minute.
  • Throw in the cauliflower florets and spring onions, and fry for a minute.
  • Lower the flame and add the tomato ketchup, soya sauce, red pepper sauce, more salt to taste (if required).
  • Immediately pour in the hot water, and cook this gravy over a low flame for about 3-4 minutes. The cornstarch powder that you added to the florets initially helps thicken the gravy, so your gravy doesn’t really need any other agent to thicken up.
  • Bring the gravy to a boil on a low flame, about 3-5 minutes at the most.
  • Lastly, add the soya sauce and allow to boil another minute on a low flame, before you remove from flame.
  • Serve hot with noodles or rice. I served mine with vegetable hakka noodles, and like I said earlier, it was a marriage made in heaven! Will definitely be posting the veg hakka noodles soon, so watch this space.

The flavours and taste of this no-fry Manchurian are just the same as what it would be if you deep-fried your florets. So don’t you worry about the taste, even one bit. A dry street-food kind of ‘manjoooorian’ could also be made; whatever you fancy. If you wish to make a dry variant, just skip the hot water mentioned for the gravy, and you’re good! And If you wish to make the conventional manchurian, follow the procedure from here. Just replace the baby-corn with choice of vegetable. I’ll take a bet you’ll enjoy it either way you make it – dry or with gravy. Think of me when you’re gorging on your din-din tonight. And don’t forget to send a prayer for those Gopis and Manjus dishing up all that scrummy street-food either. Ask me why…they are thriving b’cos of foodies like you and me, and if we start making street-food right at home, what happens to them when you are giving them a run for their money? So like I said, PRAY. For them.

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29 responses to “No-fry Cauliflower Manchurian Gravy

  1. wonderful idea of making Manchurian with out frying cauliflower …looks awesome …must try this soon
    Satyahttp://www.superyummyrecipes.com

  2. I’m LOL at Manjooorian – even though I don’t know how you sound, I can imagine it well and it makes me laugh! While also praying for the street guys, I’ll add in one for you – just to thank the devas for having given you a foodie brain – so that I can drool at all this. Its all about me, you see!

    Btw – love your colorful chopsticks! And your white bowl and your manchu in it and pretty much everything else on this post.

  3. Manjoorian .. LOL !!! Iam not very fond of eating Manchurian outside .. I so hate the food color they use .. This looks so healthy without deep frying N all .. I wanna make this soon :)

  4. wow, love it and love the way how you have presented it with noodles :)

  5. What a feast Madhuri!! Both for the eyes and the palate, truly a combo made in heaven! And as you said, I can probably eat double of what I normally eat, lol!! Try stopping me from making this soon.. or running over to your place to eat this shamelessly :D

  6. Simply tempting and droolworthy gravy, makes me drool..

  7. Bookmarking this recipe!! you rock!!!

  8. Yummy!! Very tempting and mouthwatering recipe Madhuri. Keep up your good work by posting recipes that consume very less oil. Thank you dear :D

  9. Looks nice and colourful madhuri…many times i have wanted to try this . In fact this morning made mushroom and corn ginger fried rice for lunch, but ended up skipping the side…Love your reference to Manjoos….LOL…

    Shobha

  10. This ‘Manju’ will not only send the cart fellas packing…it will have me packing up and coming over to your place very soon!

    I second Anu up there with regard to the white bowl and the chopsticks and everything. Do, I sound like an echo? Oh well, so be it!

  11. I cannot thank you enough for the Gobi- no deep fry version. It just so happened that I had all the ingredients on hand and wanted to make some short eat stuff for the evening and you had your post up. I so very much love it when I have all the ingredients on hand of any recipe I see and it also happens to be the right moment to make it. So I had cauliflower and all the other stuff and I made the manchurian just the way you posted.I made the dry version though since I was eating that alone without any other main course.So I didn’t add water and I let the florets saute on high flame to give it a fried crispy feel.It turned out toooooo good I should say.I am totally in love with this recipe. I thought I had to let you know of it right now :) I haven’t even finished eating it yet and I am posting this here :) I took a few quick bites, managed to click a picture in between and write this :) So you know how excited I should be! Thanks a bunch…love it and love you! :D

  12. This is really a feast to my eyes….and the best part is you have not deep fried them…Love you bright color chopsticks. Even I have too but not so colorful.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

  13. Great idea…..must try this over the weekend

  14. Psst.. I heart the black round-edge square plate!

  15. Hi Madhuri..
    U have a gr8 blog..
    Lovely cakes…
    Can u pls let me know which oven/OTG you use for baking??
    I am planning to go in for one..

    • Hey Archna,
      Thanks so much for your kind words!
      I use a LG convection oven for all my cakes and bakes. I recently contributed a review of my oven on my friend’s blog. Here’s the link if you would like to take a look – http://mmkt.cookingandme.com/2010/09/lg-convection-microwave-review.html
      Do let me know if you need anymore convincing to go in for a convection oven once you’ve read my review, and I’ll gladly do it for you ;)
      P.S: Where are you located at?

      • Hey Madhuri..
        Thanks for the reply..
        I am from chennai..And new to baking..I already have a microwave..So i feel i should go in for an OTG..Can u suggest a good OTG model??BTW, what do u feel about Morphy Richards 28 R SS??
        And i have sent a chat invite to ur e-mail..Pls accept it so that it will be easier for me to clarify my doubts..
        Thanks once again :-)

        • Archna,
          You’re most welcome girl, pleasure to help you out. Coming to your OTG query, I’ve never owned one, so I cannot really vouch for any brand/model right away. However, what I could do for you is – I could speak to a couple of my friends who bake in OTGs and give you a heads-up on a few trusted models. I’ll also check about the Morphy Richards model you have mentioned and get back to you. Give me a couple days’ time?

          Btw, Im not online on the cookcurrynook id. Will add you on the other one Im usually online from.

  16. Madhuri, just for the knowledge of your readers who are non-vegetarian I would like to add that you can use this same recipe for chicken as well. I’ve prepared a similar version with about 1 inch bite size chicken pieces. So, all you avid readers of CCN who eat non-vegetarian food, give it a go. Believe me – It is YUM!

  17. We have had the pleasure of reviewing “Cook-curry Nook” and I’m pleased to inform you that your blog has been included to Indian Cooking Blogs at http://indiancookingblogs.blogspot.com

    Thank you for sharing your blog with us and the many readers of our blog directory. Keep up the great work and we look forward to your future post.

    Team at Indian Cooking Blogs

  18. Hey , what is the red pepper sauce you have listed in ingredients?

    Aparna

  19. Just made this as a part of our almost-regular weekend Chinese dinner at home. Turned out awesome! Thanks!!

  20. Hi Madhuri,
    This was just awesome, with no deep fry .I appreciate all your hardwork.
    Simplicity and perfectness of recipe makes me feel good and your work is so good that i am convinced all these will have best results.I try your recipes with full confidence and thank you very much for the wonderful recipes you keep posting. I was just wondering if there is any way to preserve the crispiness of the cauliflower for a longer time.

  21. Nice recipe. Have bookmarked it

  22. Followed this recipe to the “T”. However, the gravy ended up tasting like “flour”. :(
    I would however, make a suggestion: Steam the cauliflower florets in the microwave (and, let them cool completely) b4 coating them in the Cornflour/maida mix. That way one doesn’t have to worry abt cooking the cauliflower and boiling the gravy too much!! Usually i steam the cauliflower for a couple of minutes in the microwave, (and, then shallow fry in some cases) for any recipe that asks for cauliflower. It helps cook the cauliflower faster in the gravy(one can almost add it at the end), and doesn’t break it either!!
    Hope the suggestion helps, for anyone willing to try this recipe..

    • Jayati,
      Thanks for making the suggestion to the other readers on here. Appreciate it. However, soaking the florets in piping hot water does work too. Else, I wouldn’t put it up here. I always test my recipes before I share them here.

      Also, you’re saying the gravy ended up tasting like flour. In that case, I guess you either added too much of it, or you din’t boil the gravy long enough. I have made this umpteen number of times, and it has always turned out good. Not sure what went wrong with yours.

  23. Albertha Germundson

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  24. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent, as well as the content!

  25. Just followed xactly as suggested, just boiled some nice firm TOFU and just added with the Cauliflower for marinating and shallow fry, This was the best home made Manchurian
    Thanks a lot

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