The classic Indo-Chinese dish gobi manchurian is a super delicious and irresistible dish that is most loved by Indian food lovers. The healthy twist to the fried version is this baked gobi manchurian perfect as an appetiser or as a side dish with the main meal.
Cauliflower manchurian is prepared with typically deep-fried florets. However, this is a healthy take on the traditional manchurian recipe as the battered florets are baked rather than deep frying. The sweet, tangy and spicy flavours make this baked gobi manchurian utterly delicious and so addictive that you cannot stop at just one or two bites! Do not get intimidated by looking at the long list of ingredients as they are all pantry staples. Trust me, once you master the art of cooking this appetiser, you can cook various versions by just swapping the main ingredient with paneer, tofu and potato. With a few changes, you can also make my honey garlic cauliflower and orange cauliflower with the baked cauliflower florets.
Gobi manchurian is a versatile dish that could be prepared dry and served as an appetiser or as a snack and the gravy version goes well with fried rice and hakka noodles. Here I have my family’s favourite semi-dry version.
Manchurian is a sort of mandatory dish in most of the street-side stalls, cafes, takeouts and restaurants in India. It is also the most preferred dish on special occasions, parties or any gatherings. Preparing this appetising cauliflower recipe at home is not only healthy but saves you money as well. Baked gobi manchurian is as appealing and delicious as its deep-fried counterpart.
For baked cauliflower
- Cauliflower: fresh cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets.
- Spices: paprika, crushed black pepper and salt.
- Liquids: water to make a batter and oil to drizzle to crisp up the battered cauliflower.
- Flours: plain flour (all-purpose flour) and cornflour to make a batter.
- Vegetables: red onion, white onion, capsicum (bell peppers), ginger, garlic and spring onion.
- Oil: I use vegetable oil or sunflower oil. Feel free to use any neutral flavoured oil.
- Water: just a little to make corn slurry. You may need a little more or less based on your required consistency.
- Condiments: chilli sauce, tomato ketchup, vinegar and soy sauce.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets discarding the core and leaves.
Wash them in tap water and then blanch them in a bowl of boiling water for 15 minutes. Close the bowl with a lid or a plate.
After 15 minutes, take the lid/plate off the bowl, drain the water and let the cauliflower sit in the colander for 5 minutes to remove any remaining water.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F).
In a bowl, combine the cornflour, plain flour (all purpose flour), salt and paprika.
Pour in a little water and whisk. Add more water gradually when necessary and whisk until you get a smooth lump-free batter.
Dip the cauliflower florets in the batter and place them on a lined baking tray ensuring they don't touch each other.
Put the baking tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Take the tray out of the oven, drizzle a little oil, flip the florets, put the tray back in the oven and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until the florets are crisp and well cooked.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium-low heat.
Once the oil is hot, sauté the garlic and ginger for a minute.
Once the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes or until they are soft and translucent. Then sauté the garlic and ginger for a minute.
Now add the bell peppers and red onion cubes and cook for a minute.
Add the chilli sauce, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar and stir well.
In a small bowl combine the cornflour and water to make a slurry.
Stir in the slurry and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the manchurian sauce thickens.
Now slightly increase the heat and toss baked cauliflower florets until they are well coated with sauce.
Finally, add the spring onion and toss.
The utterly delicious baked gobi manchurian is ready to enjoy.
For the gluten-free version, use rice flour instead of plain flour.
Add a couple of chopped green chilli peppers for an extra kick.
Do not add the cornflour slurry for the dry gobi manchurian. For more gravy, add a little more water along with cornflour slurry while making the sauce. Toss the cauliflower florets when the manchurian sauce starts to thicken and has a free-flowing gravy consistency. Taste and adjust spices.
Tips and Tricks
Batter: Ensure the batter is neither too thick nor too watery, it should be of medium consistency so that it coats the cauliflower florets well. Adjust the consistency of the batter by adding more flour if it’s too thin and more water if it’s too thick.
Water: The water required to make a batter might vary depending on the quality and quantity of the flours so adjust accordingly.
Salt: I haven't added salt to manchurian sauce as the soy sauce and tomato ketchup has added salt and so has the baked cauliflower. However, be mindful if you consider adding salt to the sauce.
Baking Time: Keep an eye on the florets while baking as the baking time may vary with different ovens.
Even Baking: Cut cauliflower into equal bite-size florets and flip them halfway through to ensure even baking.
Lining Baking Tray: Line the baking tray with parchment paper (greaseproof paper) to save time cleaning up the tray as the battered cauliflower could stick to the tray.
Blanching: It is an optional step to remove any dirt or worms from cauliflower.
Too much capsicum alters the taste of the manchurian. Use a few cubes. Leftover capsicum could be used to make curries such as my capsicum masala, kadai paneer, paneer jalfrezi, or in simple dinner recipes such as chilli parotta, kothu parotta.
Gobi Manchurian tastes best when enjoyed immediately after cooking. However, leftovers could be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for a day or two. Ensure to reheat it in the microwave or oven until the florets are piping hot. However, the cauliflower bites may not be crispy.
I wouldn’t suggest storing cauliflower manchurian in the freezer. However, baked cauliflower could be stored in the freezer to use the next time. Thaw well and reheat in the oven until hot and then toss in the manchurian sauce.
Ensure battered florets don't touch each other. A little oil drizzled over florets halfway through baking helps to crisp up the battered florets.
If you feel the florets have too much batter coating with them, then leave the battered cauliflower in a colander for 5 minutes and let the excess batter drip off the florets.
Spread the leftover battered cauliflower on a baking tray and bake in preheated oven until piping hot.
If you try flipping the cauliflower and the batter comes off, then you need to bake that side a little longer.
Add a little more water gradually while whisking until you get desired consistency.
Too much water at a time makes the batter thin and runny. Do not add all water at once while making a batter. Add it gradually working your way until all the flour is combined and reaches smooth lump-free consistency. Add more flour to adjust the consistency.
Although multiplying ingredients works for the "baked cauliflower" part, it may not work for manchurian sauce. You may have to increase the quantity just a little bit but not double or triple. Keep in mind to adjust soy sauce, ketchup and chilli sauce accordingly to suit your taste.
Either store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days if you are planning to make a batch of cauliflower manchurian again or use it up to make aloo 65, paneer majestic, honey garlic cauliflower or orange cauliflower.
Fill it in tortilla or chapati and make a wrap. Or add it to my vegetable wraps along with other vegetables.
More delicious appetisers
Baked Gobi Manchurian
1 cup = 250ml ; 1 Tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 Teaspoon = 5ml
For Baked Cauliflower Florets
- 1 head (or) 414 gms (or) 3 cups Cauliflower cut into bite size florets
- 90 gms (or) ½ cup Plain Flour (All Purpose Flour)
- 30 gms (or) 3 Tablespoons Corn Flour (Corn Starch)
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- Salt as required
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper adjust to taste
- Water as required
- 2 Teaspoons Sunflower Oil/Vegetable Oil
- 2 Teaspoons Sunflower Oil/Vegetable Oil
- 40 gms (or) ⅓ cup (or) 1 medium White Onion peeled and chopped finely
- 1 Teaspoon (or) ½ inch Ginger chopped finely
- ½ Tablespoon (or) 2 cloves Garlic chopped finely
- 30 gms (or) 1 small (or) ½ cup Red Onion cut into big cubes
- 77 gms (or) ½ cup Capsicum (Bell Peppers) cut into big cubes
- 1 Teaspoon Chilli Sauce
- 1.5 Teaspoon Tomato Ketchup
- ½ Teaspoon Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 1.5 Teaspoon Corn Flour (Corn Starch)
- ¼ cup Water
- Spring Onion handful
To Bake Cauliflower Florets
- Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized florets discarding the core and leaves.1 head (or) 414 gms (or) 3 cups Cauliflower
- Wash them in tap water and then blanch them in a bowl of boiling water for 15 minutes. Close the bowl with a lid or a plate.
- After 15 minutes, take the lid/plate off the bowl, drain the water and let the cauliflower sit in the colander for 5 minutes to remove any remaining water.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F).
- In a bowl, combine the cornflour, plain flour (all purpose flour), crushed pepper, salt and paprika.90 gms (or) ½ cup Plain Flour (All Purpose Flour), 30 gms (or) 3 Tablespoons Corn Flour (Corn Starch), 1 Teaspoon Paprika, Salt, ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Pour in a little water and whisk. Add more water gradually when necessary and whisk until you get a smooth lump-free batter.Water
- Dip the cauliflower florets in the batter and place them on a lined baking tray.
- Put the baking tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Take the tray out of the oven, drizzle with oil, flip the florets, put the tray back in the oven and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until the florets are crisp and well cooked.2 Teaspoons Sunflower Oil/Vegetable Oil
To make Manchurian
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium-low heat.2 Teaspoons Sunflower Oil/Vegetable Oil
- Once the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes or until they are soft and translucent. Then sauté the garlic and ginger for a minute.40 gms (or) ⅓ cup (or) 1 medium White Onion, 1 Teaspoon (or) ½ inch Ginger, ½ Tablespoon (or) 2 cloves Garlic
- Now add the bell peppers and red onion cubes and cook for a minute.30 gms (or) 1 small (or) ½ cup Red Onion, 77 gms (or) ½ cup Capsicum (Bell Peppers)
- Add the chilli sauce, tomato ketchup, soy sauce, vinegar and stir well.1 Teaspoon Chilli Sauce, 1.5 Teaspoon Tomato Ketchup, ½ Teaspoon Vinegar, 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
- In a small bowl combine the cornflour and water to make a slurry.1.5 Teaspoon Corn Flour (Corn Starch), ¼ cup Water
- Stir in the slurry and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Now slightly increase the heat and toss baked cauliflower florets until they are well coated with sauce.
- Finally, add the spring onion and toss. The utterly delicious baked gobi manchurian is ready to enjoy.Spring Onion
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