Have you been craving the popular Indo Chinese, Gobi Manchurian, but worrying about the calorie content? Are the calories in the deep fried, battered cauliflower making you feel guilty? (psst…..that was me:)
Then it is time to dust off the aape pan and enjoy Gobi Manchurian, sans the guilt ! Aape pans are stove top muffin or popover pans that are available in Asian markets. Coincidentally, I had bought my first cast iron aape pan in Chinatown but later got a nonstick one made by the Indian brand, Anjali. The veggie balls cooked perfectly in this aape pan with a crispy texture on the outside and with just a couple of drops of oil!
The Manchurian dishes are believed to have evolved in India and are a harmonious marriage between the Indian and Chinese cuisines. Gobi Manchurian is super popular among the young and old alike. It is served as ‘dry Gobi Manchurian’, which is an appetizer with the sauce just coating the veggie balls or with sauce/gravy and served with rice. I chose the latter and served it with brown rice.
The base for the Manchurian sauce is typically a combination of soy sauce, tomato sauce and hot sauce with aromatics such as ginger and garlic. I add toasted sesame oil and hoisin sauce in my recipe because I love the deep flavor it lends to the sauce.
So are you ready for some figure friendly, sweet and sour, tangy and spicy, Gobi Manchurian this weekend? My recipe below, using the food processor and microwave, makes it a quick and easy to have for lunch or dinner. I started with cooking the brown rice in the rice cooker and by the time the rice was cooked, the Gobi Manchurian was ready to be devoured!
So here is the easy recipe-
For the Gobi balls (makes 14)
- 2 cups cauliflower florets + 1 medium peeled carrot- pulsed in the food processor to a fine mince = 2 cups of minced veggies
- 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely grated garlic
- Sea salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- About ½ cup corn flour
- About 2 teaspoons oil
For the sauce/gravy-
- 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce ( or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 3~ 4 turns of the freshly grated black or white pepper
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon corn flour
- 1 ½ cups water
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon oil+ 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil. I use Kadoya brand
- 2 scallions chopped- white and green parts divided
- 1 teaspoon ginger, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic, finely minced
- 4 slices of serrano pepper (optional)
- ½ cup diced capsicum or green pepper. I used the red and orange peppers for their gorgeous colors.
- 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
How to make the Gobi Manchurian-
For the balls-
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine the minced cauliflower and carrots with the grated ginger and garlic and the sea salt. Microwave the mixture for 1 minute on high. Remove from microwave. Add the ½ teaspoon of soy sauce and mix.
- Add the corn flour, a little at a time, just until it comes together in small clumps. The corn flour thickens in a minute or two, making it easier to form the balls.
- Heat the aape pan on medium heat. Add 1~ 2 drops of oil per indentation and add the Gobi balls to it. Let them cook on low to medium heat until they are golden brown on the outside and cooked through about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn them to brown the other side, for another 2 minutes, adding a drop of oil, if needed. Repeat until all mixture is used up. Set the cooked Gobi balls aside.
- For the gravy/sauce- combine the soy sauce, hot sauce, 1 tablespoon ketchup, black or white pepper, brown sugar corn flour, water and salt. Mix well so there are no lumps.
- Heat both the oils over medium high heat. Add the white part of the scallions, minced ginger and garlic, serrano pepper and capsicum and stir fry for just a minute or so to release the aroma of the aromatics.
- Add the corn flour mixture and let the mixture come to a boil. Simmer over low heat. You will see the sauce darken in color and thicken as it simmers.
Stir in the hoisin sauce and 2 tablespoons of ketchup, and add the gobi balls.
- Let it simmer for an additional two minutes, or until the sauce is velvety and shiny and coats the back of a spoon.
- Sprinkle with the green parts of the chopped scallion.Serve with rice or noodles!
Hope you all enjoy this special figure friendly treat this weekend! I also make Chicken Manchurian with cooked ground chicken replacing the cauliflower and carrots!
I am taking my Gobi Manchurian to Fiesta Friday, hosted by the ever gracious and accomplished Angie and co-hosted this week by the gifted and talented duo, Loretta of Safari of the Mind and Jess of Cooking is my Sport. Do join the party and check out their awe inspiring blogs !