The future of Gobi Manchurian

The future of Gobi Manchurian

It turns out no one had told Manchuria that its name had been appended to the Indian cauliflower, phool gobi. When news got out, all hell broke loose
“We have no choice,” said the Manchurian National Security Advisor. “This must be considered an act of war. By annexing Manchuria to a cauliflower, India has breached every protocol known to international politics.”
There was silence in the conference room. In distant France, the Conference of the Parties 2015 was discussing climate change. Two degrees more and the world would start getting browned like a nice croquette. But in Manchuria, the temperature outside had not changed; it remained –26°C. The heating system was yet to be installed, so it was shivering cold inside as well.
The only one unaffected seemed to be the shaggy horse on which the Manchurian Premier had arrived; it now stood in a corner of the room, attacking fodder while snorting and farting by turns. Other than the Premier, there were also his three military chiefs, his Press Advisor and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who had built up the case against India.
At the far end of the table, leering openly, sat the Indian delegate, Member of the Legislative Assembly Ram Lakhan. He drew himself up to his feet, emitted a stream of bright red paan into his portable receptacle, and spoke up now in his country’s defense.
“This is nothing but a small misunderstanding, Your Honor,” he said. “Everyone knows we do not have Chinese cuisine anywhere in India.”
“A comp...

C Y Gopinath


  1. 1 Cauliflower , medium sized
  2. 1 cup Wheat flour ,
  3. 3 tbsps Cornflour rice flour or ,
  4. 2 tbsps Soy sauce ,
  5. 2 tsps Black pepper powder,
  6. 2 cups Water ,
  7. 1 bunch Scallions ,
  8. 2 Ginger " , piece about
  9. 8 pods Garlic ,
  10. 2 Green chillies ,
  11. 1 bunch Coriander ,
  12. 1/4 tsp Garam masala (and why not?),
  13. to taste Salt ,
  14. METHOD


20 mins
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    1\. The idea is to eliminate all traces of Chinese-ness. The final dish should feel right at home in Bhatinda, Punjab, or Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu. Keeping this in mind, chop the ginger, garlic, green chillies, and scallions. f you really want to annoy the Manchurians, make a ginger-garlic like Tarla Dalal taught you.

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    Dissolve the corn starch or rice flour in a couple of tablespoons of water.

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    Clean the cauliflower and break it into large florets. Toss them into salted water for 15 minutes as they do in Bikaner; this gets all the little wormies out. You can also boil the little buggers out, but not too much, because a Gobhi Manchurian with soft mashed cauliflowers would be a tragedy.

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    Make the batter by mixing the wheat flour, 1 tsp of ginger-garlic, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 tsp black pepper powder, and about a cup of water. Plonk the cauliflower florets into this batter.

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    Heat the oil and deep fry the florets in small batches and keep aside. Apparently they should be slightly brown in parts, like bhujias.

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    In the remaining oil, add the scallions or spring onions and cook them till they start looking dazed and glassy eyed. Add the remaining ginger, garlic, and green chillies and stir fry for half a minute.

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    Add a tablespoon of sauce, black pepper and some salt, and bring to a boil with a cup of water. Gradually add the corn starch paste to this, making sure no lumps form.

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    When the sauce is nice and thick-ish, add the cauliflower florets, and simmer for a minute or so.

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    Making sure no one is watching, add a little garam masala at the end. Just before serving, before anyone can object, sprinkle it liberally with chopped coriander.

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    Serve hot with noodles or rice. If in the south, serve with Bisi Bele Huli Anna. If in Maharashtra, do offer it with Vaaran bhaath. And in the capital city, obviously, you should couple it with a good biriyani.

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