This easy-to-make Gobi Manchurian recipe is a delicious version of the classic Indo-Chinese dish with much fewer ingredients! Tender chunks of cauliflower are first breaded and deep-fried before being coated in a flavorful, aromatic, finger-licking sauce. In just 30 minutes, you will have the perfect appetizer or main dish.
One of the things we love about cauliflower is that it is incredibly versatile, especially when making vegan versions of chicken dishes. Be sure to try some of our other flavorful cauliflower recipes, such as buffalo cauliflower, orange cauliflower, and vegan tikka masala.
What to expect?
This recipe is simple to make and takes just 15 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes of cook time. We first precook the cauliflower until tender, dip it in a wet and seasoned dry batter, and deep-fry it over the stove until golden brown. We then take the crispy cauliflower florets and stir them in a velvety and aromatic gravy, resulting in a sweet, spicy, and crispy Gobi Manchurian!
Other versions of this recipe typically require many ingredients to recreate the classic Indo-Chinese version of the dish. However, we have made it much simpler to make at home without sacrificing any of its bold flavors!
Why this is the best gobi Manchurian recipe:
- It is full of flavor and aroma.
- It is easy to make at home and ready in just 30 minutes.
- It uses fewer ingredients than other versions of the recipe.
- It is fried versus baked, giving you the crispiest texture.
- The coating is 100% gluten-free and suitable for all dietary needs.
This recipe usually uses numerous ingredients to mimic the classic Gobi Manchurian dish. However, we have simplified the recipe to make it more accessible to everyone! We have even included a few alternatives and substitutes to make the recipe work best for your diet.
- Sunflower oil – For deep-frying. You can also use vegetable oil.
- Chickpea flour
- All-purpose flour – We also tested this recipe with white rice flour for a gluten-free option.
- Ginger powder
- Garlic powder
- Salt and black pepper
- Hot red chili powder – Chili flakes are another option.
- Dairy-free milk
- Corn starch
- All-purpose flour – We also tested this recipe with white rice flour for a gluten-free option.
- Vegetable oil
- Minced garlic
- Minced ginger
- Tamari – It is a gluten-free soy sauce.
- Sriracha – Any other red chili sauce or chili paste works as well.
- Cane sugar
- Corn starch
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Cut the head of cauliflower into smaller florets. Blanche them in boiling hot water for 5 minutes, then drain. Be careful not to overcook it.
- Mix the rice or all-purpose flour with the cornstarch in a shallow bowl to make a dry batter.
- Mix chickpea flour, rice or all-purpose flour, ginger powder, chili powder, and salt in a second shallow bowl to make the wet batter.
- Stir in the dairy-free milk and mix. It should have the consistency of pancake batter: slow-flowing, but not too dense. The flour will thicken the batter a bit over time, so add one teaspoon of water to thin it out again.
Breading the cauliflower
- Make sure your wet and dry batter are close by in two separate, shallow bowls.
- First, dip the cauliflower florets in the wet batter, coating them evenly. We find using your fingers to coat the florets easier than using a fork or spatula.
- Next, gently transfer the coated florets to the dry mix. Sprinkle the top of the florets with the mixture and pat it gently.
- Once covered, place the florets on a plate or directly into the fryer. The coating will hold at room temperature for approximately an hour if you need to wait to start frying.
- Pour sunflower oil into a skillet or pot and heat it over medium-high heat. Drop in a small amount of coating to test whether the oil is hot enough for frying. If it sizzles, it is ready.
- Gently drop the breaded cauliflower florets in the oil. Do not splash it in the oil, as it is very hot. Do not add too many florets to the pan, as it will cause the oil to cool down and increase the cooking time.
- Fry the florets for 3-4 minutes until the coating becomes crispy. Then, transfer them to a paper towel to soak up the excess oil or grill rack to let the oil drip.
Making the Manchurian sauce
- Heat some vegetable oil in a wok or a large pan. Add the minced ginger, garlic, and chopped scallion. Stir well, then cook for one minute.
- Add the ketchup, sriracha, sugar, and soy sauce or tamari. Stir well and bring it to a boil.
- Mix the cornstarch with water in a small bowl to create a smooth slurry. Add it to the wok or pan and continuously stir until the sauce thickens.
- Toss the fried cauliflower florets in the sauce and spread the sauce evenly. Sprinkle it with some chopped scallions for a garnish.
- Do not double-coat the cauliflower – Because the cauliflower florets are small, there is no need to double-bread them.
- Coat the cauliflower florets while the sauce is hot – The sauce will stick to the breading much more evenly when the Manchurian sauce is still hot versus when it is cold. If the sauce cools, you can reheat it over medium heat. Avoid heating over high heat as it can affect the cornstarch and cause the sauce to thin out.
- Do not overcrowd the pan – Adding too much cauliflower to the oil at once will lower the temperature of the oil and increase the cooking time. As you wait for the oil to return to the right temperature, the cauliflower, and breading will continue to soak up the oil. You will know if you’ve overcrowded the pan if the intensity of the sizzling slows or stops altogether.
This Gobi Manchurian recipe is delicious as-is, but there is more than one way to make it! Try one of these variations the next time you make it:
- Oyster mushrooms – We love using oyster mushrooms to mimic chicken’s chewy texture. They could be great alternative if you don’t like cauliflower or have one at home. All it takes is five minutes to hand-shred the mushrooms, and voilà, you have a new dish! Check out our vegan orange chicken to see what battered mushrooms look like.
- Tofu – A delicious protein-packed alternative to cauliflower is tofu. We recommend firm or extra-firm tofu since it is easier to make crispy. First, press the tofu then choose any of the 10 ways to prepare tofu. Follow our orange tofu recipe for more details.
Gobi Manchurian is typically a starter or appetizer. However, you can spruce it up and turn it into a main dish with one of the following serving ideas:
- With rice or quinoa: Once it finishes cooking, serve immediately over steamed or cooked white or brown rice. Or, try it with our riced sweet potato! Other alternatives include fried rice, quinoa, or Hakka noodles.
- With salad: This dish pairs wonderfully with a fresh side salad.
- With vegetables: Serve it alongside common stir-fry vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, or snap peas.
- With other toppings: Instead of chopped scallions, sprinkle the cauliflower Manchurian with spring onions, parsley, cilantro, sesame seeds, or finely chopped capsicum.
- Add some extra zest: Drizzle lime wedges or juice on top for an extra kick of flavor.
- Different spices: Switch out the sriracha or red chili sauce for green chili.
- Wok, skillet, or frying pan – A wok will give you much more pan space. However, you can also use any cast-iron skillet or non-stick frying pan to make the sauce.
- Deep-frying pan – We recommend a deep-frying pan with a strainer basket, as it will be deep enough to avoid a lot of splatters, and the basket allows you to cook a larger batch. You can also use a deep stockpot or an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven.
- Whisk – A whisk will ensure that the batter is lump-free.
Whenever making fried or breaded recipes, it is best to serve it immediately to preserve its heat and crunchy texture. However, if you have leftovers, we recommend storing them as follows:
In the refrigerator: Place the Manchurian cauliflower in an airtight container and store it for up to three days. For the crunchiest leftovers, use them within 24 hours. After the first 24 hours, they will become dry and soggy.
In the freezer: We do not recommend freezing this dish, as it does not freeze well.
Reheating: If not coated in sauce, reheat, and re-crisp leftover breaded cauliflower in an air fryer. You can also re-fry the cauliflower in hot oil for a few seconds. If already coated, it is best to reheat them in a toaster oven or a regular oven to preserve the crispy texture. We do not recommend reheating in a microwave.
While baked Gobi Manchurian is possible, we tested it out and found that the coating is less crispy than when you fry them. To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the florets, so they do not touch. Bake for 20-30 minutes until crispy, flipping midway.
To save time, you can make the Gobi Manchurian sauce in advance. Once cooled, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks or in the freezer for up to three months. Reheat on the stove over low heat, stirring frequently. However, we recommend deep-frying the cauliflower on the same day, so they don’t lose any crispiness.
THANK YOU so much for visiting our website. Please comment below if you have tried this recipe. We LOVE hearing from you! If you loved the recipe, please don’t forget to give us a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ RATING. We appreciate all of our readers.
- 1 lb Cauliflower
- 1 Scallion
- Cut cauliflower head into smaller florets. Blanche them in boiling water for 5 minutes. Then drain. Do not overcook it.
- Mix rice flour with cornstarch in a shallow bowl.
- Mix in a shallow bowl chickpea flour, all-purpose flour, ginger powder, garlic powder, chili powder and salt. Pour in the dairy-free milk and start mixing. It should have a texture of a pancake batter, slow-flowing but not too dense. In time the flour will thicken the batter a bit, so add 1 tsp of water to thin it again.
Breading the cauliflower floret
- Have both wet batter and dry mix in two separate shallow bowls.
- Dip the cauliflower florets first in the wet batter. Coat it evenly. I found it is easier to use your fingers to do that instead of using a fork or spatula.
- Transfer the coated cauliflower florets gently to the dry mix. Sprinkle the top and pat it gently.
- You can place it on a plate or fry it when it is coated. The coating will hold at room temperature for an hour or so without a problem if you need to wait before frying.
- Pour sunflower oil into a skillet or pot. Heat it on medium/high heat. You can test whether it is hot enough by dropping a bit of coating in it. If it sizzles, you are good to go.
- Gently drop the breaded cauliflower florets in the oil. The oil is hot so pay attention to drop it gently without a splash. Don’t overcrowd the pan as the oil will cool down, and the cauliflower florets will need a longer time and thus will soak up more oil.
- Fry cauliflower florets for 3-4 minutes until the coating gets crispy. When they are ready, transfer them to a paper towel, so the excess oil is absorbed.
Cooking the Manchurian sauce
- In a wok or large pan, heat some vegetable oil. Add minced ginger, garlic and chopped scallion. Stir it well and cook for 1 minute.
- Add ketchup, sriracha, sugar and soy sauce. Stir well and bring it to a boil.
- In a small bowl mix cornstarch with water and create a smooth slurry. Add it into the wok or pan. Stir continuously until sauce thickens.
- Add in fried cauliflower florets and spread the sauce evenly. Sprinkle it with some chopped scallions.