Cauliflower and Soya-chunk Manchurian

A significant portion of any Indian restaurant’s menu is dedicated to “Indo-Chinese” cuisine. In fact, there are many restaurants that only serve “Indo-Chinese”. Its a lovely meld of Indian and Chinese flavors and honestly, this particular cuisine includes a lot of my favorite dishes. Growing up, I lived in a very small city in Kentucky. If we wanted Indian food, we had to make it on our own at home. We didn’t have Indian restaurants in my home-town. But that was okay because my mom made everything and it was usually better than what’s served in restaurants. One of my favorite dishes that my mom makes is called “gobi manchurian”. This dish is basically a fried cauliflower dish that is very popular in India but it is made by melding both Chinese and Indian flavors. The dish is made by grinding up cauliflower and combining it with corn batter and deep frying them and then serving them with a delicious chili garlic sauce.

As you can see, this doesn’t sound particularly healthy. We decided to make a healthy version of the classic manchurian dish and I think it turned out pretty fabulous! It required way less prep work and it tasted just as delicious! We hope you try it and let us know what you think! We used soya-chunks, which is often used in Indian cuisine. You may find it in larger grocery stores and it may be called “textured vegetable protein”. But overall it’s fairly accessible, but if you can’t find it in your grocery store, you can always buy it on Amazon

Ingredients:

  • Soya Chunks (2 cups)
  • Cauliflower (1 small sized cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets)
  • Garlic (12-14 cloves, finely minced)
  • Green Onions (2-3, finely chopped)
  • Onion (1, finely chopped)
  • Soy sauce (1/4 cup)
  • Ketchup (1 tablespoon)
  • Chili Garlic Sauce (1 tablespoon)
  • Brown Sugar (1 teaspoon)
  • Rice vinegar (1 teaspoon)
  • Lime (1)
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame seeds (1 teaspoon)

Recipe (4 servings):

  1. Soak the soya chunks in water for about 30 minutes. After they have nicely soaked up the water, drain and squeeze excess water out. 
  2. Microwave the cauliflower for about 4-5 minutes on high until they are al dente. 
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on high heat on a large nonstick pan.  Once the oil is hot, toss the prepped soya-chunks in and cook for 7-8 minutes until they are lightly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Make sure you stir frequently so they are evenly cooked. Set the chunks aside in a separate bowl.
  4. Prepare the manchurian sauce by combining the soy sauce, ketchup, chili garlic sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and the juice of 1 lime. Adjust the sauce to taste. You may need more sugar or more lime based on your liking.
  5. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan you just used, but this time on medium heat. Once the oil is  hot, add the onion and the garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes until the onions are softened. Next, add the soya-chunks and the cauliflower and toss for another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat to low and add the sauce. Stir until combines. At this point, you can turn the heat off and add the green onions.
  7. Serve in large bowl and garnish with any remaining green onions and sesame seeds. Enjoy! 

 

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