As you guys know, my love for all forms of Asian cuisine knows no bounds. None. Okay well, I can veganize pretty much anything so I guess–technically–that is a boundary, but the point is that I just love the flavor profiles and I’m always happy to find something new.
Imagine my surprise when it was my partner’s turn to choose a meal and he chose Gobi Manchurian. I was skeptical at first, not because of the flavors, but because I cringe a little when it comes to anything that is deep fried. I’m not quite at my goal weight yet and I’ve been more relaxed about indulging in the things I love, but all that extra oil is where I draw the line.
Draw. The. Line.
But I’m a trooper. And an experimenter. So I decided to veganize it and healthy it up, and it was a challenge. Though, not as big a challenge as I anticipated, so let’s get to it, shall we?
This recipe had a few moving parts to it, but honestly it was pretty simple. Mostly.
Let’s start with the ingredients, which I cut & pasted below from Cronometer.com. If you aren’t tracking your calories or if you’re in search of an efficient way to so, I highly recommend it. And NO, unfortunately, I am not being paid or getting a free membership to say such kind things.
The first thing I did was steam the cauliflower and carrots for 3 minutes because I had no plans to deep fry it and I wanted to make sure we weren’t munching on uncooked veggies because this isn’t a salad. Salt it a little and set aside until you’re ready for it.
Next we have to make the sauce so that starts with sautéing the ginger, scallions and onion. It doesn’t appear in the ingredients list, but I’m pretty sure garlic was also involved in this vegan recipe. Add it or don’t, the choice is yours. Also, if you cook with oil regularly, add it while the pan heats up but don’t go crazy because you’ll need it again later. Add water or broth as needed if you aren’t using oil to help the veggies soften, this should take 10 to 15 minutes.
If you choose to make rice or some other short grain, now is the time to get it going on the stove or else you’ll have to wait for it while your crispy, yummy vegan gobi Manchurian gets cold.
Now we’re on to the batter. To start, add whole wheat flour (or whatever flour you need for your diet) along with seasonings. I used tandoori masala, spicy paprika, garam masala, turmeric, salt, black pepper, and harissa powder. Add 1/2 cup of water, slowly, stirring until you’ve got a thick vegan batter going.
Now, add the cornstarch–slowly–as needed to thicken the batter. You can use up to four tablespoons but I only ended up using 15 grams.
The Gobi Manchurian batter should be thick enough to coat the cauliflower and the carrot, but not so thick that it drips off the vegetables easily.
Heat the oil up and add enough of the vegetables to fill the pan but don’t overcrowd it. I shallow fried them all which only took about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, and then put them all on parchment paper to warm & crisp up in the oven.
When the vegetables are done, re-heat the sauce you made earlier and toss the veggies in the sauce until fully coated.
Oh, I also cooked up a few pieces of TVP and let them cook in the oven while I did all the prep work and tossed it with the veggies too so everything was good & saucy.
Garnish with thinly sliced scallions and get your grub on!!!
You could also make this in the air fryer but none of the air fryer Gobi Manchurian videos I saw on YouTube looked all that great to me, so I opted for the shallow fry. Serve on a bed of rice or noodles and enjoy!