Dry Gobi Manchurian (Air Fryer, Oven, Fry Options)

5 from 3 votes

Mouth watering gobi manchurian made at home with an air fryer, baked, or fried!  This popular Indo Chinese can be enjoyed at home in healthier ways!

Gobi manchurian in a white bowl with green scallions.

Dry gobi manchurian is a popular Indo-Chinese dish made with cauliflower florets that are air fried, baked, or deep-fried and then tossed in a spicy, tangy manchurian sauce. 

It is finger licking good and there definitely a reason it is a popular dish at Indian restaurants.

The cauliflower florets are tossed in a batter of flour and spices. Then the​ battered cauliflower is made crispy using the method of your choice. Prepare the sauce as you would for the dry version of gobi manchurian and toss the crispy cauliflower florets in the sauce.

Traditionally its made deep fried, but I love to make it in healthier ways such as air frying and baking.

Serve it with other Indo Chinese dishes such as Hakka Noodles, Chilli Paneer Noodles, Hakka Noodle Soup, or Schezwan Fried Rice

White bowl of dry gobi manchurian with green onions.

This version is popular as an appetizer, snack, or side dish. 

Gobi Manchurian is a popular Indo-Chinese dish that was not originally part of traditional Indian or Chinese cuisine. Its origin is attributed to the Chinese community living in Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) in the eastern part of India. 

The name “Manchurian” is derived from the region of Manchuria in China, although the dish itself is not a traditional Chinese recipe.

There is also a gravy version of this dish.

Why you will love this recipe

Party perfect | It is a popular dish that everyone loves, great for game day too!

Easy to prepare | Ready in under 30 minutes without a great deal of active time.

Vegetarian and vegan | Suitable for all diet types

Ingredient Notes

Below are ingredient notes for dry cauliflower manchurian. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post. 

Cauliflower florets in a strainer.

All-Purpose Flour (Maida): All-purpose flour is a finely milled flour made from wheat grains. In Gobi Manchurian, it is used to create a batter that coats the cauliflower florets before frying. The flour helps to achieve a crispy and golden texture when deep-frying the cauliflower.

Cornstarch: Cornstarch, also known as corn flour, is a fine white powder derived from corn. It serves two purposes in this recipe:

Cornstarch is used in the batter to add crispiness and in the sauce as a cornstarch slurry to thicken it and help coat the cauliflower evenly and to create a glossy texture.

Ginger: Ginger is a flavorful and aromatic root used extensively in Asian cooking. It is a key ingredient in the sauce for Gobi Manchurian, providing a warm and spicy kick to the dish.

Garlic: Fresh garlic is another essential ingredient used in the sauce. When combined with ginger, it creates a robust and fragrant base for the sauce.

Spring Onion: Spring onions, also known as scallions or green onions, are used as a garnish for Gobi Manchurian. The green parts add a fresh and slightly pungent flavor to the dish.

Chopped garlic, ginger, and green onion.

Red Bell Pepper (Capsicum): Red bell pepper adds sweetness and a vibrant color to the dish. It provides a nice contrast to the spiciness of the chili sauce and complements the other flavors in the sauce.

Soy Sauce: Soy sauce adds a savory and umami-rich taste to the sauce. I used regular soy sauce, dark soy sauce also tastes good.

Vinegar: Vinegar, typically rice vinegar or white vinegar, is used to add acidity and tanginess to the sauce. It helps balance the flavors and enhances the overall taste.

Red Chili Paste: Red chili paste is a concentrated chili sauce that contributes to the spiciness and flavor of Gobi Manchurian. It can be made from ground red chilies or commercially available chili paste.

Ketchup: Tomato ketchup is used to add sweetness and a slight tomato tang to the sauce. It is a common ingredient in Indo-Chinese recipes.

Red bell pepper chopped small.

Preparation  

  1. Finely chop ginger and garlic.  Cut scallions, separating greens (for garnish) and whites (add to sauce)
  1. Combine soy sauce, red chili sauce, ketchup, and vinegar in a bowl.
  1. Make a cornstarch slurry
Sauces in a bowl.

Battering the Cauliflower

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add water to make a thick batter.

Flour and spices in a bowl.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
Batter for manchurian in a bowl.
Add water to make a thick batter.

Toss cauliflower florets in the batter

Battered cauliflower florets in a bowl.

Making It

Choose the method of choice to crispy up the cauliflower florets: fried, air fried, or baked then scroll down for the steps on preparing the sauce.  The method for preparing the sauce is the same for each version.  

Option #1 Fried (Pan or Deep Fry) Gobi Manchurian:

Pan fry or deep fry the cauliflower florets in hot oil until they turn golden and crispy. Drain the excess oil on paper towels.

Option #2 Air Fryer Gobi Manchurian:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 425°F.

  1. Place the coated cauliflower florets in the air fryer basket or sheet in a single layer, without overcrowding. Spray with oil.
Battered cauliflower florets on a parchment paper lined air fryer tray.

  1. Air fry the cauliflower florets for about 18-20 minutes, flipping them halfway through to ensure even cooking and spraying with oil once more, until they turn crispy and golden.
Crispy battered cauliflower in a bowl.

Option #3: Oven-Baked Gobi Manchurian:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  1. Place the coated cauliflower florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased.
  1. Bake the cauliflower florets in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, turning them halfway through, until they become crispy and browned.

Making the Sauce

Heat oil in pan on medium heat (I like to use sesame oil).

Saute garlic, ginger, and spring onion whites.

Garlic, ginger, and scallions in oil in a pan.

Next, add red bell peppers, mix, and cook for a minute or two. We aren’t looking to cook them too much. They add a little bit of crunch to the dish.

Red bell peppers added to pan.
Add red bell peppers to pan.
Red peppers added to pan.
Cook 1-2 minutes. They become slightly lighter in color.

Add mixture of sauces (soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, and red chili paste).  Let simmer 2- 3 minutes and mix well.

Add cornstarch slurry, mix and let cook another 1-2 minutes.  Turn off stove. Spicy manchurian sauce is ready.

Sauces added to pan.
Sauces added to pot and simmered for 2-3 minutes on low-medium.
Cornstarch slurry added to sauce.
Cornstarch slurry added, mixed and cooked for 1-2 minutes.

Making Gobi Manchurian

Toss the crisped cauliflower florets into the sauce.  Garnish with spring onion greens.

Gobi manchurian in a white bowl.

Have you tried this gobi manchurian recipe? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could leave a comment and rate it with stars. It would mean a lot to me to hear how it turned out. If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creation. Thank you for your support!

Gobi manchurian in a white bowl with green scallions.

Dry Gobi Manchurian (Air Fryer, Oven, Fry Options)

Shilpa Joshi
Mouth watering gobi manchurian made at home with an air fryer, baked, or fried!  This popular Indo Chinese can be enjoyed at home in healthier ways!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine indian chinese
Servings 4 servings
Calories 197 kcal

Equipment

  • 2 mixing bowls

Ingredients
  

Cauliflower + Batter

  • 5 cups small-medium cauliflower florets 375g
  • 1 cup all purpose flour 135g
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 11 tbsp water

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp crushed ginger
  • 2 tbsp garlic (finely chopped) 3 cloves, 13g
  • 2-3 stalks spring onion green onion, whites separate from greens
  • ½ cup red bell pepper 80g, cut small
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp red chili paste I used Sambal Olek
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

Instructions
 

Prepare Battered Cauliflower

  • Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Add water to make a thick batter.
  • Toss cauliflower florets in bowl.
  • Air fry: Preheat to 430F. Line florets on pan or in basket. Spray with oil. Air fry for 20 minutes, flip at 10 minutes and spray with oil again.
    Bake:
    Fry: Heat enough oil to either deep fry or pan fry in a pan. Fry and place crisped florets on a paper towel lined plate.

Make Sauce

  • Mix sauces in a bowl.
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Saute garlic, scallion whites, and crushed ginger in pan for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add red bell pepper pieces and mix. Cook 1-2 minutes.
  • Add mixture of sauces. Mix and let simmer for 2-3 minutes on low-medium.
  • Finally, add cornstarch slurry. Mix and let cook another 2 minutes. Turn off gas and remove from stove.

Put it all together

  • Toss the crisped cauliflower florets into the sauce.  Garnish with spring onion greens.

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 723mgPotassium: 134mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 719IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shilpa

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