Cauliflower Manchurian – Revisited

veggie-zest-cauliflower-manchurian-1

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings are all the rage these days – But hey! Cauliflower Manchurian had been a part of Indo Chinese cuisine for a long, long….very long time! So its safe to say that it was invented in India ūüėČ

Funny story about Indo-Chinese cuisine though – for the longest time I believed that’s what Chinese food tasted like…like the stuff you got in restaurants in India in the name of Chinese food. It was only when I left India to go to school in America and met with Chinese students who told told me there is no such thing as a Manchurian or American Chopsuey in Chinese cuisine. Oh¬†wait…so American Chopsuey is an¬†American dish then? Nope, no such thing as American Chopsuey in America¬†either. That information combined with my experience with Chinese food in the States¬†made me realize that what I grew up eating as Chinese food in India was actually an Indian spin on what Chinese food should taste like. Well, the cuisine is now identified as Indo-Chinese which makes more sense.

That said, the food is still pretty delicious and cauliflower Manchurian is one of my favorite dish from the whole lot. I have done a recipe for this dish before on the blog (check it out here). But this is a healthier version of the recipe. the original recipe calls for battered deep fried cauliflower florets mixed with a tomato sauce Рwhich is yum BTW! But to keep things healthy, I crusted the florets with Panko and baked it in the oven for the crunch. The result was delicious Manchurian sans the calories. Serve these babies with beer during one of the football games and watch your friends gobble it down!

veggie-zest-cauliflower-manchurian

veggie-zest-cauliflower-manchurian-2

Serving for 3 to 4 people

Ingredients

1 medium head of cauliflower cut into bite size florets

1 cup panko

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

2 tsp sweet chili sauce

salt

  1. Wash and pat dry the cauliflower.
  2. Add sweet chili sauce to the egg and whisk to mix well. Add salt to panko and mix well.
  3. Dip Cauliflower in the egg mixture and coat with panko copmletely.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 25 to 30 minutes or till golden brown.
  5. Mix the cauliflower with the sauce & stir fried onions and bell pepper and return to the baking pan. Bake for another 10 minutes. For extra color, put it under broil for 2 minutes.
  6. Garnish with spring onions and sesame seeds.

 

For the Sauce

1/2 onion, finely diced

1 small piece of ginger, finely chopped

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 tbsp sweet chili sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp vinegar

dash of sriracha (optional)

2 tsp flavorless oil

  1. In a sauce pan heat oil on medium heat.
  2. Add onions and ginger and cook till it turns brown.
  3. Add tomato sauce, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, sriracha and vinegar and cook on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  4. Remove from heat and keep aside.

 

Extra Topping (optional)

1/2 red onion, diced into big chunks

1/4 bell pepper (green or red), diced into big chunks

2 tsp flavorless oil

In a pan heat oil and add onion and bell pepper. Stir fry till the veggies turn translucent.

Garnish

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds