Chilli Gobi probably comes a close second, Chilli Paneer, as a popular vegetarian starter in the Indo-Chinese Cuisine. It has a similar sweet, tangy and mildly spicy flavours like Chilli Paneer.
Here, whenever I make Chilli Gobi, most of the time all the cauliflower florets that are fried don’t really make it to the sauce..:) It is quite tempting to eat the batter fried florets – just like pakodas!!
Few things to keep in mind
- Prepare before hand: Make sure your cauliflower and remaining vegetables are cut and prepared before you start the cooking process. The entire cooking for this dish doesn’t take too much of time. So having everything chopped and ready makes life a lot easier!
- High heat: The onions and the vegetables used in any Indo-Chinese dish are not cooked thoroughly. They are sauted on a high heat so that they are cooked enough and at the same time maintain their crunchiness.
- Salt and Sugar: Avoid adding salt and sugar to the sauce till all the cauliflower is well coated in it. Reason being, the amount of salt and sugar in the various sauces you use for this recipe will vary depending on the brand. So once everything is in the hot pan and you have tossed it around well for a while, check for the taste. And then add salt/sugar, as needed.
- Cauliflower – 250 gms
For the marination
- Flour – ½ cup
- Cornflour – 2 tbsp
- Red chilli paste (or red chilli sauce) – 2 tsp
- Soya Sauce – ½ tsp
- Pepper – ¼ tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp (optional)
- Water – a little less than ½ cup
For the sauce
- Ginger – 1 tsp, finely chopped
- Garlic – 1 tsp, finely chopped
- Capsicum – 1 medium size, cut into squares
- Onion – 1 big or 1 small, cut into squares
- Spring Onions – a handful, chopped
- Green Chilli – 1 big or 2 small, slit into 2
- Vinegar – 1 tsp
- Soya Sauce – 1 tbsp
- Green Chilli Sauce – ½ tbsp
- Red Chilli Paste (Red Chilli Sauce) – 2 tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp (if needed)
- Sugar – ½ tsp
- Pepper – ½ tsp
- Water – ¼ cup
Step by Step Process
- Cut the cauliflower into medium size florets and blanch them. For this, heat water in a pot and add a little salt and ¼ tsp of turmeric powder. Let the water come to a boil. Turn off the heat, add the cauliflower pieces into it and let it sit covered for 5 min. Drain off the water and keep the cauliflower aside.
- Add all the ingredients under marination to the flour and make a paste of medium consistency. The batter should be thick enough to coat the cauliflower pieces.
- Heat oil in a pan. Dip the cauliflower pieces into the batter and then fry them till golden brown and done. Keep it aside while the sauce is being prepared.
- In a hot pan, add a tsp of oil and add the capsicum. Toss it on high flame for a minute or two.
- To this, add the chopped onions, green chilli and spring onion whites. Stir on high flame for 5 min. The capsicum and onions should retain some bit of their crunchiness.
- Reduce the heat and add vinegar, soya sauce, green chilli sauce, red chilli sauce / paste, half of the salt, sugar and pepper. Toss it all together for a minute.
- Stir fry for a min and add the water. Let it come to a boil first so that the sauce thickens a little.
- Add the cauliflower pieces to this and toss it till its well coated in the sauce. Add salt, if required.
- Garnish with some spring onion greens and serve hot.