Gobi Manchurian (fried cauliflower)
This famous dish was invented by Nelson Wang, a third-generation chef born in Kolkata to Chinese parents. He did it with chicken, but about a third of the Indian population is vegetarian, so this cauliflower-based variant, or gobiwas quickly a favorite and is now a staple of street stalls and Chinese restaurants across India.
Preparation 20 mins
To cook 20 mins
400g cauliflowercut into medium sized florets
Vegetable or sunflower oilfor frying
For the dough
5 soup self-rising flour
For the sauce
2-3 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
4-5 garlic clovespeeled and finely chopped
5cm fresh gingerunpeeled, finely chopped
2-3 green chilliesfinely chopped, to taste
50 g finely chopped white onion
25g spring onionstrimmed and finely chopped
½ teaspoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soybeans sauce
50g fresh coriander leavesfinely chopped
½ tablespoon cornmeal porridge (i.e. corn flour mixed into a paste with a little water)
Put the cauliflower in a bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, salt and 150-200ml cold water to make a thick paste, and stir to coat the florets.
Put a wok over high heat, add enough oil for frying, then, working in batches, carefully lower some of the breaded florets, pulling them apart with tongs if they stick together. Fry for two to three minutes, until lightly crispy – don’t let the florets brown, as they will be fried again later – then drain on a kitchen towel and repeat with the rest of the cabbage. breaded flower. Turn off the heat, but leave the oil in the wok; you may need to scoop out some paste.
Now for the sauce. Heat a second wok, add the oil, then sauté the garlic, ginger and chiles for about a minute, until lightly fragrant. Add the two onions, sauté for another two minutes, then add the two soy sauces and chopped cilantro, and stir to combine. Add 20 ml of cold water, boil, stirring, for two or three minutes, then stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook, still stirring, for a minute or two, until the sauce thickens.
Heat the oil in the first wok, then, still working in batches, fry the cauliflower again for 30 seconds to a minute, until crisp and golden. Remove from the hot oil, drain on a kitchen towel, then stir into the sauce so that it coats each floret – work quickly or the cauliflower will become soggy and lose its crunch.
Serve hot garnished with more chopped cilantro.
Hakka noodles with vegetables
This humble egg noodle dish is named after the Hakka community that settled in Tangra, Kolkata’s Chinatown.
Preparation 15 minutes
To cook 10 minutes
Serves 2-3, next
400g egg noodles
5-6 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
100g minced white onion
100g carrotstrimmed and julienned
50 grams green beanscut into 2½ cm pieces
100g bean sprouts
1½ tbsp dark soybeans sauce
1½ cupstablespoon light soy sauce
2 spring onionstrimmed, green parts only very thinly sliced (keep the whites for another use)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop in the noodles, cook for two minutes less than indicated on the package, so that they are al dente, then drain and refresh under cold running water .
Heat the oil in a wok, add the white onion and sauté for two minutes, until lightly browned. Add carrots, cabbage, beans and bean sprouts and sauté, stirring constantly, for one to two minutes. Do not overcook the vegetables or they will lose their crunch. Loosen the noodles if necessary, so they don’t all clump together (simply rinse them with lukewarm water), then add them to the wok with the two soy sauces and sauté over high heat until the noodles are evenly colored and coated in sauce and everything is well mixed. Taste for the salt, adjust as needed, then transfer to a platter, sprinkle with the sliced spring onions and serve.
A chicken lollipop is just a winglet that has been”French“, which means that the meat is pulled all the way to the end of the bone and therefore looks a bit like a lollipop. It is probably the most recognized and widely available appetizer in Indo-Chinese restaurants in India , with each region using its own favorite spices in the marinade.
Preparation 10 minutes
Marinate 30 minutes
To cook 15 minutes
12 chicken lollipops (that’s to say, French filling fins)
2 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
2 eggslightly beaten
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
Vegetable or sunflower oilfor frying
1 finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 tbsp Kashmiri chili pepperI powder
½ teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon chopped green chilli
65g plain flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 spring onionstrimmed, green parts thinly sliced (reserve the whites for another use), to garnish
Put the chicken lollipops, ginger-garlic paste, salt, eggs, half the cracked peppercorns and soy sauce in a bowl, toss to coat well, then marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put enough oil in a hot wok or skillet over medium heat. In a second bowl, combine the minced ginger and garlic with the chili powder, garam masala, green chili, plain flour, cornstarch, salt and the remaining crushed peppercorns. Stir in 100ml of water, then add water little by little until a thick paste forms.
Once the oil is medium hot, dip the marinated popsicles in the batter to coat them, then fry them in batches for eight to 10 minutes, until the popsicles are cooked through and golden brown (they should float up when cooked). Drain on paper towels, then transfer to a platter, garnish with the spring onion leaves and serve piping hot.