|1 no||Cauliflower (whole, florets separated)|
|3 drop||White vinegar|
|5 tbsp||Corn flour (white)|
|¼ tsp||Turmeric powder|
|¼ tsp||Red chili powder|
|½ tsp||Coriander /dhania powder|
|½ tsp||Salt ( for bhaji)|
|1 tsp||Soy sauce (dark or 2 tsp light soy sauce)|
|1 tsp||Chili sauce|
|¾ tsp||Ginger garlic paste|
|2 pinch||Food colour (red)|
|2 pinch||Black pepper powder|
|1 cup||Onions (roughly chopped, optional)|
|3 nos||Onions (big dices)|
|6 nos||Green chili (slit open )|
|½ tsp||Ginger (finely minced)|
|½ tsp||Garlic (finely minced)|
|2 tsp||Red chili sauce (for sauteing)|
|4 stks||Spring onions(chopped finely)|
|4 stks||Coriander leaves (chopped )|
|¼ tsp||Salt (or to taste)|
|4 cup||Oil (for deep frying)|
|2 tbsp||Oil (for sauteing)|
|1 no||Capsicum (optional)|
Blanching Cauliflower: The finished dish will turn out very less, so I’ve used a whole medium sized cauliflower which would feed 3 to 4 approx. Separate the florets, wash them thoroughly and keep aside. Bring water to a boil, add salt and vinegar (table-1), drench the cauliflower in the boiling water and let stay for 3 minutes. Now switch off, drain all the water and pat dry the cauliflower in a clean kitchen towel and keep aside.
Batter for deep frying: Combine maida, corn flour, salt, ajinomotto, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder, food colour, ginger garlic paste, soy sauce and red chili sauce. Add the steamed cauliflower and coat, (no water necessary) steamed cauliflower will release water and the sauce will add little to make it a thick paste like bhaji batter. Keep tossing the cauliflower florets until you get a thick batter. Heat oil (4 cups) and deep fry until crispy on outside. (Sample a piece, if the temperature is too hot, it will brown, low temperature will separate the cauliflower and batter. Right temperature will turn florets crispy on outside and slightly soft on inside)
When done, drain excess fat in a paper towel and keep aside. It so happens, after frying all the cauliflower florets you will be still left with some batter, which I don’t like to toss. So I usually keep some roughly chopped onions which I use in the leftover batter make similar bhajis and add them along with fried cauliflower. This way you increase the quantity and it also adds up to the taste. This step is optional.
Final assembling: Heat oil (table-3), fry the slit open green chilies along with diced onions, chopped ginger and garlic. This should take about 4 minutes over medium flame to make them slightly brown. (Chopped capsicum can be added at this stage, but optional, helps in increasing the quantity) Now add the fried cauliflower and onion bhajis along with red chili sauce, ajinomotto, salt and green spring onions. Fry over low flame till rolls up to a dry fry. (about 6 minutes). Switch off and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve as an appetizer or side for fried rice, biryani or even roti. Unfortunately at my home, this never makes it to the table…. vanishes within minutes of making.
This is very spicy dish, adjust level by cutting down on the chili. Adding vinegar while steaming will keep the flavour and colour of cauliflower intact. Arrest the unpleasant sulphur smell and yellow colouring.
Red chilli sauce: NO tomato sauce/ ketchup or tomato related item in this recipe, this factor makes it different from Manchurian. Res chili sauce includes chili paste, salt, sugar and vinegar. Use these if you cannot find this sauce. I’ve used Chings brand.
Ajinomotto and food colour is a must if you’re looking for restaurant quality, people who are very conscious about health can avoid making this dish as excluding them totally will result in bland cauliflower curry.
Yield: Serves 3 to 4 Adults (approx)