For Frying Gobi
1 small to medium sized cauliflower - 350 grams or 3 to 3.25 cups chopped small cauliflower florets
2.5 cups water - for blanching cauliflower
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons corn flour (corn starch)
1 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper powder
1 teaspoon soy sauce - naturally fermented soy sauce
½ teaspoon sweet red chilli sauce or sweet chilli garlic sauce or sriracha sauce
salt as required
1 cup water or add as required
oil for deep frying - as required
For Making Chilli Gobi
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil or peanut oil or sunflower oil
½ cup spring onion whites - sliced
⅓ cup capsicum - thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger or 1.5-inches ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic or 5 to 6 medium to large garlic cloves
2 to 3 green chillies - slit
1 teaspoon mirin or ½ teaspoon rice wine or rice vinegar or white vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce - naturally fermented
1 teaspoon sweet red chilli sauce or sweet chilli garlic sauce or sriracha sauce
¼ teaspoon black pepper powder or add as required
½ teaspoon sugar or add as required
salt as required
2 tablespoons spring onion greens - for garnish
Rinse and then break or chop the cauliflower in small florets. You will need about 3 to 3.25 cups chopped cauliflower florets.
In a pan or saucepan take 2.5 cups water and add ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
Switch off the flame and keep the pan on the kitchen countertop. Add the cauliflower florets. Blanch for 5 minutes.
Drain all the water and keep the blanched cauliflower aside.
Meanwhile thinly slice 1 small capsicum (green bell pepper) and 2 medium sized spring onion whites (scallions). Finely chop 1.5 inches ginger, 5 to 6 medium to large garlic cloves and slit 2 to 3 green chillies. Keep aside.
Making Batter For Chilli Gobi
Take all-purpose flour and corn flour (corn starch) in a mixing bowl.
Also add salt as required. I added 1 teaspoon rock salt. If using iodized salt, then add ⅓ to ½ teaspoon depending on taste. Note that the sauces will also have salt, so go easy on the salt.
Add kashmiri red chilli powder, black pepper powder, soy sauce and sweet red chilli sauce or sweet chilli garlic sauce or sriracha sauce
Add 1 cup water in parts and begin to mix.
Add remaining water and make a smooth batter without lumps. depending on the quality and texture of flours, you can add ¾ to 1 cup water.
The batter should have a medium consistency and should not be thick or thin. If the batter looks thin, then add some more all-purpose flour. If batter looks thick then add some more water. Heat oil for deep frying on medium flame.
When the oil becomes hot then place some cauliflower florets in the batter.
Coat them with the batter evenly.
Slid off the extra coating at the sides of the bowl and place the batter cauliflower florets in the hot oil. add less portion of the florets in the oil and do not overcrowd the pan or kadai or wok.
When one side becomes golden and crisp, turn over each florets. Flip for a couple of times more, so that the florets are evenly fried, golden and crisp.
Do note that the cauliflower fritters will stick to each other while frying. Thus add less portion of the florets in oil. Also as soon as you add them stir with a spoon so that they do not stick. In case they stick, then fry them together as one whole. Once you place them on paper towels then break them when they become less hot.
Remove the fried gobi florets with a slotted spoon or spider spoon. Fry gobi florets in 3 to 5 batches depending on the size of the kadai or wok.
Place the fried gobi florets on a kitchen paper towel for extra oil to be absorbed.
Making The Sauce Base For Chilli Gobi
Heat 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil in a pan or wok or kadai. Use peanut oil or sunflower oil if you do not have toasted sesame oil. Gingelly oil made from raw sesame seeds can also be used.
Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger and 2 to 3 slit green chillies.
Sauté them for some seconds till the raw aroma of both ginger and garlic goes away.
Then add ½ cup sliced spring onion whites and ⅓ cup thinly sliced capsicum.
Mix and then increase the flame to medium or medium-high after adding the onions and capsicum.
Then stir non-stop and stir fry onions till they become translucent. If the base starts looking browned then reduce the flame.
When the onions turn translucent, then lower the flame and add 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sweet red chilli sauce. You can add sweet chilli garlic sauce or sriracha sauce instead of sweet red chilli sauce.
Mix the sauces very well with the onions and capsicum.
Making Chilli Gobi
Now add the fried cauliflower florets.
Add ½ teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon black pepper and salt as per taste. Add a few pinches of salt as the sauces and fried cauliflower florets already have salt in them.
Increase the flame to medium or medium-high. Mix and toss well. Switch off the flame. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon mirin or ½ teaspoon rice wine or rice vinegar or white vinegar. Mix again. Check the taste and add more sauces, pepper, salt and sugar if required.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons spring onion greens.
Serve gobi chilli hot or else crispiness reduces. Garnish with some spring onion greens while serving.
Chop cauliflower in small florets to get a crispy texture. Large cauliflower florets will give a less crispy texture. Also, do not chop the cauliflower too small as you don't want to spend too much time frying them.
Deep fry the florets to get a really good crispy texture.
It is always better to blanch cauliflower as this will get rid of insects and worms in the cauliflower. The frying time is also reduced.
Keep all the ingredients ready before you begin to stir fry them.
If possible then please do use naturally fermented soy sauce.
Do not add too much of the sauces as the taste may not be good in the final dish.
Adding kashmiri red chilli powder gives a deep orangish red color in this chilli gobi recipe and looks good too. You can even use deghi mirch powder instead of kashmiri red chilli powder.
Balance is a key point in all indo chinese recipes. So do keep a check when adding the sauces and spices and don't go overboard.