Saturday, October 1, 2011

Guest Blog Post: Gobi Manchurian and Mock Chicken Curry

My friend Trupa and I grew up in Seattle together, and bonded when we were 12 and in some Diwali dance program in which we had to wear fish costumes. Now, Trupa lives in North Carolina, and we gchat daily about recipes, kitchen appliances (yes, you DEFINITELY need the soda machine to make sparkling water), and what we will be making for dinner. Trupa also recently got engaged, so congrats to her! Since she cooks so often, I decided to ask her to contribute her recipes to Hom Nom. She has shared not one, but two recipes with us! Welcome, Trupa! 

I was craving Indian food so I thought I would make a curry. I wanted something on the lighter side so a cream based curry was out of the question. Chicken curry always looks delicious to me but I am vegetarian so I have never actually tried it before. I had some mock chicken in my freezer. So I thought I would attempt making it myself. I needed an appetizer to go along with it so to stay with the Indian theme I made Gobi Manchurian.

Preparing the cauliflower:

Preparing the batter:

Deep frying the cauliflower:

Preparing the sauce:

Garnished and ready to go! 

Gobi Manchurian

Gobi means cauliflower and Manchurian refers to an Indo-Chinese sweet & salty sauce. It’s delicious! I pretty much followed this recipe.

Serving size: Appetizer proportions serve about 4 people.

Ingredients for the batter:

-    1/2 of medium cauliflower, break into small florets
-    1 cup all purpose flour
-    1/2 cup corn starch
-    Salt to taste
-    1 tbsp soy sauce
-    1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
-    1 tbsp freshly peeled and diced ginger
-    Diced green chili to taste
-    1 tsp white pepper (do not substitute with black pepper)
-    Water to thicken batter
-    Oil of your choice for deep frying the cauliflower, I used canola oil

Ingredients for the sauce:

-    7-8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
-    2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
-    1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
-    1/2 cup ketchup
-    2 tbsp tamari
-    2 tbsp Sriracha, more or less to tolerance
-    Salt to taste
-    Oil of choice
-    1 tsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water to thicken sauce
-    1 cup water
-    Green onions to garnish

Preparing the cauliflower:

Add cauliflower to boiling salt water. Cook for about 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water, drain, and set aside to dry.

In a large bowl, combine all purpose flour, corn starch, garlic, ginger, salt, green chili, soy sauce, and white pepper.  Add enough water to make a thick paste. 

Place cauliflower into batter and generously coat each floret with the batter.

Deep Frying the Cauliflower:

Heat oil in a pot that is safe for deep frying. Place the battered cauliflower into the hot oil, frying the florets in batches. Fry the florets until they turn golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel. 

Preparing the Sauce: 

Mix ketchup, sriracha, tamari, salt and water in a bowl.  

Heat oil in a large-ish sized pan. Fry the garlic, ginger, and onion for a few minutes until the onion turns clear. Add the ketchup mixture to the pan and simmer for a few minutes.  

Add the corn starch and water mixture to the pan, mix, and cook for about a minute. 

Add the cauliflower and mix to coat each floret with sauce. Simmer and occasionally stir until the sauce thickens.  

Garnish with green onions and serve! 

Mock Chicken Curry

Ecurry is my second favorite recipe blog (the first of course being Hom Nom!). It is great resource for Indian food recipes.  I meshed two recipes I found on the site to come up with this one.

As far as mock chicken brands go, Gardein’s Chick’n Scallopini is decent but I recently discovered Delight Soy Nuggets which is now my favorite mock chicken brand.  Delight Soy is ironically produced and distributed by a North Carolina company. Who would ever have thought the south would be so vegetarian friendly? But, it surprisingly is! In fact, I have found better soy meat substitutes here in NC than I have in Seattle. SEATTLE! Either brand will work for this recipe. Delight Soy is easier to work with and keeps it shape well and tastes great. Even my non-vegetarian friends love it! Gardein tends to fall apart easily and does not taste quite as good as Delight Soy. Whichever mock chicken product you end up deciding to use, I recommend first rinsing it with water because they tend to come pre-seasoned.  

I got to use our trusty little masala dabba (spice container) for this recipe. The fact that I even have one of these containers means that I will make a good Indian wife one day. My mom would be so proud!

This is what the mock chicken looks like out of the bag:

Chicken marinading away!

Aromatic Indian spices - cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, oh my!

Said spices simmering away...

And here it is! Loved by carnivores and vegetarians alike!

Mock Chicken Curry, adapted using a combination of the this and this.

Serving Size: Serves about 4 people

Ingredients for marinade:

-    1 bag Delight Soy Nuggets (or mock chicken of your choice), defrosted
-    2 tsp turmeric powder
-    Salt
-    Half a lime, juiced

Ingredients for curry:

-    1 cinnamon stick
-    3-4 pods cardamom
-    3-4 cloves
-    2-3 bay leaves
-    1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
-    5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped (or garlic paste)
-    2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped (or ginger paste)
-    1 tbsp jalapeno, finely chopped (more or less to tolerance)
-    8oz can tomato sauce (or fresh tomatoes)
-    1/2 tbsp coriander powder
-    1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
-    1/2 tbsp red chili powder (more or less to tolerance)
-    1/2 tbsp garam masala*
-    1/2 tbsp cumin powder
-    1/2 tsp sugar
-    2.5 cups water (or to desired consistency)
-    Salt to taste
-    One Lime, juiced
-    Handful of cilantro, freshly chopped for garnish

*Note: Where does one find garam masala? Well, you could probably make your own by finding a recipe online.  It is available in NYC at stores such as Kalystyan's, and probably at Whole Foods, but the prepared version will not taste as fresh as a home made variety! 

Preparing the marinade

Rinse the mock chicken with water to wash away any pre-seasoning. Cut the pieces into thin strips.  Add turmeric, salt, and juice of half a lime and toss to coat.  Allow to marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Preparing the curry

Dry roast the cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, and bay leaves in a pot on medium heat until the spices are fragrant. Be sure not to burn them! Add oil to the pot and wait until the spices start to sizzle, then add the chopped onions, green chilis, garlic and ginger. Cook until the onions turn clear. Add coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, cumin and sugar.

Add the can of tomato sauce.  Stir and allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes, then add the mock chicken and coat with the mixture.

Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Add salt and the juice of a fresh lime to taste.  Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with naan or basmati rice. 

1 comment :

Krish said...

They were both so delicious!