This one’s not really a marriage.It is just the story of elevation of social status of the humble Miss Gobi.
Some time in the 1980′s,the Gobi(cauliflower to the uninitiated) decided to dress herself in a fancy Chinese coat.But being a full bodied Punjabi gaon ki chori ,she couldn’t resist embellishing the coat with a lot of kitschy decorations-so in the batter of corn flour and ajinomoto went some jaggery,a bit of vinegar and a handful of desi spices.Thus draped,Gobi made her final make-up-deep frying-and introduced herself as Miss Gobi Manchurian.
Now lets not argue that there’s nothing Manchurian about the batter,which can at best be called Cantonese,which is partial to the sweet n sour taste.The cauliflower decided to call herself Manchurian,and that was it.And the Gobi part definately sounded better with Manchiurian than Hakka or Beijing !
Starting from the humble roadside dhabas ,Madame Manchurian was soon a familiar name in eateries all across India.In the south,she was called Gopi Manchurian,and along the west coast, Kobi Manchurian.
Now what was the humble Gobi’s USP ? In the 80′s,the Chinese cuisine (i’m talking about the Indian variety) was becoming popular all over North India.There was a demand for vegetarian Chinese dishes.The aloo(potato) didn’t quite fit in,so the ingenious dhaba-walas used the cauliflower instead !
Miss Gobi became so popular,that within no time there were many wannabe dishes like Paneer Schezwan,Chinese Bhel,and now we have a distinct Indo-Chinese fare,that in no way resembles the lotus flowers,bamboo shoots or duck feet that the rest of the world associates with the Chinese fare.
Emboldened by her success in India,Gobi Manchurian was served to the unsuspecting overseas. So much so ,that even the Chinese have learnt to tolerate her.Last heard,she was even spotted in Beijing restaurants.The Manchurians meanwhile haven’t uttered a word of protest.This,in a age when the Italians go red in the face when anyone tries to name the non-Italian ingredients of pizza as Neapolitan(meaning=an inhabitant of Naples,Italy;i’m preparing for the GRE you know !;-))
But then,the Gobi has given this Chinese global fame !
Gobi Manchurian Recipe: ( This is something i found online..i tried it,and it tastes AWESOME !)
1 medium Gobi
3/4 cup Flour (Maida)
1 tbsp Corn Flour
Salt to taste
1 Chopped green chili
11/2 tbsp Garlic Paste
11/2 tbsp Ginger Paste
1 cup finely Chopped Onions
Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves
1/4th tsp Ajinomoto
2 tbsp Soya Sauce
2-3 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
2 tbsp Oil
- Make a paste of maida, corn flour and salt using water.
- Take a tsp. of ginger and garlic paste, add it to the paste.
- Dip the Gobi florets in the paste and deep fry till golden brown. Keep aside.
- Heat oil in another pan and add the left ginger & garlic paste, chopped onions and green chili to it.
- Now, mix aginomoto, soya sauce and tomato sauce to it.
- Add fried Gobi kept aside and mix well. Garnish it with coriander leaves. Serve Miss Gobi Manchurian hot.