Gobi 65 and how did it get its name? Is it a North Indian dish or is it an Indo-Chinese fusion recipe coz it tastes and looks a lot like Gobi Manchurian or is it South Indian. I am sure it is not a North Indian recipe, because I never saw this on the Menu card in restaurants in Mumbai while growing up. The recipe does resemble an Indo-chinese fusion, but no….there are a lot of Indian ingredients in it….Surprised as you maybe this recipe has emerged from South India, where a dish called Chicken 65 became immensely popular and the Gobi 65 is a vegetarian twist to it. The anecdotal theories as to how they stumbled upon this name are many. Some say the 65 represents the 65 separate ingredients in the dish. Some say that a restaurant in Chennai came up with this dish and as it became popular with these signature 65 dishes the fever caught on. Some say that the dish was the 65th dish on the menu card and as people started ordering for it on a regular basis the name of the dish changed to this. Whatever be the theories, but as the saying goes, “Call the rose by any other name and it smells just as sweet”…and so it is for this dish. It’s such an exotic looking and tasting dish that you can surprise your guests or hubby with it. I had a few guests at home and I was pondering over what to cook. I was bored of cooking the same things over and over again. I was quite fancied by the look and taste of the Gobi 65 in a restaurant here in Singapore, so I thought why not try it and started searching for recipes desperately over the internet but none that I found were near to what I had at the restaurant, I would call them Gobi pakodas but not Gobi 65 as they didn’t have the masala. Here is the complete recipe of the Gobi 65.
Cauliflower – 1 big
Corn starch - 2 tbsp
All purpose flour (Maida) - 2 tbsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsps
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Chili powder -2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Light Soya sauce - 2 tsp
Ginger paste - 1 tsp (I don’t like garlic in my cooking, but for those who enjoy you can add ginger-garlic paste)
Saffron Color – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Onions – 2 nos
Capsicum – 1 (big size)
Fresh Coriander leaves – 2 tbsps
Oil for frying
Salt as per taste
Pluck the florets of the cauliflower and rinse well under running water in a colander. Heat a big pan of water, drop in the florets, ¼ spoon of turmeric powder and 2 pinches of salt. If there are any worms they will come floating to the surface, if that happens, throw the water and redo the process. Now cook the Cauliflower florets in boiling water, the florets must be half cooked, don’t cook until soft, they should be only semi-cooked. Now remove them from the heat and drop it through a colander to drain all the water. Keep aside. Now in a big salad mixing bowl, Take the two heaped tablespoons of All purpose flour, add Corn starch, Coriander powder, Cumin powder, Chili powder, Light Soya sauce(Dark soya sauce gives a very dark color to the dish, we want a reddish color so please use light soya sauce. Soya sauce is only for flavor and helps greatly in the marinating process), Ginger paste, saffron, and salt as per taste (Soya sauce is salty so taste and add salt accordingly. Mix all the ingredients well by adding water (just like we make a batter for bhajiya’s, the batter shouldn’t be very watery). Drop in the semi-cooked cauliflower florets in the batter and mix well. Let it marinate for a while. Marinating imparts better taste to the end product. You can marinate it for a few hours. For example if you are making this for dinner marinate it in the afternoon itself. It will taste awesome!!!as all the masala enters the florets. Now heat oil in a pan, when the oil is heated, drop the florets like pakodas(bhajiyas) one by one. Keep the flame low while dropping and let it get cooked slowly and properly in the oil. When the florets are golden brown in color remove from the fire and drain on a kitchen towel.
Once all the florets are done in this fashion the next step comes into place and i.e the masala for the
Gobi 65. Restaurants serve them in this fashion.