Manchurian Cauliflower

Serves 4 to 6


About 2 quarts corn or canola oil, for frying
3 eggs
23 cup cornstarch
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large or 2 small heads cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup ketchup
Cayenne pepper to taste
Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)
Steamed greens, for serving (optional)


Put at least 2 inches of oil into a deep-sided, heavy bottomed pot and bring to 350°F on a candy thermometer. (In a bind, put a pinch of flour into the pot; at 350°F it will sizzle but won’t burn). In a bowl large enough to accommodate the cauliflower, whisk together the eggs and cornstarch. Season with a large pinch of salt and pepper and add the cauliflower. Toss to coat the florets evenly.

Fry the cauliflower in batches, so as not to crowd the pan, making sure that the oil is hot each time you add fresh florets. Cook until the cauliflower begins to mottle, about 4 minutes, then transfer to paper towels to drain. Now take a tablespoon of the hot oil from the frying pot, and place it in a large pan over medium heat, swirling to coat the pan. Add the garlic, and fry until fragrant; then add the ketchup, stirring occasionally, until it begins to bubble and caramelize around the edges. Add cayenne pinch by pinch to taste and then the cauliflower. Toss until hot and coated. Serve with white rice and steamed greens, if desired.

© Recipe Property of Suvir Saran