Gobi (Cauliflower) Manchurian in Air Fryer

What happens when you toss crispy golden cauliflower florets into sweet and spicy sauce – you get an epic dish called Gobi (aka cauliflower) Manchurian; yet another one of my favorite Indo-Chinese food. It’s ridiculously easy. You can pair it with Hakka noodles or fried rice for a complete meal or eat it as a meal itself.

Cauliflower is an all time favorite in our household. My older one loved cauliflower, even during her phase of life when she was super picky about food. My little one absolutely loves anything that’s mixed in the standard Gravy that I use for many different types of Indo-Chinese food.

We have been trying to use our air fryer more lately so suffice to say, we are trying to eat healthier food. I have yet to deep fry Gobi Manchurian; I have shallow fried it in a pan and can tell you with certainty that air fried version tastes just as good; maybe a bit less crispy, but hey! it’s super healthy!

Serving size: 4 (assuming that you eat this as a meal). PREP TIME: 20 minute

Ingredients for Cauliflower Preparation

  • Cauliflower heads – 2 (cut into medium sized florets)
  • Batter
    • 4 tablespoons corn or besan (aka chickpea) flour
    • 8 tbsp all purpose flour
    • 2/3 cup water
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 5 tbsp oil

Ingredients for Gravy

  • 3 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 cup green onions
  • Garlic, chopped (6 cloves)
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 6 tbsp Sriracha sauce
  • 5 tbsp ketchup
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp corn starch


  • Steam the cauliflower florets on a Stove top (Add 15 cups of water in a large pot. Place the cauliflower florets in the hot boiling water for 2 minutes. Then take them out, drain water and set aside). ***Do not keep for longer than 2 minutes, otherwise cauliflower will get mushy***.
  • Make the batter
    • Mix all ingredients mentioned in “batter” section above. NOTE : add water slowly and mix well as you’re adding water.
  • Add the steamed cauliflower florets to the batter and gently mix to coat them with the batter.
  • Use parchment paper liner and coat it with oil or cooking spray. Line the steamed & batter coated cauliflower in single layer. Cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn the cauliflower over, and cook for another 5 – 10 mins.
    • NOTE: Ideally, you need good air circulation from all directions in an air fryer. If you don’t mind getting your air fryer a little dirty, try placing battered cauliflower without parchment paper. Alternatively, you can use a fork and make some holes on the parchment paper.
  • Gravy preparation
    • Heat a pan and 4 tablespoons of oil
    • Add garlic, chopped spring onion, onion and bell pepper. Cook on high flame for 5-10 min.
    • Add sriracha sauce, soy sauce, ketchup and honey. Mix everything.
    • Cook for 3-4 min more.
    • Add 1/4 cup water if you want to make gravy slight liquidy (I chose to omit this step)
    • Mix 1 tbsp of corn starch powder with water and add to gravy so it thickens up a bit [OPTIONAL]
  • Add air-fried cauliflower and gently mix in the gravy coating cauliflower florets evenly. Cook for another 1 minute. Turn the heat off, garnish with green onions and enjoy hot.
    • *****NOTE: Mix cauliflower florets and gravy about 20 min before serving. If done well in advance, cauliflower will get soggy. I like to mix them 15-20 min prior to serving so the flavors of the gravy blends in nicely with cauliflower****

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