This is a very popular Indo-Chinese appetizer popular in the Straits region and throughout Malaysia and India. If you’ve ever eaten at the Malabar Restaurant in Santa Cruz, you may have tasted this mouth-watering dish. The cauliflower has a crispy coating and is glazed with a mouth-watering Chinese spicy sauce.
1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut in to bite-size florets
Oil – for deep frying
For the batter:
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black peper
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
For the glaze:
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno (or other small green chilli – to taste) cut in slivers, diagonally
3 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons red chili sauce (or to taste)
4 teaspoons, or to taste
2 teaspoons white vinegar
4 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 green onions, cut diagonally for garnish
Heat oil in a medium sauce pan. Add onions, green chilis and garlic and cook until onions are golden. Add ketchup and red chili sauce and cook until iil starts to separate from mixture. Add soy sauce and vinegar and mix well. Mix cornstarch with water to make a slurry and add it to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until sauce starts to thicken. Set sauce aside and keep warm.
To make batter, place flour, cornstarch, salt, black pepper and water in a small bowl. Whisk until there are no lumps.
Heat oil in large sauce pan or deep fryer (you’ll need about 4 inches of oil for a medium sauce pan) until it is shivering and hot, about 360°F.
Toss a few cauliflower pieces into the batter and coat well on all sides. Carefully add a few pieces to the hot oil and deep fry until cauliflower is a medium dark brown color. Set cooked pieces aside on paper towel and keep warm.
Finish frying all of the cauliflower and then add it to the pan with the sauce. Toss well to coat cauliflower completely. Add green onions and toss again.