There are a few fried cauliflower (gobi) appetizers offered in Indian restaurants. The most common ones are Gobi Manchurian, which is an Indo-Chinese dish with sweet, sour, and spicy sauce; and Gobi 65, a spicy fried cauliflower in a cornstarch and flour batter with curry leaves. This is a baked version of Gobi 65. You can also fry the cauliflower for a restaurant-style version. Serve alone or with a side of mint-cilantro or coconut chutney. To make these glutenfree, use 1/2 cup chickpea flour + 1/4 cup rice flour instead of unbleached all-purpose flour.
BATTER: 2 tablespoons chopped red onion 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (here) 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cayenne 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce, chile-garlic sauce, or other hot sauce 1 (1-inch) knob of ginger 4 cloves garlic 12 curry leaves 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 cup of water 2 teaspoons safflower or other neutral oil
CAULIFLOWER: Safflower oil spray, as needed 4 1/2 cups small cauliflower florets
GARNISH: 1 teaspoon safflower or other neutral oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion 1/3 cup thinly sliced green or red bell pepper 10 curry leaves, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Blend all the ingredients for the batter in a blender and blend until smooth and pasty. Transfer to a large bowl. If the batter is too thin, add 1 tablespoon flour, or more, and mix well. 2. Add the cauliflower florets to the batter, toss to coat, and let marinate for at least 15 minutes. Mix to coat again. Place the florets on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and spray with oil. 3. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet. Bake until a toothpick passes through the cauliflower easily, about 15 minutes. The total baking time is 30 to 35 minutes. 4. Make the garnish: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, peppers, and curry leaves, and cook until the onion is golden, 7 to 9 minutes. 5. Garnish the baked cauliflower with the onion mixture. Serve hot.