I wonder if other food bloggers ever face this problem that I end up with many times – ‘What should I call this dish?’ Lol! I am guessing they probably do! Anyways, this time the newest issue of ‘Better Homes and Garden’ came to my rescue as I was scratching my head for a name for this recipe! They had proudly labeled one of their featured recipes as ‘Asian Style Chicken with blah blah…’ and I was like ‘Yes! that’s exactly what I am going to call this stew too!’ 🙂
Actually this basic recipe does have a name in India – It is called Cauliflower Manchurian. But the funny thing is this dish is neither Indian nor Manchurian (God knows where on earth that place is !) While I was growing up in the 80’s in India, there was this huge craze for ‘IndoChinese fast-food’. And this Gobi(Cauliflower) Manchurian was one of them along with ‘hot and sour soup’ and ‘Chicken Manchow’, etc etc. All the said dishes are extremely tasty – totally drool worthy ! In fact I have posted a dish of Chili Chicken before here which is so damn good. No idea how these dishes came about since they are a perfect fusion of Indian and Chinese flavors.
Anyways, this particular stew is similar to the Manchurian except I have ‘paleofied’ the recipe and I added mushrooms since I just happened to have mushrooms too 🙂 But names aside, believe me when I tell you that this stew turned out to be absolutely, positively delicious and tastes fabulous with cassava tortillas or my grain free rotis.
I have used a bit of Kashmiri chilli pepper(AIP reintro) in this which is the only nightshade / chilli pepper I can tolerate. You could use black pepper instead if you can tolerate that. But even keeping it strictly ‘elimination phase compliant AIP’, this stew has lots of flavor owing to the ginger, garlic and the coconut aminos. The crispy pan fried cauliflower should be added to the stew just before serving so that it retains its crisp texture. The cauliflower florets will have only a light coating of tapioca to give them a slightly crisp edge – too much batter will give it a different texture and then there is the danger of the coating coming off completely when you add them into the sauce. The slight crisp bite of the cauliflower mixed with the gooey sauce is perfect and a match made in heaven! I have already made this recipe thrice this past month – Yum Yum good! Hope you like it too. Let me know!
- 10 large cloves garlic
- A 2 inch by 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ of a large cauliflower, separated into large florets (rinsed and dried)
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour
- ½ cup water
- ½ tsp kashmiri chilli powder or ground black pepper (OMIT for AIP)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste (see recipe above)
- About ¼ cup coconut oil for pan frying
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 2 bunch scallions, chopped (reserve some greens for garnish)
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- About 1½ cups sliced mushrooms
- 1-2 tbsp coconut aminos
- ¼ tsp kashmiri chilli powder or ground black pepper (OMIT for AIP)
- 2 cups water
- sea salt if needed
- 1½ bsp tapioca flour mixed in ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves chopped fine (optional)
- Place all the ingredients in a small food processor jar and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the tapioca flour, water, kashmiri chilli or black pepper (if adding), sea salt and the ginger garlic paste. Mix to form a thick batter. Add the cauliflower florets into the bowl and gently toss to coat with batter.(You will not have a lot of batter coating each floret but that is ok) Keep aside.
- In a frying pan, heat about ½ of the coconut oil and when hot, add half of the cauliflower florets and shallow fry on medium heat for two mins on each side. Pick using a slotted spoon and place in a dish. Finish frying the rest of the cauliflower the same way. Keep these fried cauliflower aside uncovered at room temperature or place in a warm oven.
- In a wok style pan or in a wide bottomed pan, heat the oil. Then add the scallions and stir fry for a minute. Next add the ginger garlic paste and stir fry for 30 secs and then add the sliced mushrooms. saute on medium heat for 2-3 mins until mushrooms are cooked. Then add the coconut aminos (per taste) and kashmiri chilli/black pepper if adding and the water. Check for seasoning and add salt or pepper as needed. Finally in a small bowl mix the tapioca flour in the water and add this slurry to the stew slowly stirring continuously until the stew thickens. Turn heat off. Just before serving the stew, add the fried cauliflower to it and heat it for a couple mins until hot. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves on top.