Gobi 65 – What an intriguing name, you may think! Indeed, Gobi 65 is a very strange name for a recipe. But let me explain: Gobi is the Hindi word for Cauliflower, which makes sense as the main ingredient of the recipe. 65 on the other hand is a lot harder to deduce. Nobody can agree – some say that it’s because the original recipe included 65 ingredients, while others say that the restaurant who creates the dish was founded in 1965. Others still suggest that it was the 65th dish on the menu!
Whatever the origin of the name, this dish really is something spectacular. The Vegetarian (now Vegan!) version of the Chennai classic ‘Chicken 65’, Gobi 65 happens to be my all time favourite cauliflower recipe.
Blanched cauliflower florets are drenched in a batter made from intense spices and chickpea flour, then deep fried until the outside is a crispy, crunchy, spicy delight while the inside is perfectly soft and tender. And that’s not all! A tempering with traditional South Indian flavours – pungent ginger, fiery dried chillis, sweet and tangy fresh curry leaves, a little sugar and a punch of acidity all come together to coat the crispy cauliflower bites.
Gobi 65 is like Cauliflower Wings – but better. A must try for everyone.
Is Gobi 65 Vegan, Gluten Free and Nut Free?
My recipe for Gobi 65 is Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Nut Free and Soy Free. This means that it’s the perfect appetiser or party food for everyone regardless of dietary preferences or needs.
Usually, Gobi 65 is not Vegan and sometimes it is also not Gluten Free either. So what makes my recipe suitable for everyone?
Firstly, this dish uses Cornflour and Chickpea Flour (Besan) for the batter, which are both naturally Gluten Free as opposed to Plain Flour.
Additionally when the cauliflower is tempered, instead of using the traditional yoghurt, this recipe uses either Lemon Juice, Vegan Yoghurt, or Cider Vinegar for the acidic flavour.
Tips to make the make best Gobi 65:
- If the batter looks too runny, just add 1 tsp extra Chickpea Flour at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. And if it’s too thick – add a splash of water.
- When frying the Gobi 65, be sure not to overcrowd the pan. This prevents the florets from sticking together and allows them room to get properly crispy!
- If you want a vibrant red colour, use larger amounts of Kashmiri Chilli Powder as opposed to ordinary Chilli Powder – it has a great flavour and very bright colour.
- What you use to get the acidic taste in this recipe will dictate the texture. If you use lemon juice or cider vinegar, you’ll have a much drier dish. The tempering won’t stick so well to the cauliflower, but it will be delicious.
- If you use Vegan yoghurt in the tempering, whisk it well beforehand and mix the powdered spices with it. Add it when the temperature of the pan is low and don’t overheat.
- You can skip the tempering step entirely and just eat the crunchy cauliflower like pakora.
Can you oven bake or air-fry Gobi 65?
For the best results, I recommend that Gobi 65 is deep fried. It may not be particularly healthy – but a little bit of indulgence never hurt anyone! My motto is everything in moderation.
Having said that, if you want to go for the healthy route, baking or air-frying is a wonderful option that will produce great results.
To bake Gobi 65, preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. When making the batter, be sure that it’s a little thick and sticking well to the cauliflower – add a little additional flour if necessary. Once the oven is hot, line a baking tray with baking parchment or tinfoil, and carefully arrange the battered florets. Be sure to not overlap the florets. Spray or drizzle a little neutral oil over the top and bake for 20 minutes, turning half way in-between. If the Gobi 65 needs a little more crispiness, simply grill for an additional 5 minutes.
To air fry Gobi 65, heat your air fryer to 180 degrees C. Spray the basket with cooking oil. When making the batter, be sure that it’s a little thick and sticking well to the cauliflower – add a little additional flour if necessary. When ready, carefully place the florets into the basket, being sure not to overcrowd. Fry for 6 minutes, and then carefully turn the pieces around and fry for another 6 minutes, or until golden brown.
This Recipe Is …
- Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Soy Free, and Nut Free
- Crispy and crunchy with soft insides
- Totally non-greasy – plus with options to air fry or oven bake
- Spicy and full of unique flavours
- Budget Friendly
For more Vegan recipes, why not check out the following? Authentic Falafels – a Middle Eastern snack made from Chickpeas, Herbs and Spices; Aloo Palak, a semi-dry gravy with Potatoes and Spinach and a gorgeous coconut base; Vegetable Sambar, a mixed vegetable and lentil soup that’s warming and hearty; Chilli Tofu, an street food classic and Chinese inspired Indian dish with homemade tofu; Palak Puri, a puffy bread made with a spinach dough, or Chana Masala, the ultimate chickpea curry!
How to Serve Gobi 65
My favourite way to serve Gobi 65 is next to a bed of fresh salad with mixed greens, lettuce, onions, and even other additions like nuts, lentils, vegan cheese, tomatoes, or raw vegetables. This makes for a vibrant starter which is healthy and bursting full of flavour.
The crispy battered cauliflower florets also work incredibly well in a wrap with freshly made Garlic and Coriander Naan, salad, crunchy greens, and maybe even Chutney or Vegan Raita. Perfect for lunch or brunch!
Alternatively, why not go simple and present the battered cauliflower in a large platter or bowl, for everyone to helps themselves – buffet style?