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Cauliflower with Basil

I know we should not be eating deep fried food that much, but these crispy cauliflowers are seriously addictive.

When I see the beautiful fresh cauliflower, I can’t help but imagine how the sweet juice leaks against the golden crunchy skin in every bite. And that’s how I have to immediately dip the white flowerets in the batter and let them swim in smoky hot oil. Many times, I serve them hot with some sweet chili sauce or chipotle and mint chutney or proceed to one of my favourite recipe, Kobi Manchurian (the vegetarian version of fish Manchurian).

It took me many years later to realize that I could actually do anything with my deep fried cauliflowers. Whether dumping them in sweet and sour sauce, pasta sauce, or stir fry them in the wok, the results melt in our mouths with pleasurable feeling left behind.

Deep fried cauliflower is one of my homemade meat-substitutes that I use when cooking for vegetarian friends. The batter coated cauliflowers encrusts another crispy and chewy layer against the voluptuous texture. Though I am not trying to replicate how the meat taste, but I can’t help thinking that it tasted like chicken without meaty smell. In fact, I was once mistaken deep fried cauliflower as chicken in Chinese restaurant here India.

A quick stir fry dashing up with basil and red bell peppers gives a vibrant makeover to deep fried cauliflowers. The seasoning lightly glazes and embeds into the crunchy chunks while fresh basil smothers the sweet fragrance versus the pungent taste of bell peppers in the dish in the end.

Cauliflower with Basil

Ingredients (4 servings)

For deep fried cauliflower

500 gm cauliflower- cut or separated into medium flowerets

3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup corn flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground white pepper

3/4-1 cup chilled water

Oil for deep frying

For stir frying

1 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 red bell peppers- sliced

1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp sugar

2-3 tbsp of vegetable stock or water

1 tbsp oil for deep frying


  1. Combine flour, corn flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in the mixing bowl. Add water and briskly stir until just combined.
  2. Dip cauliflower flowerets one by one in the batter and deep fry until golden brown and keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan over the medium heat and sauté garlic until lightly brown. Add onion, red bell peppers and give a quick stir.
  4. Add soy sauce, sugar and some vegetable stock and let it sizzle for a minute or so.
  5. Add deep fry cauliflowers into the sauce and toss well.
  6. Add fresh basil and give the last quick stir. Serve hot as appetizer or with some rice.

Deep fry cauliflowers kept disappearing from the kitchen towel as I removed them from hot oil. Before I actually got to the stir frying part, Yaseen have already finished more than half of my crispy cauliflower fries.

The simple stir fried blended savory flavour into cauliflowers while fresh basil and bell peppers elevated more fresh and colors into the dish. It was a great snack, though I also enjoyed the juice within the crunchy chunks burst into the mountain of steamed rice very much.

Take care,

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