ORANGE CAULIFLOWER–A VEGETARIAN’S ORANGE CHICKEN
This recipe for Orange Cauliflower is a vegetarian’s solution to the apparently amazing Orange chicken that is available at Panda Express. A sweet and sour (tending towards sweet) sauce flavored with freshly squeezed orange juice… new realms of joy!
Blogging has been a roller-coaster ride for me. I know I know. Life itself is a roller-coster ride and the one who meets ups and downs with the same gusto emerges the winner. Blah blah blah! The meeting with same gusto thing is much easier said than done especially for someone like me who explodes with emotions at the drop of a hat! There’s one day when I am jumping up with joy and am sharing joyful news of magazine publication like this. And then there are days when it takes every ounce of energy in my body to post a recipe because I am not sure if anybody but my mom reads it (I can as well tell her that over the phone right?!)
That gets me thinking. Would I enjoy the process of blogging if it were to be an overnight star? If I did not have to work so hard to put my best out there and wait for the results to show up? Meh! I am not saying that I can remain calm through the ups and downs. I am saying that I am going to cry and sulk through the lows and party through the highs. There is no reason to remain calm. I am going to strap myself tight, ride the waves and surf through the medley of emotions (Yo Baby!)
Echoing my style of living it up is the recipe for Orange Cauliflower (Panda Express makes only Orange Chicken. Why should non vegetarians have all the fun?!) Succulent pieces of cauliflower tossed in a sauce which is……. You got it! A medley! A melodic medley of flavours! if you can’t wait.dive into it and enjoy it as an appetizer (like the popular Indian gobi manchurian) or have it with rice as a side and finish your meal!
So, enjoy homemade take-out food with this recipe for
ORANGE CAULIFLOWER – A VEGETARIAN’S ORANGE CHICKEN
- 1 medium sized cauliflower broken into florets (made approx. 3 cups)
- 1/2 cup diced bell peppers (Mixed colors)
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup water (to make a batter)
- Oil for frying + 1 tbsp
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp Sriracha (Or any other red chili paste/sauce)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp green onion, thinly sliced
- Heat oil for frying
- In another pan, heat half tbsp. oil and add the diced peppers. Sauté them for a min or 2 until they turn golden. Make sure that you are not overcooking the peppers. Set aside once they are done.
- Mix the corn starch and all-purpose flour with a pinch of salt and water to make a thick batter.
- The batter should be thick enough to coat the cauliflower florets evenly.
- Dip each cauliflower floret into the batter and add them into hot oil for frying.
- Fry them in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan.
- Once the batter covering the florets turns crisp, drain them out of the oil and place them on paper towels.
- Once you are done frying all the florets, you have to keep them crisp until you are ready to toss them in the sauce. You can do this either by keeping them warm in a pre-heated oven or re-frying them in hot oil for just a min before adding them into the sauce.
- For the sauce, heat 1/2 tbsp oil in the pan you roasted the peppers in. Add minced ginger and garlic.
- Sauté them for a min until they turn golden. Add the orange zest in.
- Add the broth, orange juice, sriracha, soy sauce, sugar and mix well.
- Meanwhile, mix 2 tbsp of corn starch in water to make a thin paste.
- Once the broth-orange mixture begins to boil, lower the heat. Add the crushed black pepper and salt (if required only)
- Add the corn starch paste into the boiling mixture in a slow steady stream. Make sure you are constantly stirring the simmering mixture with your other hand while adding the corn flour paste.
- Once the mixture thickens, toss in the fried cauliflower and the sautéed bell peppers.
- Mix well and increase the heat up a notch. Heat for a min or 2.
- Transfer it to a serving dish and garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
If the oranges you have used are too sweet, add about 2 tbsp white vinegar into the sauce while the mixture is boiling.
If the oranges you have used are too sour, add a little more sugar to suit your taste.
Use a minimum amount of salt and only if required.
Note: Recipe for Orange sauce adapted from Damn Delicious