This is such a cool recipe! It took me a while to find out how to make it and this recipe nails it. I have well documented photos because I always want to remember this recipe. It comes from Saveur Magazine. I first tasted this at an Indian/Chinese restaurant in Washington DC and loved it! It is not that hard but deep frying anything always is a hurdle to get over in the kitchen because it is messy and a pain to pour the oil back in the containers afterward. This recipe is worth it and you only need about an inch of oil so its not that bad.
12 cloves garlic
4 (2″) pieces peeled fresh ginger (3 cut into thin coins, 1 julienned)
1 head cauliflower, cut into large florets
2⁄3 cup cornstarch
2⁄3 cup flour
1 tsp. red chile powder
Freshly ground white pepper
2 tsp. plus 3 tbsp. soy sauce
Peanut oil for frying
2 small onions, chopped
a little bit of chopped carrot and red or green bell pepper (this is my addition to the recipe)
8-10 Thai chiles, thinly sliced
1⁄2 cup ketchup
1 1⁄2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Purée garlic, ginger coins, and 1⁄3 cup water in blender; set aside. Boil cauliflower in a pot of salted water until tender, 6–7 minutes; drain.
Whisk together cornstarch, flour, chile powder, 1⁄2 tsp. salt, and 1⁄4 tsp. pepper in a bowl. Stir in half the garlic paste, 2 tsp. soy sauce, and 3⁄4 cup water to make a batter. Pour oil into a large deep skillet to a depth of 1″; heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, dip cauliflower in batter; fry until golden, 5–6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. Drain all but about 6 tbsp. of the oil. Add onions, carrot and bell pepper; cook for 3–4 minutes. Add chiles and remaining garlic paste; cook until paste is lightly browned, 3–4 minutes. Add ketchup, remaining soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1⁄3 cup water. Boil; lower heat to medium-low; simmer until thick, 1–2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste; toss cauliflower in sauce. Garnish with remaining ginger, scallions, and cilantro. Serve with white rice, if you like.