Gobi Manchiurian, a fusion dish known for little cauliflower florets coated in a spicy red sauce, is a lip-smacking treat for many. But recently, Mapusa, a city in Goa, has taken measures to ban this dish. Despite being a favourite among food enthusiasts, concerns related to the usage of synthetic colours and hygiene prompted the decision to prohibit the dish from stalls and feasts, as reported by The Times Of India.
Talking about the ban, Mapusa Municipal Council chairperson Priya Mishal told TOI: “The councillors opined that such vendors operate in unhygienic conditions and use synthetic colours for making gobi Manchurian and that is what has prompted us to ban the sale of this dish.”
Reportedly, this ban was suggested by the Councilor Tarak Arolkar during Bogdeshwar temple feast last month and this is not the first ban incident in Goa. Reports suggest that previously, in 2022, during the Vasco Saptah fair at the Shree Damodar temple, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) had directed the Mormugao Municipal Council to limit the presence of Gobi Manchurian stalls. Before issuing this directive, the FDA had conducted raids on these stalls as part of efforts to control its widespread availability.
Talking about the recent ban, a senior food safety officer (FSO) at the FDA said that sellers had been fined by the authorities for using inferior sauce that was unsafe for consumption. “They keep the quality sauce on display but use substandard ones for the preparation of gobi manchurian. They use some kind of powder in the flour and cornstarch in the batter so that after deep frying, the cauliflower florets remain crispy for a long time,” the official told TOI.
According to the officer, this powder is a sort of reetha, which is used for washing clothes, hence the reason vendors sell the dish so cheap in zatras.
While the Mapusa Municipal Council (MMC) is implementing measures to curb and prohibit the sale of Gobi Manchurian, street vendors have expressed a contrasting sentiment.
“We did receive instructions from officials not to sell gobi manchurian. Because of a few individuals, why is the municipality targettingall of us?” TOI quotes a vendor as saying.
About Gobi Manchurian:
The origins of Gobi Manchurian can be linked to its non-vegetarian counterpart, chicken Manchurian. Nelson Wang, a Chinese culinary pioneer in Mumbai, is acknowledged for creating chicken Manchurian in the 1970s while catering at the Cricket Club of India. Faced with the challenge of innovation, Mr. Wang deep-fried chicken nuggets in a spicy cornflour batter, serving them either dry or in a tangy gravy made with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and occasionally tomato sauce. Later, Gobi Manchurian emerged as the vegetarian alternative to this inventive dish.