TGI Fry-Day: Gobi Manchurian at Rangoli

TGI Fry-Day

Reviews of fried food in Chicago.


[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

I know it's kind of hard to believe, but the little hunks of fried goodness pictured above are vegetables—not chicken, pork, or any other kind of meat. Not that you'll care much. Though the Gobi Manchurian ($9) at Rangoli in Humboldt Park is completely vegetarian, it's one greedy appetizer.

So what are they? Each and every one turns out to be cauliflower—one of the most underrated vegetables out there (in my opinion). But I didn't even know that it would fry so well. The florets are lightly breaded and then fried until crisp. Then they are sautéed with aromatics like garlic and ginger, and finally coated in a chili sauce. What's most interesting, however, is how light and airy the florets become. That explains why you won't feel the least bit bad about devouring the entire plate before the entrees even arrive.