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Cauliflower is low in fat, low in carbohydrates but high in dietary fiber,water, and vitamin C, possessing high nutritional density. Steaming or microwaving better preserves anticancer compounds than boiling.

My husband indulges himself if I make this sambar and I don’t have to worry even if I have to buy a large flower :-)

Cauliflower sambar

Cauliflower Sambar/Kuzhambu

Ingredients:

Roasted Bengal Gram/ Pottu kadalai – 2 tsp
Sambar powder – 2 tsp
Coconut scraped – 3 tsp
Tomato medium sized – 1/2
Small onion – 2 to 3
Tamarind, lemon-sized, soaked in ½ cup of water for 10 minutes

Cauliflower medium sized -1

Toor dal, cooked – ½ cup

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp

Curry leaves – 4-5

Coriander leaves to garnish

Salt to taste

Method:

1. Cut the cauliflower into big florets and steam in microwave for 2 mins. Ensure that the florets are not over-cooked.

2. Grind the ingredients that are in italics finely in a mixer grinder.

3. To the saucepan, add the ground mixture, cooked dhal and allow it to cook for few mins till the raw smell fades. Add salt.

4. Heat ¼ tsp of oil and sauté the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida and add to the above mixture.

5. Add the half cooked cauliflower florets and allow it to boil with the mixture for few minutes. Kindly note that if the mixture boils for a long time then the florets will be over cooked and become mushy.

6. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Poondu(garlic) karuvapillai(curry leaves) milagu(pepper) kuzhambu(gravy) is another tasty south Indian dish that is prepared and served when one is recovering from fever or when the weather is very cold or as a special diet for feeding mothers. The garlic, pepper and curry leaves have lots of medicinal values and aid in easy digestion and improved lactation. This dish can be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within 10 days. This dish tastes best when mixed with rice and eaten with papad(appalam). Paruppu thuvaiyal is a good combination with this dish.

Poondu karuvapillai milagu kuzhambu:


Ingredients:

Red Chilli – 4
Pepper corns – 1 tbs
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Garlic pods – 10
Urad dal – 1tbs
Toor dal – ½ cup
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Tamarind, lemon-sized, soaked in ½ cup of water for 10 minutes
Curry leaves- ½ cup
Gingely oil – 2 tbs
Asafoetida – ½ tsp

Method:

1. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and fry all the above ingredients except the mustard seeds,turmeric powder, asafoetida and tamarind. Add ¼ cup of water to the mixture and keep aside for 30 min. Fine grind the mixture.
2. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a kadai and sauté the mustard seeds, turmeric powder and asafoetida.
3. Squeeze out the thick tamarind juice using 2 cups of water and add to the above mixture. Add salt according to the taste and allow it to boil till the raw smell of the tamarind dissapears.
4. Add the ground mixture to the tamarind gravy and stir constantly till there are no lumps.
5. Add 1 tbs of gingely oil and allow it to boil and stir constantly till the oil seperates from the kuzhambu(gravy).

Pitlai is another tasty south Indian dish similar to sambar. We do not use sambar powder, instead prepare with ground spices and coconut. This dish tastes best when mixed with rice and eaten with papad(appalam).

Many does not prefer Bitter gourd due to its taste even though it has excellent medicinal values.when bitter gourd is used as the main vegetable along with chickpea| Mochai(Field bean), you will start loving the taste of the bitter gourd due to the aroma and taste.

Brinjal Pitlai:
Brinjal Pitlai

Ingredients:

Bitter Gourd, cut into thin circular pieces – 2-3

Toor dal, cooked – ½ cup

Chickpea or Field bean, cooked – ¼ cup (optional)

Tamarind, lemon-sized, soaked in ½ cup of water for 10
minutes

Refined oil – 2tsp

Mustard seeds – 1tsp

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Coriander seeds – 2 tbs

Chana dal – 2tbs

Black peppercorns – 4-5

Dry red chillies – 2-3

Asafoetida a pinch

Salt to taste

Coconut, scraped – ½ cup

Curry leaves – 4-5

Method:

Ingredients Ground Mixture_Pitlai

  1. Squeeze out the tamarind juice and keep aside.
  2. Heat ¼ tsp of oil in a kadai and sauté the mustard seeds. Add the vegetable, turmeric powder, tamarind extract and salt. Allow to boil till the vegetable is cooked, adding water if necessary.
  3. Heat the remaining oil and sauté the remaining ingredients except curry leaves and chickpea or Field beans till the coconut is reddish brown in color. Allow it to cool and grind to a fine powder.
  4. Add the cooked toor dal, curry leaves, spice powder and chickpea to the bitter gourd mixture. Stir and cook for few minutes. Add water, if required to get the correct consistency.
  5. Serve with plain rice and papad.

Tips:

  1. To remove bitterness from the bitter gourd, rub salt all over the cut bitter gourd slices and leave it for 15-20 min and rinse off the salt and the water beneath the vessel. Squeeze the water out of the bitter gourd.
  2. You can alternatively use vegetables like brinjal or drumstick or kothavaranga (cluster beans) instead of bitter gourd. instead of bitter gourd.

This dish is an all-time favorite to the traditional Tamilian. This may be prepared with a whole slew of fresh vegetables or marinated and dried(vatral) vegetables. This dish tastes best when mixed with rice and eaten with papad (appalam). Vatral is prepared by soaking the vegetables like manathakkali(black-nighshade), sundakkai(turkey berry), kothavaranga(cluster beans) in buttermilk, salt and dried in sunlight. These are also readily available in super-market.
When small onions is used as the main vegetable, the tangy taste of the tamarind, the aroma of the small onion in combination with curd rice, tastes like ambrosia.

  • Onion Vatral Kuzhambu
  • onion vatral kuzhambu

  • Manathakkali Vatral Kuzhambu
  • Manathakkali vatral kuzhambu

    Ingredients:
    Small onions, pealed or ( manathakkali| sundakkai| kothavaranga | Brinjal vatral or Fried Papad or onion and garlic together| Drumstick) – 1 cup
    Tamarind, lemon-sized, soaked in ½ cup of water for 10 minutes
    Sambar powder – 2 tsp
    Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
    Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
    Toor dal – 1 ½ tsp
    Red Chillies – 1 or 2 as per your taste
    Asafoetida – a pinch
    Curry leaves – 5 to 6
    Gingely oil – 3 – 4 tsp
    Salt to taste

    Method:
    1. Heat the oil in a kadai and sauté the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chillies, toor dal and asafoetida till golden brown.
    2. Add the curry leaves, any one of the above mentioned vegetables and fry for 1-2 min. Add the sambar powder and fry for another 1-2 min till golden brown.

    Ingredients
    3. Squeeze out the tamarind juice and dilute this juice in 2 cups of water by repeating the process. Add to the fried mixture. Add salt to taste.
    4. Allow it to boil till the mixture thickens.
    5. Serve with papad and plain rice.

    Note:
    1. If the ‘kuzhambu’ is too watery and does not thicken, add 1 tsp corn flour in ¼ cup of water and allow it to boil till the mixture thickens.
    2. Instead of vegetables, if you select fried papad, follow the method as mentioned above and add the crushed papad at the end.

    Garlic has long been considered a herbal “wonder drug”, with a reputation in folklore for preventing everything from the common cold and flu to the Plague!

    My Father-In-Law believes that eating this dish keeps his body warm especially after his oil massage :-) Enjoy the taste and aroma of this dish.

    This is my entry to the event JFI – Virundhu:Garlic for the month of April, 2008.

    Poondu kuzhambu

    Ingredients for 2 members:

    Garlic peeled – 1 cup

    Black peppercorns - 1 tsp

    Coriander seeds – 1 ¼ tsp

    Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

    Channa dal – 1tsp

    Toor dal - 1 tsp

    Urad dal - ¼ tsp

    Red chillies – 1 or 2 as per your taste

    Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp

    Gingely oil – 1 ½ tbs

    Tamarind, lemon-sized, soaked in ¼ cup of water for 5 minutes, juice extracted

    Salt to taste

    Ingredients

    Method:

    1. Heat the 1 tsp of oil in a pan and fry all the above ingredients except the mustard seeds, garlic and tamarind. Allow the mixture to cool.
    2. Grind the tamarind juice and the fried ingredients together. Grind them till it becomes a paste. Keep this aside.
    3. Heat 1 tbs of oil in a kadai and sauté the mustard seeds and garlic until the garlic color changes to slightly brown.
    4. Add 1 or 2 cups of water to the above mixture and heat till the garlic is half cooked.
    5. Add the ground paste and salt to the above mixture. Remove from heat when the garlic is well cooked.
    6. Garnish with coriander leaves.

    Note:

    This dish will be thick in consistency and can be stored in refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

    The preparation of this dish is very easy and tasty when you keep all the ingredients ready. Typically, in south Indian homes, this dish will be prepared at least twice every month and the ideal combination for this kuzhambu would be paruppu usili. As the intake of coconut and dal is more, for easy digestion of food, Poondu milagu jeeraga(Garlic pepper cumin) rasam is prepared along with this dish.

    For this recipe, I have used saeppa kizhangu(Colocasia esculenta) as the main vegetable. In the tips section, there is mention of other vegetables that could be used instead of Colocasia.

    Mor kuzhambu

    Ingredients:

    colocasia esculentaColocasia esculenta(saeppa kizhangu), steam cooked, peeled – ¼ kg

    Sour curd, whisked – 2 cups

    Green chilies – 3 or 4 as per your taste

    Ginger, a small piece – 1

    Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp

    Toor dal – ½ tsp

    Channa dal – ½ tsp

    Coconut, grated – ¾ – 1 cup

    Curry leaves – 5 to 6

    Coconut oil or refined oil – 2 tsp (coconut oil enhances the taste)

    Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

    Asafoetida – a pinch

    Turmeric powder – a pinch

    Salt to taste

    Method:

    1. Soak the dal in water for 15-20 min and finely grind it along with green chillies, cumin seeds, ginger and grated coconut.
    2. Mix the ground mixture to the whisked curd.

    Ingredients step 2
    3. Heat the oil in a kadai and sauté the mustard seeds, curry leaves, pinch of turmeric powder and asafoetida. Add the steamed vegetable (collacasia) and fry for a minute.
    4. Add the curd mixture and salt and allow it to cook on low heat, stirring continuously. Remove and garnish with coriander leaves, if required.

    Tips:

    1. Other vegetables that may be used – brinjal(big or small), white pumpkin, cucumber, lady’s finger, drum stick, potato, manathakali vatral, sundaikkai vatral and so on
    2. For use later, do not reheat this dish in the stove; use microwave oven instead.
    3. If you are using any of the following vegetables – lady’s finger, small brinjal, manathakali vatral or sundaikkai vatral, fry them in oil and then add to the curd mixture.
    4. If you are using any of these vegetables – brinjal(big), white pumpkin, drumstick or lady’s finger, then steam cook them with salt and water.
    5. If you prefer using more coconut, then you may discard the dal and grind only the green chillies, cumin seeds, ginger and grated coconut and follow the procedure from step 2.
    6. If the consistency is too thin, add 1 tsp of rice flour to 3 tbs of water and add to step 4.

    Eggplant(Brinjal)/onions cooked in a tangy tamarind gravy spiced with both red and green chillies, goes well with Ven Pongal or even dosas / Idlis.

    GothsuPongal

    Ingredients:

    Onions/Brinjal, Chopped 1 1/2 cup
    Tamarind, Lemon-sized, soaked in
    1 cup warm water for 5 min,
    juice extracted 1
    Refined Oil 3 tsp
    Mustard seeds 3/4 tsp
    Dry red chillies 2-3
    Asafoetida a pinch
    Curry leaves 5-6
    Green chillies, chopped 1-2
    Salt to taste
    Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
    Rice flour, dissolved in little water 1/2 tsp

    Method:

    1. Heat the oil in a deep pan; add mustard seeds, dry red chillies, and asafoetida. When the seeds start spluttering, add curry leaves, green chillies and onions.
    Fry the onions for a minute.
    2. Add the tamarind extract and salt. Reduce the heat and bring the mixture to boil till the raw smell of tamarind disappears and onion is cooked.
    3. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds; remove and powder.
    4. Add the fenugreek powder, and if required some water to make up quantity(this should make half a litre). Add the rice flour paste and boil for 2 min.
    4. Serve hot with Ven Pongal/Idlis/Dosai.

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