Cauliflower Sambar

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


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


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.


Vatral kuzhambu

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

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Poondu(Garlic) Kuzhambu(Sambar)

    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



    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.


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