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.


Poondu karuvapillai milagu kuzhambu

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:


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


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


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

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


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.


  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.

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.

Sambar Powder

“Sambar powder” is the main ingredient in the preparation of the tasty South Indian sambar as it adds flavor and aroma to the sambar.

Sambar powder

Ingredients: (for 4 and storage for 3-4 months)

Red Chillies – 250 gms

Dhania / Corriander seeds – 500 gms

Black peppercorns – 100 gms

Turmeric powder – 50 gms

Toor dal – 250gms

Urad dal – 1 cup

Channa dal – 1 cup

Fenugreek seeds – 50 gms


  1. Fry the fenugreek seeds without oil till they turn golden brown. Keep this separately.
  2. Fry all the remaining ingredients till you smell the aroma.
  3. Fine grind all the ingredients together.