The use of cauliflower in South Indian cuisine is almost unheard of. We do use “other English vegetables” like carrots quite a bit but cauliflower rarely finds a place in mainstream cooking. The two versions that are quite popular in my home are Cauliflower Vepudu (Cauliflower Stir Fry) and Cauliflower Pesara Pappu Koora.
Cauliflower Pesara Pappu Koora is mild, easy to make, and goes very well with both rice and roti.
- Cauliflower Florets – 3 Cups
- Pesara Pappu/Moong Dal/Husked Green Gram – 3/4 Cup
- Minapa Pappu/Udad Dal/Husked Black Gram – 1 tbsp
- Avalu/Rai/Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Jeelakarra/Jeera/Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Red Chillies – 2 or 3
- Curry Leaves – A few
- Oil – 1 tbsp.
- Salt to Taste
- In a large enough vessel, mix the cauliflower florets and pesara pappu.
- Add 1/2 tsp salt and enough water to just cover the cauliflower-pesara pappu mix.
- Pressure cook for exactly one whistle or cook covered on open heat till the cauliflower and dal are just done.
- Drain the excess water.
- In a kadai/wok, heat the oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
- Add the udad dal and fry till golden brown.
- Add the cumin seeds, split red chillies, and curry leaves.
- Fry for 10 seconds.
- Add the cooked cauliflower-pesara pappu mix.
- Add salt.
- With a gentle hand, mix well.
- Serve hot with rice or rotis.
- Be careful not to overcook the pesara pappu and/or cauliflower. Otherwise you will have a mashed koora on your hands. 🙂
- The pesara pappu should be cooked to the point that you can break it with a spoon, but it retains shape.
- The cauliflower should be just al dente.
- The salt in step 2 is to prevent the dal from turning mushy.