Kootu, a traditional South Indian style thick stew, is an aromatic savory amalgamation of vegetables and dal flavored with a spice base that usually includes black pepper and coconut. There are many variations to the kootu masala based on the region it is prepared.
Cauliflower Kootu is a classic vegan curry featuring cauliflower, tur dal, coconut, tamarind and a mix of spices like coriander, black pepper and lentils that form the kootu masala. These simple ingredients make for a fresh hotpot packed with nutrition and flavor. Tamarind is the key ingredient that gives this South Indian vegetarian curry a slightly sweet-sour flavor that is balanced with the earthy kootu masala. I have added mixed vegetables like potato, carrot and green peas for boost the nutrition profile of the kootu. Kootu is usually best served with rice but you can serve the left overs with dosa or chapati. 🙂
Our lunch ~ Cauliflower kootu, beans velluli karam, sun dried tomato pickle, sun dried chilies and gummadi vadiyalu
Cauliflower florets - small head, washed and placed in salted hot water for 5 mts
Potato - 1, medium size, peeled and cubed (optional)
Carrot - 1, medium size, peeled and cubed
Green peas - fistful (optional)
Onions - 1, medium, finely chopped
Tomatoes - 1, medium, finely chopped (optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Tur dal - 1/2 cup, cooked
Tamarind - medium sized lemon ball, soaked in 1/2 cup water and extract juice
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsps
Kootu Masala - dry roast and grind:
Dry red chilies - 3
Black pepper corns - 10-12
Coriander seeds - 1 1/2 tbsp
Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Split gram dal - 1/2 tbsp
Fresh coconut - 1/4 cup, grated
Method for making Cauliflower Kootu
1: Wash tur dal, add 1 1/2 cups of water and pressure cook the dal till soft and set aside.
2: In a heavy bottomed vessel, dry roast all the ingredients (except coconut) called for kootu masala on low flame for 6-7 mts or till you get a nice aroma. Add grated coconut and roast for 3 mts and turn off flame. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.
3: Heat oil in the vessel, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add curry leaves and asafoetida and saute for a few secs.
4: Add the chopped onions and saute for 4 mts. Add turmeric powder and the chopped mixed vegetables and saute for 7-8 mts on low medium flame. Add the ground masala powder and mix well. Add tomatoes and saute for 4 to 5 mts.
5: Add the cooked tur dal and green peas along with a cup of water and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer with lid for 8-10 mts or till the vegetables are three fourth cooked.
6: Add the tamarind extract along with a cup of water and cook on low-medium flame with lid for another 10-12 mts or till the rawness of tamarind disappears and the vegetables are fully cooked. Turn off flame and remove to a serving bowl.
7: Serve warm with rice and papad.
When the tur dal is cooking, do the preparation work. Prepare the masala, chop the vegetables and extract the tamarind juice.
If you do not have fresh coconut, use dry unsweetened coconut powder.
You can use a mixture of 2 to 3 dals like yellow moong and channa dal along with tur dal. Whatever dals you choose to use, see that it amounts to 1/2 cup of uncooked dal.
By Sailu Published:
Cauliflower Kootu, an aromatic vegan curry among South Indian recipes, goes well with rice, pulao or rotis. You can add mixed vegetables to boost nutrition.