This is a favorite accompaniment to the tomato paruppu rasam in my home. In many South Indian (Tamil) homes, cauliflower curry is usually boiled cauliflower sautéed lightly with coconut added as a garnish. That was how it was made at my home growing up, but it wasn’t my favorite way of eating cauliflower. Once boiled in the pressure cooker or otherwise, cauliflower loses its texture and I think even it’s taste to some extent. My favorite method for South Indian style cauliflower fry is to just fry it, like okra or potatoes, with the “usual” tadka. Here is the simple recipe. Enjoy it with rice and hot rasam!You can cook most vegetables (potato, okra, bitter gourd, taro root etc.) this way to give it that South Indian “fry” taste.
Ingredients: Cauliflower – 1, stem removed and cut into florets
Oil – 2 tsp
Urad dal – 1-2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1-2 tsp
Jeera (cumin seeds) – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Dry red chillies – 2-3 (optional)
Turmeric powder (haldi) – 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp or to taste
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garnish
Heat the oil in a flat bottomed pan or skillet. Add the urad, mustard seeds, jeera and asafoetida. If you like spicy food like me, you can also add the dry red chillies here. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the cauliflower. (Note: Make sure to wash and then completely dry the cauliflower before you add it to the pan. If there is water, it tends to get mushy and reduces the crispness of the dish.)
Now add the turmeric powder and the red chilli powder. Mix so the powders coat the vegetable evenly. Let the vegetable mix cook on a slow fire for about 10 minutes, stirring it occasionally. Now add the salt, and cook on slow fire for another 5-7 minutes. Add cilantro for garnish (optional).