Saturday, July 16, 2016

Whole Cauliflower Masala

It is my habit to get the clicks of all the dishes I cook. When I was casually browsing through my album the pictures of  Whole Cauliflower Masala caught my eye. This was prepared for my dear grand daughter long time ago. I immediately posted the picture with a 'Can you guess the dish' caption in my Facebook page and I was amused by the diverse guesses that poured in. Here comes the recipe of WHOLE CAULIFLOWER MASALA!


Cauliflower - 1 (Medium size)
Onion - 2 big
Tomatoes - 4 or more if they are small
Ginger - 1''piece
Garlic - 2 cloves
Cashew nuts - 10
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sesame oil  - 3 tbsps
Sambar powder - 2 tsps
( I like to use my Sambar powder instead of Chilly powder, Dania  powder, Cumin powder and turmeric powder separately.)
Powdered cinnamon,cardamom and cloves - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 2 tsps
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves to garnish
1. Remove the leaves and the thick stem of Cauliflower taking care to keep the head intact.
2. Soak Cauliflower in warm water and salt for at least fifteen minutes.
3. Drain and wash thoroughly.
4. Steam the Cauliflower in a pressure cooker for about ten to fifteen minutes till it is just done.
5. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai and add the chopped ginger and garlic followed by chopped onion.
6. When the onion becomes transparent add chopped tomatoes and cashew nuts.
7. Cover and cook stirring now and then till the tomatoes are soft.

8. Allow the sauteed ingredients to cool and then grind them into a fine paste.
9. Heat  the rest of the oil in the same kadai and add the cumin seeds.
10. Pour the ground masala into the kadai and add salt, sambar powder, sugar and the spice powder.

11. Cook till it emanates a very pleasant aroma.
12. Place the steamed Cauliflower with its head side immersed in the gravy.

13. Simmer for 2 minutes and flip it gently and allow to simmer for another minute before switching off flame.
14. Gently remove the Cauliflower into a serving dish.
15. Pour the remaining masala gravy over the Cauliflower.
16. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Cut the Whole Cauliflower Masala as you would cut a cake using a sharp knife and enjoy it with plain rice, Jeera rice or rotis.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Morkuzhambu Vadai - Fried Lentil Patties Soaked In Yogurt Gravy

Morkuzhambu (Curd/yogurt gravy) and Ama Vadais (Deep fried Bengal gram patties) are two of the indispensable dishes in all  festival menus. Soaking some of the Vadais in Morkuzhambu has been an age old practice in almost all South Indian homes. Since Morkuzhambu Vadai has been our family favourite, the number of Vadais prepared during festivals were always two or even threefold! One portion of the Vadais were soaked in Morkuzhambu to be served during the feast. The other portion were served as they were. A third portion of Vadais  were reserved to be used as coffee time/tea time snacks!  Here is a recipe for  Morkuzhambu Vadai starting from scratch. Since this post is exclusively about preparing Morkuzhambu Vadai  I have used three lentils instead of the customary Bengal gram dal to prepare the Vadais.

Bengal gram dal/Chana dal - 1 cup
Split pigeon peas/Tuvar dal- 1 cup
Black gram dal /Urad dal - 1 cup
Red chillies - 6
Fresh ginger - 1 big piece
Curry leaves - 1 fistful
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Fresh coconut gratings - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil - for frying
1. Soak the three dals and red chillies for one hour.
2. Drain and grind them coarsely with ginger, salt and asafoetida without adding water.
3. Add curry leaves and run the mixer for a few more seconds.
4. Add fresh coconut gratings and blend for another two seconds.
5. Mix in the cumin seeds. 
Now the Vadai batter is ready to be fried.
Yogurt/Curds - 2 cups
Water - 1 cup
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Rice flour - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Coriander seeds - 1tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Chana dal -  1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Green chillies / red chillies - 2
 Fresh coconut gratings - 2 tbsps
Sesame oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Broken Red chillies - 2
1. Blend the curd mixture and the ground paste together.
2. Heat sesame oil and splutter mustard seeds.
3. Add broken red chillies and fry till they become crisp.

4. Add the seasoning to the Morkuzhambu mix.
5. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
1. Heat oil in a kadai.
2. Put the vessel containing the Morkuzhambu mix on the second burner on low flame.
3. Take small balls of Vadai batter and pat them into small Vadais.
4. Gently slip them one by one into the hot oil.
5. Cook till the Vadais become golden brown in colour flipping now and then.
6. When done drain the Vadais using a perforated ladle.
7. Add the drained Vadais to the Morkuzhambu and stir.

8. Fry all the Vadais batch by batch and drop them into the still cooking Morkuzhambu.
9. When the Morkuzhambu is about to boil over switch off flame.

Enjoy the flavoursome MORKUZHAMBU VADAIS as they are OR  relish with steaming hot rice. 


Morkuzhambu Vadai or Vadai Morkuzhambu is an excellent side dish to go with Puliogare and Vangibath.