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Cauliflower Kurma Kuzhambu | Chettinad Style

Cauliflower Kuruma Kuzhambu or Chettinadu Kuruma Kuzhambu is a gravy curry which uses the sambhar ingredients and as well the kuruma ingredients. Yes, we add sambar podi, tamarind and also the masala items. It’s a great side for rice and also chapatti or roti.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Author: Srividhya G


  • Cauliflower - 1 medium sized flower
  • Chopped Onion - 1/2 cup
  • Tomato – 1 small chopped
  • Sambar Powder – 1.5 tsps
  • Tamarind - If using paste 1/2 tsp or soak small gooseberry sized tamarind in 1 cup of water for 30 to 45 minutes and extract the water
  • Salt – 2 tsps
  • Kalpaasi / Dagad Phool Powder / Stone flower powder - 1/2 tsp optional
  • Oil - 1 tsp + 2 tsps
  • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
  • Cilantro - a handful
  • Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Water for cleaning cauliflower + 1 cup of water

To roast and grind

  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Poppy Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Roasted Bengal Gram Dal / Dalia / Pottukadai– 3 tsps
  • Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Green Chillies – 2


Prep work

  • Chop the cauliflower into small florets and clean them. Sometimes cauliflower has worms inside, so I usually soak it hot water for 5 minutes. This helps in faster cooking also. This is what I do. Boil enough water so that all the florets can be immersed. When the water boils, turn off the heat and and the cauliflower florets and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then drain the water. You can heat the water in microwave also. Here is the cleaned cauliflower.
  • Heat the kadai and add 1 tsp of oil. Once the oil is hot add the given items under to roast and grind. Roast them for about 3 to 4 minutes and let it cool and grind them into smooth paste.
  • If using tamarind, soak the tamarind for 30 to 45 minutes and extract the juice.
  • Preparing the Kurma Kuzhambu: (I usually prepare this in pressure cooker. You can do it in kadai / pan also)
  • Heat the pressure cooker or the pan.
  • Add the remaining 2 tsps of oil and once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and fennel seeds.
  • As mustard seeds start to splutter add the ginger garlic paste and fry for couple of minutes.
  • Then add the chopped onions and cook till they translucent.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes and salt.
  • Let it cook for couple of minutes till the tomatoes become soft.
  • Now add the sambhar powder, kalpaasi powder and mix well and let it cook for couple of minutes.
  • Then add the ground masala and mix well. As we have already roasted the items, we don’t need to cook again.
  • Now add the tamarind water and 1 more cup of water and the cleaned cauliflower florets.
  • Mix well and check for salt and required adjust accordingly.
  • Add cilantro and pressure cook for 1 whistle and that’s it kuruma is ready.
  • If you are using kadai, cook till the cauliflower becomes tender and the oil gets seperated.


Dagad phool powder is optional.
Cauliflower can be replaced with veggies like potatoes, carrots, beans or peas or you can use all these mixed veggies.
If not mushrooms or soy chunks can be used in place of cauliflower.
Adjust the sambhar powder according to your preference.
Adapted from Chettinad Cooking