Thursday, 12 October 2017

Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka Recipe / Spicy Dry Cauliflower Curry From Chettinad

I am an ardent lover of Chettinad Cuisine. For those of you who are not familiar, Chettinad Cuisine is the food that the Nattukotai Chettiar community from the Chettinad Region in the south Indian State of Tamil Nadu, cook in their home. This beautiful hamlet is not only known for its rich cultural heritage, ornate magnificent homes with large kitchens, but most importantly the Spice trade which thrived between the Chettiar community with countries like Burma, Java, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Mauritius in ancient times. No wonder their food is resplendent with taste and aroma infused by the use of these perfumed spices.

For my family it is inevitable to gorge on either Chicken Chettinad (get the recipe by clicking on Chicken Chettinad. It is the most viewed post on my Blog) or Chettinad Chicken Chukka when we eat at a restaurant serving Chettinad Cuisine. After I had managed to get hold of the Recipe of Chettinad Chicken Chukka, I started cooking the dish at home. When at lunch or dinner get togethers, the fragrant Chettinad Chicken Chukka, would get my vegetarian friends intrigued, I decided to try out with vegetables, soya chunks, cottage cheese etc., so that even they would not be left out from experiencing this moreish Culinary creation of the Chettiers  The ingredient which was unanimously loved by one and all in the famous Chettinad Chukka Masala, was Cauliflower. Now Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka is always on the menu whenever it's non vegetarian counterpart is there. Not only that Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka has won the heart of many of my fierce meat loving friends and family.

The Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka retains each and every ingredient that is used in the non vegetarian version. Only Cauliflower replaces the meat here. The result is a pure gastronomic delight. I can guarantee that this recipe results in a dish which many find it hard to believe that it is homemade as the taste is absolutely similar to that of a restaurant. So while planning for the Diwali Lunch Menu, which is a pure vegetarian menu, Chettinad Chicken Chukka had to be there. A very simple dish to cook, the melange of spices used are responsible for making this iconic curry what it is. Like I always emphasize that the best curries are a result of freshly ground spices, this one is no different. So let us take a look at the ingredients.

Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka Recipe / Spicy Dry Cauliflower Curry From Chettinad ~



500 Gms. Cauliflower Florets, cut into large pieces
1 Large Onion, chopped
1 Large Tomato, chopped
4 Dry Red Chillies, torn into pieces
1 Tsp Husked Split Black Gram / Urad Dal
1/2 Tsp Fennel Seeds / Saunf
1/2 Inch Cinnamon, piece
2 Cloves
2 Green Cardamom Pods
5~6 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1/2 Tsp Ginger Paste
1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
1/2 Tsp Black Peppercorn, crushed
6~7 Cashew Nuts
1 Sprig Curry Leaves
2 Tbsp Coriander leaves, fresh, chopped
2 Tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

Let's Cook Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka in easy steps ~

1) Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. When hot, add Split Husked Black Gram, Dry Red Chillies, Fennel Seeds, Cinnamon, Cloves, Green Cardamom, Cashew Nuts and fry them. 

** When the spices become aromatic and the Cashew nuts and black gram turn golden, add curry leaves. Fry. 

** Add the onions. Fry them.

** When the onions turn transparent, add the crushed garlic. Continue frying till the garlic looses its raw smell.

** Next add Ginger paste and keep frying the Masala.

** Next add turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Keep frying.

** Now add tomato and keep frying.

** Once the tomato softens, add 1/2 Cup Water and let the Masala cook completely.

2) Once the water dries up add the cauliflower florets. Move your spatula to and fro, so as to coat the cauliflower florets with the Masala. 

** Season with salt.

** Simmer Cover and cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes.

** Now add the Crushed Pepper Corn. Mix well.

** Depending on how much more your cauliflower needs to cook, you may once again cover and cook. We want the cauliflower florets to be slightly firm and not too soft.

** Once the cauliflower florets are cooked, fry them along with the Masala till oil oozes out from the sides of the wok or frying pan.

** Garnish with coriander leaves. 

Transfer to a serving bowl. Your Chettinad Cauliflower Chukka is ready to serve.

Reference ~

Chef Tamilarason from Anjappar Chettinad Restaurant 

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