Cauliflower Kootu Recipe

Caulifower Kootu|How to make it?

Cauliflower Kootu, is a delicious and an aromatic vegetable stew made with lentils and cauliflower florets.It is a favorite among the South Indian recipes, especially among festive menus.It is served as a side dish with rice, Idli’s, Dosa’s and Chapati’s. Adding mixed vegetables, along with the cauliflower florets boosts its nutrition value.

Cauliflower Kootu Recipe
How to make Cauliflower Kootu?

What is Cauliflower Kootu?

Kootu is the traditional South Indian thick stew made with an amalgamation of varied vegetables in a spicy savory aromatic base made of lentils, coconut and black pepper. This Kootu/South Indian Stew is made with Cauliflowers, hence the name Cauliflower Kootu

What does “Kootu” mean?

Kootu (Tamil:கூட்டு) is a lentil and vegetable stew in South Indian, particularly Tamil and Kerala cuisines. The etymology for kootu derives from the Tamil word “kootu” which means “add” i.e. vegetable added with lentils form the dish, which is semi-solid in consistency. The dish is noted for its nutty and complex flavors and textures, likely owing to the liberal addition of lentils and coconuts.

It is typically less watery than sambhar, but more so than dry stir-fries. Virundhu Sappadu (typical Tamil feast) comes with a combination of boiled rice (Choru in Tamil), sambarrasamcurdporiyal, kootu, appalam, pickles and banana.

What are the different variations of Kootu?

  • Poricha Kootu: A kootu made with urad dhal and pepper is called poricha (means “fried” in Tamil) kootu. Fried urad dhal, pepper, few red chilies, some cumin and fresh coconut are ground together. Moong dhal and the cut vegetables are cooked separately. Then, the ground paste, cooked vegetables and moong dhal are mixed and heated. Vegetables such as beans and snake gourd are common ingredients in this kootu.
  • Araichivita Kootu: A kootu which has a powdered (freshly ground) masala in it; the word araichivita in Tamil literally translates to “the one which has been ground and poured.” The ground paste is a mixture of fried urid dhal, cumin seeds and coconut.

What is the difference between Kootu and Rasam/Saaru?

Kootu/ stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables (such as carrotspotatoesbeansonionspepperstomatoes, etc.), plus meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as  Poultry,  lamb or mutton, and seafood are also used.

Rasam, charu pani, chaaru, saaru or kabir is a South Indian dish, traditionally prepared using kokum or tamarind juice as a base, with the addition of tomato, chili pepper, black pepper, cumin and other spices as seasonings. Steamed lentils can be added along with any preferred vegetables.

What food best accompanies Cauliflower Kootu?

This Cauliflower Kootu is best served with hot steaming rice but is a delicious accompaniment with morning Idli’s (South Indian Rice Dumplings/cakes) or Dosa’s (South Indian crepes) or flat breads like Chapatis too.A perfect vegan lunch menu item to go for on a relaxed weekend.

How is Cauliflower Kootu traditionally served?

 “Kootu” is a typical Tamilian ( a South Indian state, where I grew up) dish and is a vital part of the “Virundhu Sapadu”/Tamil feast. A Tamil feast has many delicious dishes arranged on a plantain leaf.”Virundhu” means feast in the Tamil language, and is offered to the guests on special occasions such as festivals and marriage ceremony. Cauliflower Kootu or any other vegetable kootu occupies a very inportant place in the menu.

Caulifower Kootu|How to make it?

Caulifower Kootu|How to make it?

Recipe by Maya Shetty
0.0 from 0 votes

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Cooking time




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  • 1 Cauliflower remove the florets and place them in salted lukewarm water

  • 1 Potato Cubed

  • 1 Carrot Thin sliced

  • Green peas a handful

  • 1 Onion finely sliced

  • 1 Tomato chopped

  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

  • 1/2 cup Toor Dhal cooked and mashed soft

  • 1/2 tsp Tamarind paste mixed with 1/2 cup water

  • Salt to taste

  • For the Kootu Masala
  • 3 -4 Dry red Chilies

  • 10 -15 Black pepper corns

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds

  • 1 tbsp Channa Dhal

  • 1/2 tbsp Split Gram dhal

  • 1/2 cup Fresh grated coconut/Desiccated

  • For Seasoning/Tempering
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil

  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds

  • A few Curry leaves


  • Pressure cook the washed Toor dhal with 2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp coconut oil, until 3 whistles. Remove & set aside.
  • In a thick bottomed vessel or pan dry roast all the ingredients required for Kootu Masala, till you get a nice aroma from the spices.Add the grated coconut last and roast for 3-4 minutes. Remove from flame and set aside.
  • Next warm the oil in a pan then add the curry leaves & mustard seeds, allowing them to splutter. To this add the fine sliced onions and saute till golden brown.
  • Now add the turmeric powder & cut vegetables to the above stirring them well & cover it with a lid. Let them cook in their own steam for 5 minutes.
  • Next add the ground masala powder to the above, along with the tomato and a little salt to taste & stir them well.
  • Next add the cooked and mashed Toor dhal, green peas and a cup of water to the above & let them cook to a boil, with lid covered.
  • Last add the Tamarind paste with a little water to the above, since adding the tamarind paste earlier will turn the vegetables bitter if allowed to cook for long. Remove from stove ina. minute or two.
  • Serve it with hot steaming rice & papadum/Indian Rice Crackers

Nutrition Facts

  • Amount Per ServingCalories430
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 8g 13%
    • Saturated Fat 5g 25%
  • Sodium 250mg 11%
  • Potassium 3341mg 96%
  • Total Carbohydrate 82g 28%
    • Dietary Fiber 25g 100%
    • Sugars 22g
  • Protein 21g 42%

  • Vitamin A 224%
  • Vitamin C 402%
  • Calcium 30%
  • Iron 67%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Listed below is our tried and tested Cauliflower recipes,for you to try in your own kitchen.

Want to know all about How to choose ,store and prepare Cauliflower? Check out our blogpost here.

The Bottom line

Are you someone who enjoys South Indian Food? If you do, go on give our Cauliflower Kootu recipe a try in your own kitchen, you can thank me later.Did we tell you, they taste yummy with Idli’s?

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