Cauliflower vepudu!

Vepudu is a very popular style of cooking in Andhra Pradesh – a southern state in India.  Vepu in Telugu (the local language) means to saute/fry and hence the name “vepudu” since the dish is prepared by sautéing vegetable in oil and spices.  There are a few ways to make cauliflower from where I come from – with tomatoes, with tomatoes and eggs, with ground spices as a korma and more – but vepudu is my favorite way of cooking cauliflower and I leave the florets slightly crunchy.

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Ingredients:

  • One cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2-3 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (or less or more depending on your taste)
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Wash the florets and steam them in microwave for about 8 minutes.  Steaming is optional.  It, however, reduces cooking time.
  2. Heat oil in a shallow pan and add mustard seeds.  When the mustard seeds start splattering add cumin seeds.
  3. Reduce the heat and add ginger-garlic paste.  Saute it for a few seconds until the raw smell disappears.
  4. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder and saute for another few seconds.  (If the flame is not reduced then the spices will burn)
  5. Increase the heat and add the cauliflower florets, a few curry leaves and salt.  Saute them for 2-3 minutes while stirring continuously so they brown on all sides.
  6. Reduce the heat and cook the florets covered until they are soft but retain a bit of a crunch.  The florets will get a little soggy when covered.
  7. Increase the heat and saute them some more until it becomes a bit dry.
  8. Add chopped coriander and serve with rotis or rice.  I sometimes add this to my salads too.
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