I prefer to keep my weeknight meals under 30 minutes, and this recipe is perfect for that. This bowl of spiced dal and pan fried cauliflower screams comfort, and satisfies the grumbliest of stomachs!
This bowl is a lighter take on ‘Dal Chawal, or Dal Rice’, where I stir the spiced dal in with some creamy cooked steel cut oats instead of white rice, to keep it hearty and delicious, yet quick and healthy.
Pan frying cauliflower in a south indian style, takes only about 10 minutes, but packs so much flavor! I also used my oil free one pot Dal recipe today. You could use any other dal recipe, or combination of your preferred lentils following the same recipe, More options are available under my Indian Recipes page.
Let’s get cooking!
For the cauliflower kari:
1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
1 tbsp sambar powder
(substitute: 1/2 tsp turmeric + 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder + 1 tsp coriander powder)
For the rest of the Bowl:
1 cup steel cut oats
1/4 tsp coarse salt
2 1/2 cups of water
4 cups prepared spiced dal
2 tbsps fresh cilantro, washed and chopped
In a soup pot, add 1 cup of steel cut oats, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 1/2 cups water. Cover the pot, and bring it to a boil over high heat, ~ 5minutes.
Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low, and let simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Make sure to keep stirring once in a while; this prevents the oats from settling in the bottom, and also makes the oats extra creamy.
While the oats are cooking; let’s make the south indian cauliflower kari.
In a non stick wide bottomed pan, add 2 tbsp canola oil and heat over medium flame. After about 20 seconds of heating, add the mustard seeds.
Once they start popping and sputtering, this takes about 30 seconds, add 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder and 1 tsp coarse salt.
Note: It is important to let the mustard seeds pop to develop that really nutty flavor, which is quintessential with this south Indian (tamil-style) kari.
Immediately add all the cauliflower florets in, and toss together thoroughly. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
Uncover, and sprinkle in the measured sambar powder.
If you don’t have sambar powder, a good substitute is to combine 1/2 tsp turmeric powder + 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder + 1 tsp coriander powder.
Toss the cauliflower with the spices thoroughly. Cook uncovered over medium-high heat for another 5-10 minutes until the raw smell of the spices disappear. Also, this step creates a bit of a spice crust around the cauliflower florets that’s crispy and delicious.
Turn of heat and set aside.
Back to the Oats and putting the bowl together:
After about 20 minutes of cooking and frequently stirring the oats, they should be completely cooked, creamy, and velvety. Remove from heat and set aside.
Mix the cooked oats, with the measured prepared spiced dal and whisk together well to create a super creamy dal & oats mixture. Sprinkle fresh chopped cilantro and stir in.
For one individual serving:
Serve a bowl with 1 1/2 cup of dal & oats, and about 1/2 cup of cauliflower kari. Sprinkle more fresh cilantro and enjoy!