Vegan recipe: Poriyal

This recipe is a Tamil dish for cauliflower with mustard seeds and chillies – poriyal. It’s an incredibly simple and very tasty way of using a much under-loved vegetable and is very quick to cook – basically it just involves putting things in a hot pan in the right order (although I suppose you could say that of most recipes). You can eat it with rice, Indian bread or other Indian dishes. I had mine with the dal I posted last time. This is a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey, although there are many variations on the internet. She states that the whole chillies should only be eaten “by those who know what they’re doing” – of course I ate them all ;)


  • 1 x cauliflower
  • Oil
  • 1/2tsp ground asafetida (aka. hing)
  • 1tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad (aka. urid) dal
  • 2 whole dried red chilies
  • 6 whole fresh green chilies
  • Salt
  • Grated fresh or dessicated coconut (optional)


  1. Cut the cauliflower into small florets (2cm cubed max)
  2. Heat the oil in a wok/frying pan/karhai
  3. When hot add asafetida. 
  4. A few seconds later add mustard seeds. 
  5. When they begin to pop (this will happen within a few seconds) add urad dal. 
  6. As soon as this turns red-ish, add the chillies. 
  7. When the chillies start to darken, add the cauliflower.
  8. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add salt and some water.
  9. Cook, adding water as you need to, till the cauliflower is cooked. If you have a lid you can use it and turn the heat down to low for the last 4 or so minutes.
  10. You can add the coconut at the end. I usually toast some desiccated coconut and mix it in before serving. You could also add coriander to garnish, if you have some.

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1 Response

  1. GETfizzYcaL says:

    Nice one! Adding this to the culinary to-do list.