Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Broccoli Usili

Broccoli - aloo sabji

Broccoli originated in Italy in the 6th century BC. It was introduced to the US and became popular in the 1920s. It has reached Indian markets and thus urban Indian kitchens too and has gained in popularity for its nutitional value. Surprisingly India ranks 2nd in the global production of broccoli (combined for production reports with cauliflowers). 

Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Raw broccoli also contains moderate amounts of several B vitamins and the dietary mineral manganese, whereas other essential nutrients are in low content. Broccoli has low content of carbohydratesprotein,fat, and dietary fiber.

I have tasted broccoli in salads and pizzas and have never been a great fan. But I wanted to include it in my diet for its nutritional value, so I tried 'Indianizing' it with modified recipes - one South Indian, the other North Indian. And believe me, both are yummy.

Broccoli Usili 


  1. Broccoli - 250 gms
  2. Tuvar dal / chana dal – 4 tbsp
  3. Whole red chilli – 2 - 3
  4. Asafetida – a pinch
  5. Oil –1 ½ - 2 tbsp
  6. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  7. Urad dal – 1 tsp
  8. Whole red chilli – 1” piece
  9. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
  12. Curry leaves – 8

  1. Soak chana dal in water for 20-30 minutes. 
  2. Wash, drain off the water and grind a bit coarsely with red chilli and salt.
  3. Wash the broccoli and cut it into small flowerettes and chop the tender stalk finely.
  4. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. 
  5. Add the chopped broccoli, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  6. Sprinkle about 2 tbsp of water and cook covered on low heat till it is cooked and the water has evaporated. Set aside.
  7. Heat the remaining oil.
  8. Add mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilli and asafetida.
  9. Then add the ground dal and stir. Cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle a little water and cook covered for 5-8 minutes on low heat, stirring in between
  11. Stir well and continue to cook on low heat, adding a little more oil if needed till the dal turns light brown and crispy.
  12. Add curry leaves and stir.
  13. Add the cooked broccoli and mix well.
  14. Add grated coconut and mix.
  15. Turn off the heat.
  16. Serve hot with rice and koottan / with chapathis.

1. If you want to cut down on oil, steam the ground dal in a pressure cooker for 10-15 minutes by making flat vadas and placing them on greased idli plates. On cooling, crumble them and add them to the tadka and continue.

2. Beans usili can be prepared in this manner too. Also 'kothavarakka' usili and 'vaazhapoo' usili.

Broccoli - aloo sabji

Serves 4

  1. Broccoli – 250 gms.(cut into flowerettes)
  2. Potato – 250 gms.(diced)
  3. Shelled peas – 3 tbsp (optional)
  4. Onion – 2 medium-sized – sliced
  5. Ginger-garlic paste – 1 ½ tsp
  6. Green chilli – 3 slit
  7. Tomato – 3 small - diced
  8. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  9. Red chilli powder – ½ - 1 tsp
  10. Coriander powder – 2 tsp
  11. Cumin powder – ½ tsp
  12. Garam masala powder – 1½ - 2 tsp
  13. Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  14. Asafetida – ¼ tsp
  15. Salt to taste
  16. Oil – 2 ½ - 3 tbsp

  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Add cumin seeds and asafetida, followed by sliced onions and fry till pink.
  3. Add slit green chilli and ginger-garlic paste and continue to fry till onion turns light brown.
  4. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander, cumin and garam masala powders and stir for a minute.
  5. Add the diced vegetables and shelled peas and salt and stir well.
  6. Cook covered on low heat, stirring in between till the vegetables are almost cooked.
  7. Now add chopped tomatoes and stir gently.
  8. Cook covered for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Then cook without the lid (adding ½ tbsp of oil if necessary) till the oil separates and the sabji is dry and ready.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with chapathi / puri.

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