September 26, 2006

Cauliflower Pepper Bhaji

Pepper Cauliflower

Updated in 2013: I have been making this recipe off and on every since I discovered it. One of the changes I have made to the recipe is sauteing the cauliflower before cooking it. It makes a difference.  Below is the original post from 2006.

We chanced upon this recipe in a Tamil magazine supplement (Aval) of Vigatan my MIL has brought from India. Using black pepper as one of the main ingredients was interesting to me and I wanted to try it out immediately. The only other recipe I remember with black pepper as main masala is pepper chicken made by my mausi. It was delicious and we couldn't get enough. Every time we visited her, she had to make it for us.

Armed with my memory and my MIL as the translator of the magazine we set out to make cauliflower bhaji. We made a few additions to the original recipe and had it for dinner. I also found out that black pepper has many health benefits. Apart from aiding digestion and keeping the intestinal tract healthy, it also keeps us slim while giving energy to burn. :)


1 Cauliflower
1 medium onion - chopped finely
2 cloves garlic - finely chopped or paste
1 small cube ginger - finely chopped or pasta
1 tbspoon lime juice
1/4 tspoon turmeric powder
1 tbspoon - black pepper
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1/2 tspoon fennel seeds
1/4 tspoon kala jeera
1 clove
1 Cinnamon stick (small)
1 black cardamom
1 tbspoon oil
salt to taste

Cut the cauliflower into small florets.
Grind the cinnamon, cardamom, clove, fennel seeds, black pepper, garlic, and ginger to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a pan and temper with cumin seeds, kala jeera.
Add onion and turmeric and stir it for a couple of minutes.
Add cauliflower florets and salt. Sprinkle some water and cook it on low heat (closed lid) for 6-7 minutes till it is half cooked.
When the cauliflower is half-cooked, add the ground masala paste. Stir well and let it cook for another 6-7 minutes till it is cooked.
Add lime juice and take it off the heat.
Serve hot with chapati or paratha.


  1. cauliflower ! niiiice... I think I'll use this recipe to get the little 'u know what's to eat it :)

    BTW, let me know when u are free for kababs and biryani cookfest...

  2. Looks delicious, Mandira!! I love cauliflower.Yum!! Thanks!!

  3. black pepper would definitely get rid of the blandness of califlower. i have to try this on my hub, as he can't stand cauliflower but loves pepper.:)

  4. Both your recipe and photes look very nice!

  5. Nice recipe. I like the idea of adding fennel seeds. The flavor really stands out. Thanks.

  6. hey
    very timely post.. I was thinking of what to cook today..bored with my usual things..will try this out.

  7. sqrl/nt- oh no, pepper and cauliflower for them! I can't guarantee the results ;) Let's plan on the cookfest soon.

    Asha - Do try and let me know how it turns out.

    Shaheen - That should be interesting. I wonder if the pepper made all the difference for you! Do let me know :)

    Thanks Gattina

    Hema - I agree, Pepper, fennel seeds along with the lime juice makes it lip-smacking delicious.

    Durga - Thanks. I hope you enjoyed it.


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