Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Gobi Kali Mirch/ Cauliflower Pepper Chettinadu (Cauliflower marinated in buttermilk and spices cooked to perfection with fresh black pepper!)

I have this relationship with the cauliflower – I love this cruciferous vegetable because of its texture and versatlity. Its packed with anti oxidants and high with anti-inflammatory properties thats its the most recommended vegetable for cancer prevention! I use it so many different ways in parathas, well hidden in my Corn Florentine, meaty and delicious in Gobhi Shimla Mirch Subzi, processed and mixed in my Gobhi Parathas, and of course in my favourite Chettinadu Cauliflower Masal Dosa. I still had the search for that punch filled cauliflower gravy and I chanced upon Ajoy Joshi`s website and fell for this Chettinadu Pepper Chicken. Out came the chicken and got replaced with fresh cauliflower florettes! The only difference is possibly in the creaminess of this gravy and that I know can well be redressed!  I loved the delicious interplay of the red chilli and the pepper and the distinct flavours of the buttermilk marinade and all simple flavours married within!!! Its food for fit for the kings…its as good as it gets.


1 Cauliflower cut in to medium sized florets.

1 Medium Onion chopped fine.

1 Ripe Vine Tomato chopped fine.

1 Cup buttermilk to marinate.

Curry Leaves.

1 1/2 Tbsp of Ginger Paste + Garlic Paste. – Please use fresh ingredients.

Salt to taste.

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust depending on spice level)

1 Tsp Turmeric Powder.

2 Tbsp  Dhania Powder.

1 Tsp Ground Pepper.


1 Inch Cinnamon.

8 Green Cardamom Pods roughly crushed.

1 Tsp Whole Pepper.

4 Cloves.

1 Tsp Hing.

Ingredients for Garnish:

1 Tsp Whole Black Pepper.

2 Tsp Garlic Flakes.

6-7 Torn Curry Leaves.

Bunch of Torn Coriander Leaves.


  • Marinate the cauliflower florettes in the buttermilk and allow to sit until the sauce is prepared.
  • In a kadai add 2 tsp oil and 2 spoons of  butter and allow to melt.
  • Add the seasonings –  whole peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and stir until fragrant.
  • Stir in the hing and immediately the onions and around 7-8 curry leaves.
  • Add salt and crushed pepper powder and saute well until the onions turn pink and sweat and the curry leaves become transparent.
  • Now stir in ginger and garlic paste and the dry powders – red chilli powder, turmeric powder and dhania powder and mix them all in.
  • Now the ingredients in the kadai turn in to a beautiful orangeish amber and dance around with the spices already added.
  • To this flavourful mix, add in t he chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes turn soft.
  • At this point, pour out the cauliflower marinade in to the kadai slowly and stir it in.
  • You will watch the colours turning in to a beautiful golden yellow at this point.
  • Close the kadai and keep on medium heat to cook the cauliflowers. At the same time, care should be taken that the buttermilk does not curdle.
  • When you feel that the cauliflower has cooked enough open the lid and allow to simmer for a few more minutes.
  • In a mortar, add the whole peppercorns, garlic flakes/garlic,a spoon of oil,  curry leaves and cilantro and give it a rough mix.
  • Add this to the kadai and close the lid and allow the flavours to marry. Garnish some more with chopped cilantro.
  • Serve hot with fragrant Peas Pulav or Phulkas.

12 thoughts on “Gobi Kali Mirch/ Cauliflower Pepper Chettinadu (Cauliflower marinated in buttermilk and spices cooked to perfection with fresh black pepper!)

  1. Dear Anubhavati,

    I have always enjoyed your recipes…. but being a neophyte at cooking, need some help…

    Will be obliged i you could tell me the cauliflower weight or the number of florettes….

    Also – how many curry leaves….

    And which would be the most authentic oil to use?



  2. Dear Aseem,

    I used one whole cauliflower cut in to medium sized florettes. Curry leaves are roughtly 18-20 totally. ANy good vegetable oil would be great. Please let me know hw they turned out.


  3. Hi its first time and u have lot of interesting recipes with wonderful preparation, nice knowing u…
    Wishing you n your family a properous new year!!
    Cauliflower is one of my fav veggie n luv ur gravy texture, looks spicy and yummy…

  4. Hello Gayathri NG,

    Thank you for ther feedback. Wishing you a very happy new year 2012.


  5. I just made cauliflower curry ..wish had seen this recipe earlier would have def made it! Next time! thanks for sharing

  6. Dear Parita,

    Thanks for your comments. Hope you`ll make it the next time coz its an amazing dish.


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