Broccoli Pitlai

Brocolli Pitlai is one of my mother-in-law’s favourtie dishes!!  so this one is exclusively for her…….and this has definitely been in the menu as a “Welcome to Sydney homecoming” dish every time she visited us!!!
My honest confession is that I had not seen a Broccoli until I came to Australia over 2 decades ago.
Soon my whole family acquired a great taste for this wonderful vegetable and in particular Pitlai made out of Broccoli.
The Broccoli sure adds a special aroma, flavour and taste to this beautiful dish – Enjoy!

Ingredients to serve 8 people

1-1½ Cups of Broccoli Florets
¼ Cup Chickpeas (Optional)
1 Cup Water (to soak the chickpeas)
1½ Cups Cooked toor dal
Small lime size Tamarind
1 Cup Hot water to soak the tamarind
3 Cups Luke warm water
1 Tsp. Sambhar powder
2 ½ Tsp. Salt

For the Masala

1 Tbs. Coriander Seeds
1 Tsp. Channa dal or Yellow Split Peas
1 Tsp. Urad dal
3 Red Chillies
1 Tbs. Freshly Grated or desiccated coconut
¼ Cup Water
¼ Tsp. Turmeric Powder

For Seasoning

2 Tbs. Oil
1 Tsp. Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp. Fenugreek Seeds
1-2 Small Red Chilli
Sprig Curry Leaves

Brocolli Pitlai

Preparation of Pitlai

Soak the chickpeas for about 3-4 hours with 1 cup of water.
Soak the tamarind in the cup of hot water separately for 10 minutes.
Pressure-cook the peas or cook the peas with water till it is tender and keep aside.

Heat the 2 teaspoons of oil in a pan and add the coriander seeds, channa dal, urad dal, red chillies, and asafoetida.
Fry it till the ‘dals’ turn golden brown.
Add the coconut and fry for a minute.
Grind this into a soft solid mixture by adding the quarter cup of water and keep aside.

In a pan, add the chopped broccoli florets
Extract the tamarind juice.
Add the salt, turmeric powder,  asafoetida and sambhar powder and cook for 7-8 minutes.
Mash the cooked toor dal, add the cooked peas and the mashed toor dal
Mix it thoroughly.

Let it cook on slow fire for about 5 minutes.

Add the ground mixture and cook for a minute or two.


Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds crackle, add the fenugreek seeds and red chilli
When the fenugreek seeds turn golden brown pour it into the gravy
Garnish it with the curry leaves.

Note: Eggplant, Bitter Gourd, White Pumpkin are some of the vegetables that can be prepared in a similar manner




  1. Gita Vish says:

    Wow never guessed one could make pitlai with brocolli. I have only made it with eggplant, white pumkin, bannana flower and bittergourd. Will try it surely.

    • Shobha Krishnan says:

      Yes Gita – Brocolli Pitlai sure tastes gerat – try it and let me know how you went with it!!