One of my initial dilemmas while dealing with Broccoli was deciding how to cook this vegetable the Indian way but at the same time not destroying its texture and taste. I tried it in Sambar and a Vegetable curry and those turned out to be utter flops! So I was on a constant hunt for good Indianized Broccoli recipes. Once when we visited one of our relatives (my husband's Aunt) I came across this dish. She had made Broccoli with Green Payar (Cherrupayar / Green Gram)a bit different than what I have here for you as I have used Red Vanpayar (Red Gram) for my Thoran. I just like the red color it brings to this dish with the green Broccoli.
The tip she passed on was that you need to pulse/ shred the broccoli in the food processor before cooking. That really worked well for me and I hope it works well for you too.
3 Heads - Broccoli (Pulsed in the food processor)
3/4 C - Red Gram / Vanpayar / Red lentils
1/4 Tsp - Mustard Seeds
1/2 Tsp - Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp - Cumin Powder / Jeera
1/4 Tsp - Red Chilly Powder
3/4 C - Coconut
3 cloves - Garlic
2 - Shallots
3 - Green Chilly (Slit into 2 lengthwise)
Wash the lentils (Vanpayar) and cook them in a pressure cooker with the crushed garlic and salt until 6-7 whistles. Remove from heat and keep aside until the pressure from the cooker has gone.
Wash the Broccoli well. Cut it into chunks and transfer it into a food processor. Pulse it until its coarsely minced as shown below.
Add the shallots, green chilly,coconut and curry leaves with the shredded broccoli and mix well with hands.
Splutter the mustard seeds. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, cumin powder and broccoli mixture and cook for 10 mins. Do not add water. Add the cooked lentils (Vanpayar). Add salt to taste.Mix well. Cook until the broccoli is done.