BROCCOLI WITH SESAME SEED POWDER – Broccoli with Nuvvula podi

Sesame seed powder or nuvvula podi (in Telugu) is like dukkah for Andhras. We use it to sprinkle on hot rice or add it to vegetable dishes to give extra oomph – flavour as well as nutrients.

Broccoli with sesame seed powder

1 large head of broccoli cut into florets and the stem peeled and cut into 3-4 centimetre pieces

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1-2 dried red chillies

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

2 tablespoons sesame seed powder (nuvvula podi – recipe below)

Salt to taste


Bring a large pot of water to the boil. When the water is boiling, add the tablespoon of vegetable oil along with a couple of teaspoons of salt. Add the stems first and after 30 seconds add the florets. Blanch for a further minute (total 90 seconds). Remove and refresh stems and florets in plenty of cold water to prevent further cooking. Drain and dry completely.

Heat the sesame oil in a sauce pan. When hot enough, add the dried chillies and then cumin seeds. When you hear the cumin seeds crackle, add the broccoli florets and stems. Toss to mix, reduce heat, cover with a lid and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove lid and let any moisture evaporate completely. Check seasoning before adding the sesame seed powder. Mix to combine and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4.


100 grams brown sesame seeds (I think the white ones are bleached so I prefer the brown ones)

1-2 dried red chillies

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

A couple of pinches of rock salt


In a deep fry pan or kadai, dry roast the sesame seeds along with the dried red chillies. You have to fry continuously so as not to burn the sesame seeds. When the seeds start popping, you know they have fried sufficiently. Remove and let cool. Using a small spice grinder, powder the sesame seeds along with the cumin seeds and a pinch or two of rock salt. Store in a jar and use as needed.

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