Mochai puli kuzhambu

When I first came to the US, I was kind of skeptical about using frozen veggies. But, the ease of use, no chop benefit and the fact that it saves you from the once in a while empty crisper day makes me stock up. I always have some frozen vegetables on hand, more so than less. These are my frozen staples:  chopped spinach, peas, mixed vegetables, lima beans and corn. The only frozen Indian item I always have on hand is grated coconut. I very rarely buy frozen Indian vegetables, I think they always come with a compromise in the flavor. I do get the pearl onions, val beans(mochai) sometimes and DH loves his frozen parathas.

But, there is only so much that the ice box can hold! We’ve all been there. Freezer overflow.  There comes a time when you just have to clean it up. Once you get to the task, you may be surprised at the things that you can find in there. Its like a treasure chest, its amazing what you can find, stuff that you put in there, waiting to be found, lest it lie frozen for all eternity. This time around, I found frozen cookie dough, whipped topping, some veggies, cheese, and at the bottom of it, half a pack of pearl onions and frozen mochai. Hmm, it just spelled the recipe out: mochai pulikulambu.


1/2 pack of frozen pearl onions(10-15 onions if you’re peeling them fresh)

1/2 pack of frozen mochai

10 cloves of garlic, sliced

2 tomatoes chopped

tamarind, the size of a lime

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

1 tsp of chilli powder

2 tsp of coriander powder


salt to taste


1 tbsp gingelly oil(nallennai)

1 tsp of mustard

1 tsp of fenugreek seeds

thalippu vadagam

curry leaves


Heat gingelly oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add mustard, and when it splutters add methi. Take care not to burn the fenugreek seeds, add the thalippu vadagam and curry leaves. Add the pearl onion(whole) and garlic, and saute on medium heat. When they are cooked, add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric and salt. Saute in the oil until the tomatoes turn to mush and the oil seperates. Meanwhile, soak the tamarind in warm water and extract its pulp. Add the frozen mochai and fry. Add the chilli powder and the coriander powder. Add water to cover the mochai. Cover and cook, until the mochai is tender. For me, it takes a while for the mochai to cook, unlike frozen peas or lima beans. About 5 – 10 mins on medium heat. When cooked, add the tamarind water. Check for seasoning, and let it boil until the mixture thickens a bit. Finish off with a sprinkling of chopped coriander. Spoon on top of steaming white rice and Enjoy!

Verdict: The pulikulambu was spicy and garlicky, and tasted wonderful with white rice. I would make no changes to this recipe. This one is a keeper.

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  1. Krithi Karthi

    I tried this one and it came out well. We added frozen drumsticks (murungakai) to this to get the veggie serving out of it…

  2. Krithi Karthi

    Wow… this one looks so yummy…
    My hubby loves mochai kolambu, but i have never tried this one..
    I’m sure gonno try this tomorrow.
    I believe this is gonna be a hit…

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