Mor Kuzhambu/South Indian Spiced Buttermilk Curry

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If you asked me to list the top 10 dishes that my mom makes that are my absolute favorites, this mor kuzhambu dish will definitely feature as one of them. This is one of the dishes where my mom calls me and says, “I made this today and thought about how you would polish off your plate when I make it”. It is also one of the dishes that even though I follow my mom’s recipe to the T(I follow a hand written recipe from her), I still don’t seem to replicate the test from my memory. I guess you can never replicate a mom’s love. 🙂

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With memories of yummy food, here is my mom’s recipe for mor kuzhambu…
Ingredients:
1/2 cup grate coconut
1 inch piece ginger
1 red chilly
2 green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp raw rice
1 tsp toor dal
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp channa dal
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 pint low fat cultured buttermilk
1 onion, sliced(optional)
2 cups poosankai/ash gourd peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt, to taste

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For tadka:
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves
1 red chilly, broken(optional)

Method:
Soak the cumin, rice, toor dal, channa dal, coriander seeds and the red chilly in a few tablespoons of warm water. Set aside for a few minutes.

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Heat oil in a saucepan, add in the sliced onion. Saute until translucent. Add in the ash gourd pieces, salt and turmeric powder. Add 1/4 cup of water. Place a lid on the pan, cover and cook until the vegetable is soft.

Meanwhile make a paste out of the soaked ingredients along with the water, ginger, green chillies and the grated coconut. Pour the buttermilk in a bowl, mix it with the spice paste adding water to achieve the desired consistency. Pour this into the pan. Cook until just until frothy, and barely until boiling. The mor kuzhambu should not boil, lest the buttermilk should curdle.

For the tadka, heat the oil, add the mustard seeds. Let is splutter, add the broken red chilly, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add the tadka to the morkuzhambu. Serve with rice!

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Verdict: Creamy, perfectly spiced and delicious, this dish is filled with so many memories, it makes me nostalgic. It is a great variation from the usual run of the mill, sambars and kuzhambus of the tamil kitchen. If you are looking for a side dish to pair with this, go with paruppu usili(recipe coming soon).

Notes:

  • I have been making this kuzhambu often nowadays using low fat buttermilk, as it is low in carb and high in protein as compared to yogurt diluted with water. You can also make it with thinned yogurt.
  • Typically vegetables such as bottle gourd, okra, eggplant, chayote, tomato etc. are used in the mor kuzhambu. Fry the okra, eggplant seperately in oil and add it finally to the kuzhambu. You can also make it with paruppu urundai(lentil dumplings), as I have made in the recipe here.
  • The usage of onion in mor kuzhambu is not typical, and is my addition.
  • The tadka is completely optional too, but if you do plan on doing it, please use coconut oil. It elevates the taste of the mor kuzhambu to a completely new level.

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Sending this delicious kuzhambu to the following events:
Walk through Memory Lane, event series by Gayathri
Cook Like Mom
Know Your Dairy – Buttermilk, event series by Jagruti
Celebrate Love for Mum event, series by Jagruti
Taste of the Tropics – Turmeric, event series by Chef Mireille

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