Mor kuzhambu or moor kulambu, however you spell it, is a satisfying south Indian dish made with yogurt and fresh coconut. Mor is buttermilk in Tamil and kulambu is gravy or curry. I use yogurt to make this dish (instead of buttermilk) because it makes the gravy thicker. Peppercorns are wonderful in this dish. You don’t actually eat them, but they impart great flavor. These peppercorns are from my dear friend and fellow food blogger, Nandini’s plantation in India.
- Use freshly grated coconut or fresh-frozen coconut. Please, none of the dried or dessicated stuff!
- For a lighter version of this dish, use buttermilk instead of yogurt
- Do not let the curry boil once you’ve added the yogurt. Use low heat and stir constantly to prevent boiling
- Remember to only gently re-heat this dish
- Serve mor kuzhambu with steamed rice or curry leaf rice. See this post for my curry leaf rice recipe
A note on what vegetables to use for Mor Kolambu
You can use any vegetable you like, here are some favorites and suggestions*
- Long squash(sorakkai or lauki). Peel the skin, scoop out the seeds and cut into cubes. (This is what I used in this recipe)
- Winter melon(ash gourd, neer poosanikkai or petha). Peel skin, scoop out seeds and membrane and cut into cubes
- Ripe mango. Peel skin, remove pit and cut into cubes
- Corn on the cob. My favorite. Remove husk and cut the whole corn into 1 inch rounds. Will need more water to cook
- Orka(vendakkai or bhindi). Cut into pieces. Make sure you saute okra in oil till it is no longer slimy
Mor Kuzhambu or South Indian Yogurt Coconut Curry Recipe
serves about 6
Grind to a paste
3/4 cup fresh grated coconut
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 green chillies (use more or less according to taste)
1/2 cup water
For the gravy
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
a pinch of asafoetida
a few curry leaves
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 cups of cubed vegetable (see suggestions in the post above)*
a 32 oz tub of plain yogurt
Cilantro for garnishing
Place the ingredients for grinding in a blender and grind into a smooth paste. Set aside.
In a deep pot, heat oil, and add mustard seeds and peppercorns. When the mustard starts to pop and splutter, add the asafoetida, curry leaves, turmeric, and cubed vegetable (see note in the post above for what vegetables to use). Cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Then pour about 1 cup water, cover and simmer till the vegetable is cooked; about 7 minutes.
Add the ground coconut mixture, and cook on medium-high for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Beat the yogurt with a spoon or whisk and add it to the coconut-vegetable mixture. Stir gently and constantly on low heat for about 2 minutes. Do not let the gravy boil once you’ve added the yogurt. Add more water if the kuzhambu is too thick. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with white rice or curry leaf rice.