Moar Kuzhambu is an Indian dish made with churned yoghurt. It can include vegetables, dried pea vatral, or bondas. Deliciously spicy, it is wonderfully cooling at the same time.
Moar (or Mor or Moru) Kuzhambu is commonly prepared in South India and is extremely easy to make, taking almost no time at all to cook. It can be served with hot rice and a vegetable stir fry. Generally green or cluster bean paruppu usili is a wonderful accompaniment, as is a spinach dish such as spinach masiyal or spinach poriyal.
These articles are helpful if you are new to Indian cooking.
When Buttermilk is called for in an Indian recipe, use a good yoghurt thinned 1:1 with water, or if you have thicker yoghurt, use twice as much water as yoghurt. Then beat or churn for about 1 minute. You can also use the Western buttermilk if you can get it; I have found that it also gives excellent results. I tend to use it when “sour buttermilk” is called for, as it has a tangier, sharper taste than you can get from yoghurt. Sometimes I use half buttermilk and half yoghurt.
This recipe can be made with vegetables or Vattral (Indian dried vegetables). Chow chow, eggplant (brinjal), ash gourd, drumstick, okra (lady’s finger), potato or colacasia can be used.
In the photos, the dish is made with Chundaikai (Sunda or Sundaikai Vattral), which are dried and salted turkey berries, also called pea eggplants. Manaitakkali, chundaikai or thummattikai can also be used. You can get any of the salted and dried peas from a South Indian grocery.
Source : from Cook and See Part 1, by S. Meenakshi Ammal
Cuisine: South Indian, Tamil
Prep time: about 5 mins
Cooking time: 5 mins
Serves: 3 – 4 people depending how you are using it. It makes about 2 – 2.5 cups.
2 cups Slightly soured buttermilk (see the note above on Indian buttermilk)
1.5 tspn salt
4 – 5 green chillies
0.25 tspn cumin seed
1 tspn bengalgram dal (channa dal)
0.5 tspn redgram dal (toor dal)
0.5 tspn rice
1 handful of grated coconut – use frozen if you don’t have fresh
12 curry leaves
fresh coriander leaves
0.5 tspn ajwain (optional)
vegetables and vatral
choose 1 vegetable or vatral and see the notes below the recipe for preparation
2 tspns ghee or gingelly oil (Indian sesame oil)
1 tspn black mustard seeds
2 dried red chilles
0.5 tspn coriander seeds (optional)
Soak the 2 dals and the rice for a few minutes in a little water. Then grind them into a smooth paste with the coconut gratings, green chillies, cumin seeds and 6 curry leaves. Rinse out your grinder with a little water and add this to the paste.
After churning the yoghurt to make buttermilk, add the dal and chilli paste and salt. Mix well.
Put it over a slow heat and bring to the boil while stirring all the time. As it becomes hot, add the vegetables or vatral and continue stirring.
As it comes to the boil add the remaining curry leaves and remove from the fire.
Make a tadka by popping the mustard seeds in the hot ghee or oil, adding the dried red chillies and coriander seeds (optional) for a few moments, and then pouring the oil and spices onto the hot buttermilk.
Add a few coriander leaves and the ajwain if using.
Vegetables for Moar Kuzhambu
If you are using chow chow, eggplant (brinjal), ash gourd, drumstick or okra (lady’s finger), then cut, wash, and cook in salted water and add to the hot buttermilk.
Okra and eggplant can also be cut, sprinkled with salt and fried off in oil before adding to the hot yoghurt.
If using potato or colacasia, boil in the jackets, peel and cut into large pieces. Add to the hot yoghurt.
Pickled chundaikai (bitter turkey berries) can be washed, fried in a little oil and added to the hot yoghurt.
Vatral and Vadams for Moar Kuzhambu
Salted and dried peas such as manaitakkali, chundaikai or thummattikai can be fried and added.
Alternatively sambar wafers or vadams can be fried and added.
On festival days when Amavadai is being prepared, a little of the dough can be dropped into hot oil like bondas and added to the hot yoghurt gravy.
Or soak bengal gram dal, red gram dal and black gram dal (urad dal) together – about 0.25 cups in total. Wash and drain, then grind with salt and dried red chillies. Prepare small round balls like bondas with the paste. Fry and add to the hot yoghurt gravy.
Recipe Notes and Alternatives
The dal and chilli paste can be replaced by one without the dal. Use more coconut gratings, the cumin seeds and green chillies. Grind and proceed in the same way.
The rice can be replaced by rice flour.