S. Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books have a Moar Kuzhambu (Buttermilk/Yoghurt spicy gravy), this time Moar Kuzhambu with Lentil Dumplings.
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. This one includes the lentil dumplings and so takes a little longer. The base for this dish with the lentil dumplings is Moar Kuzhambu, but rather than add vegetables or vatral, balls of ground lentils and spices are made (pulse balls) and added to the base.
You might also like to try Avail – Veggies in a Yoghurt and Coconut Sauce, Yoghurt Curry with Drumstick Vegetables, Moar Sambar, or a host of different lassi drinks. You can find other Kuzhambu recipes here and here. All of our Indian recipes are here and here.
Making Indian Buttermilk
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.
Pulse Ball Moar Kuzhambu | Buttermilk Gravy with Ground Lentil Balls | Yoghurt Curry with Lentil Dumplings
Source : from Cook and See Part 1, by S. Meenakshi Ammal
Cuisine: South Indian, Tamil
Prep time: 25 – 30 mins plus time for soaking the toor dal
Cooking time: 5 mins to heat the base and heat through the pulse balls
Serves: 3 – 4 people depending how you are using it. It makes about 2 cups.
1 cup toor dal, soaked for an hour or more
8 dried red chillies
1.25 tspn salt
4 green chillies
0.5 tspn black mustard seeds
6 tspns ghee
1 handful grated coconut– use frozen if you don’t have fresh
green coriander (cilantro) leaves
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
0.25 tspn rice
1 handful of grated coconut – use frozen if you don’t have fresh
12 curry leaves
fresh coriander leaves
2 tspns ghee or gingelly oil (Indian sesame oil)
1 tspn black mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies
Soak the dal, drain and grind into a very smooth paste with salt, red chillies and coriander leaves.
Heat the ghee in a frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow to pop. Add the green chillies. Add the dal paste, grated coconut and curry leaves. Stir and turn well until it changes colour and has a nice aroma.
Remove from the heat and add the chopped coriander and mix well. Knead the paste well. Roll the paste into balls. You will make about 8 or 9 with this amount of dal.
Steam the balls using a idli vessel or steamer and cook until the balls change colour, about 6 – 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and take the balls out of the steamer.
After churning the yoghurt to make buttermilk, make the moar kuzhambu base. Grind the coconut gratings, green chillies, cumin seeds and rice. Mix well with the buttermilk. Add the salt and bring it to a simmer.
Drop the lentil balls into the stew. Turn once or twice with a flat spoon, taking care that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Simmer well and then remove from the heat.
Make a tadka by popping the mustard seeds in the hot ghee or oil, adding the dried red chillies for a few moments, and then pouring the oil and spices onto the hot buttermilk.
Garnish with curry leaves and a few coriander leaves.
Coconut is added to the lentil balls for more flavour but can be omitted.
Do not add rice flour to the lentil balls as it makes them hard when steaming.
The balls can also be used for rasam or other kuzhambu dishes. Onions can be added to the balls except when adding to yoghurt or buttermilk based gravies.