This South Indian delicacy is known for its aroma and subtle flavours.
Mor Kuzambhu is a simple dish that scores on its nuanced taste that unravels itself with every spoonful. Mor means buttermilk, Kuzambhu which is pronounced as ko-lam-bu, means gravy or stew. Mor Kuzhambhu is a buttermilk curry recipe, which is eaten with rice, dosa or chapati at festivals and weddings. No Tamil Nadu vegetarian thali is complete without Mor Kuzhambu and sambar. While it is novel for people living in the North, Mor Kuzambhu is fairly common in Tamil Nadu. To make it more relatable to all, it is something like the much-relished kadhi with just the right kind of sourness but there exists a major point of difference. While chickpea flour along with curd form the core of Kadhi, in Mor Kuzhambu, coconut spice paste shares the limelight along with yoghurt. Also, while kadhi is brought to a boil, Mor Kuzhambu is better simmered on low flame.
Why just kadhi, it shares close affinity with majjige huli in Karnataka, majjiga pulusu or charu in Andhra Pradesh and Pulissery and Moru Curry in Kerala. The dish has light variations even within the region of Tamil Nadu. Mor Kuzhambu from Tirunelveli is white in colour with only coconut, cumin and chillies whereas the mor Kuzhambu from the thanjavur region comes with a beautiful golden hue owing to the additional ingredients added to the ground mixture.
Not much is known about its history but it is believed to have come out of necessity. The judicious and resourceful Indian homemakers must have devised this recipe to save extra curd from going waste. As the dish is a staple at wedding feasts, it has many versions which are referred to as Kalyana (wedding) Mor Kuzhambu for instance Bonda Mor Kuzhambu is a must in Iyengar weddings. Bonda Mor Kuzambhu are dunked bondas in buttermilk curry.
Here’s the recipe for Mor Kuzhambu.
1. 2½ cups yoghurt (churned)
2. 8 fried Lady’s fingers
For the spice paste:
1. ½ cup grated coconut
2. 4 green chillies
3. 2 tsp cumin seeds
4. 1 tbsp toor dal (soaked in water for 30 mins)
5. 1 tsp turmeric powder
1. 1 tsp mustard seeds
2. ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
3. 1 red chilli
4. 1 sprig curry leaves
1. Churn yoghurt without any lumps. Set aside.
2. In a mixie, add the ingredients mentioned under spice paste and grind to a fine paste.
3. In a broad vessel, mix this paste with the churned yoghurt. Add salt.
4. Place this on the stove and warm it.
5. Once hot and NOT boiling, heat oil in a wok and temper with mustard, fenugreek seeds, red chilly and curry leaves and pour over curry.
6. Serve hot with rice, lentils and dollops of ghee.
You can add different vegetables - like pumpkin, carrots, squash, brinjal, drum sticks, spinach stalks, and colocasia - instead of lady’s finger, but they should be boiled with salt before adding in. Some households even add dried berries like manathakkali, sundakkai vathal. Any vegetable used in kuzhambu varieties are referred to as thaan in some Tamil homes.