If you are a fan of the North Indian style Kadhi, then you are definitely in for a treat with this South Indian style Mor Kulambu as well. An easy to make, hassle-free recipe, Mor Kuzhambu is basically a curd (yogurt) or buttermilk-based sauce or curry. Usually at home, I make 2 versions of this curd-based kulambu – one is the recipe that is shared on this post, which also uses a coconut paste and another, which is a quick and instant version, similar to a kadhi. Give this a try, for lovely South Indian flavors in a different form.
About Mor Kulambu
A kuzhambu or kulambu, especially this Mor Kuzhambu is one of my family’s favorite ways of consuming a curd or yogurt-based dish. As much as we are keen on having a kadhi in our lunch meals, the same is with this Mor Kulambu. Paired with steamed rice, it really makes for a nutritious and deliciously comforting meal.
In addition to this Mor Kuzhambu, I have shared a few other variations of South Indian kulambu varieties on my blog. I have given the links below and I suggest you to try each and every one of it. Because each of the versions are unique and sumptuous, in their own way.
Making this Mor Kulambu is quite easy, and you must not get stressed with the slightly long list of ingredients. All the more because each of these ingredients too are your regular ones that are a part of most of our everyday cooking.
To get an enhanced texture, I have also added white pumpkin or ash gourd (petha) in this particular Mor Kuzhambu recipe. You can also use other vegetables like okra, potato, taro roots, brinjal, chow chow, etc. in the kulambu.
About My Recipe
For the freshly ground paste in this Mor Kulambu recipe, the ingredients added are fresh grated coconut, pigeon pea lentils (tuvar or arhar dal), raw rice, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, green chilies, ginger and curry leaves. This paste, when added to the curry, also gives it the desired body and mouth-feel.
Also, the tempering of this kulambu is really simple comprising of mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds (methi seeds), dried red chilies, asafoetida and curry leaves. You can use coconut oil or any other neutral tasting oil for the tempering.
Like I mentioned earlier, while making the Mor Kuzhambu, you can add some veggies or skip them entirely. I personally love the flavor of ash gourd or winter melon (petha or poosanikai) and okra or lady’s finger (bhindi or vendakkai) in kulambus. So, I often make this curry with these vegetables.
Here’s a list which gives you options on how to make a tasty kuzhambu, apart from the Mor Kulambu, and with other veggies:
- Potato (aloo, urulai kizhangu) – boil or pressure cook. Then, peel, chop and add in the kuzhambu.
- Okra (lady finger, bhindi, vendakkai) – sauté in some oil till okra is almost cooked. Then, add in the curd or buttermilk mixture.
- Brinjal (aubergine, baingan, kathirikkai) – sauté in some oil till cooked. A bit of water also can be added while cooking brinjals.
- Drumstick (murungakkai) – scrape or peel, chop and then cook in some water till almost done. Rest similar to the recipe shared here.
- Colocasia (taro roots, arbi, seppankilangu) – boil or pressure cook. Then peel, chop and add to the kulambu.
- Chow chow (seemai kathirikai) – peel and boil in some water till almost cooked. Rest similar to the recipe shared here.
- Spinach or amaranth leaves (keerai) – chop, blanch, mash and then add to the buttermilk mixture.
How to make Mor Kulambu
1. Take the below listed ingredients in a bowl:
- 1 tablespoon tuvar dal
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon raw rice
Using a fine tea strainer rinse them. You can use any type of white rice. If you do not have rice, then 1 to 2 teaspoons of rice flour can be added, while grinding.
2. Add ¼ cup hot water and soak for 20 minutes.
3. Then, take the soaked ingredients along with the soaking water in a small grinder jar or chutney grinder.
4. Add the below mentioned ingredients:
- 3 to 4 chopped green chilies
- 1 inch chopped ginger
- 5 to 6 curry leaves
- ¼ cup fresh grated coconut
5. Grind to a fine and smooth paste. Keep aside.
Make Buttermilk Mixture
6. Take 1 cup thick and slightly sour curd in a bowl or pan. Beat it till smooth.
7. Add the prepared paste.
8. Add 1 cup water.
9. Mix very well. Keep aside.
Cook Ash Gourd
10. Rinse, peel and chop ash gourd in 0.5 to 1 inch cubes. You will need 1.5 cups of chopped ash gourd. Take the ash gourd in a pan.
11. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 cup water. Stir to mix.
12. Cover the pan and keep it on medium-low heat on the stovetop.
13. In between, check and give a stir.
14. Simmer till the ash gourd cubes are almost cooked.
Make Mor Kulambu
15. Reduce the heat to a low or you can even turn off the hear. Then, add the prepared buttermilk mixture.
16. Mix thoroughly.
17. Season with salt as per taste. Mix again.
18. Simmer the kuzhambu on low heat. Stir occasionally.
19. The kuzhambu has to come to a gentle simmer. Once you see the kuzhambu simmering, then turn off the heat. Cover and keep aside.
Temper Mor Kulambu
20. Heat 1 to 1.5 tablespoons oil in a tadka pan or small pan. You can use gingelly oil (oil made from raw sesame seeds), sunflower oil, safflower oil or even ghee.
21. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.
22. Let the mustard seeds crackle on low heat.
23. When the mustard seeds crackle, add ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds.
24. Quickly add 1 to 2 dried red chilies (stems and seeds removed).
25. Then, immediately add 7 to 8 curry leaves and 1 generous pinch asafoetida (hing).
26. Stir and turn off the heat.
27. Pour the tempering in the Mor Kulambu. Cover for 5 minutes and let the flavors infuse.
28. Serve Mor Kulambu with steamed rice. You can even garnish with some chopped coriander leaves while serving.
- For the ground paste, use any variety of white rice that you have at home. If you don’t have rice, then add about 1 to 2 teaspoons of rice flour while blending the ingredients. Apart from helping in thickening, rice or rice flour also aids in preventing the yogurt from separating.
- Feel free to leave out adding ash gourd from the recipe. Also, any vegetables of your choice can be added. I have shared a list on how to cook with some of the most commonly used veggies in a kulambu curry, in the sections above.
- For the tempering, you can use gingerly oil (oil made from raw sesame seeds), sunflower oil, safflower oil or even coconut oil. In case you want to use ghee (clarified butter), you can do that too.
- Reduce the number of green chillies and red chillies according to your preferences.
- Make sure the curd that you are using for this recipe is slightly sour and thick. It should also be full-fat or made with whole milk. Do not make the recipe with toned milk curd or low-fat curd as it may separate while cooking.
Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Mor Kulambu Recipe | Mor Kuzhambu
For ground paste
- 1 tablespoon tuvar dal (arhar dal, tur dal, hulled and split pigeon pea lentils)
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon raw rice
- ¼ cup hot water – for soaking
- 3 to 4 green chilies or add as required
- 1 inch ginger
- 5 to 6 curry leaves
- ¼ cup coconut – fresh and grated
For cooking white pumpkin
- 1.5 cups white pumpkin – chopped (petha, ash gourd, winter melon)
- 1 cup water or add as required
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 cup curd thick and slightly sour, beaten
- salt as per taste
For tempering mor kulambu
- 1 to 1.5 tablespoons oil – sesame oil or sunflower oil or ghee or preferred neutral flavored oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 to 2 dry red chilies – broken, stems and seeds removed
- 1 generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 7 to 8 curry leaves
- Take tuvar dal, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and raw rice in a plate or bowl.
- Using a fine tea strainer rinse them. You can use any type of white rice. If you do not have rice, then 1 to 2 teaspoons of rice flour can be added instead while grinding.
- Then take all of them in a bowl. Add ¼ cup hot water. Soak for 20 minutes.
- Then take the soaked tuvar dal, coriander seeds etc along with the soaked water in a small grinder jar or chutney grinder.
- Add chopped green chilies, ginger, curry leaves and grated coconut.
- Grind to a smooth and fine paste. Set aside.
Making buttermilk mixture
- Take the thick curd which is slightly sour in a bowl or pan. Beat or whisk it till smooth.
- Add the ground coconut paste. Then add 1 cup water. Mix very well. Keep aside.
Cooking ash gourd or white pumpkin
- Meanwhile when the rice and lentils are soaking, you can cook the pumpkin. Rinse, peel and chop ash gourd into 0.5 to 1 inch cubes. Take the chopped ash gourd in a pan.
- Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 cup water. Stir to combine.
- Cover the pan and keep it on a medium-low heat. In between do check and give a stir.
- Simmer till the pumpkin is almost cooked.
Making mor kuzhambu
- Reduce the heat to a low or you can turn off the heat. Then add the buttermilk mixture. Mix well.
- Season with salt as per taste. Mix again.
- Simmer the mor kuzhambu on a low heat. Do stir occasionally.
- The entire kuzhambu has to come to a gentle simmer. Once you see the kuzhambu simmering, then turn off the heat. Cover and keep aside.
- Heat 1 to 1.5 tablespoons oil in a tadka pan or small pan. You can use gingelly oil (oil made from raw sesame seeds) or sunflower oil or safflower oil or even ghee.
- Add mustard seeds.
- Let the mustard seeds crackle. When the mustard seeds crackle, add fenugreek seeds.
- Quickly add red chilies, curry leaves and a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing). Stir and turn off heat.
- Pour this tempering mixture in the More Kulambu. Cover with a lid for five minutes and let the flavors infuse.
- Serve Mor Kulambu with steamed rice.
- You can opt to make this recipe without white pumpkin. Simply chose to omit it in the recipe. Add water as needed to get the consistency you prefer, but do not make it thin.
- You could also add other veggies as mentioned in the post above.
- Preferably use thick, sour tasting curd or yogurt to make mor kulambu. The curd should also be full-fat or made with whole milk. Do not make this recipe with toned milk curd or low-fat curd as it may separate while cooking.
- Adjust the amount of green chillies and red chillies according to your preferences.
- Do add rice or rice flour as it helps in thickening the gravy and also prevents the curd from getting separated.
- The recipe cannot be scaled as is.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Mor Kulambu recipe from the archives, originally published in May 2018 has been updated and republished on February 2023.