Mor Kuzhambu (Mor Kulambu)

3.84 from 12 votes

Mor Kuzhambu (Mor Kulambu) is a popular South Indian dish made from slightly sour yogurt. It can be made with and without coconut. Here is how to make it.

Here are some more South Indian recipes: Veg Kurma, Curd Rice, Kerala Style Pineapple Pachadi, and Veg Kootu Curry.

Mor kuzhambu served in a bowl.
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One of my South Indian friends came to stay with us for a few days. I fed her a lot of my specialties, but then, one day, we decided to cook a South Indian meal together. She offered to make and teach me how to make Mor Kuzhambu. It’s such a simple dish, but I just loved the flavors. We made it with pumpkin because that is what I had at hand, but you can use a variety of veggies to make it.

About Mor Kuzhambu

Mor Kuzhambu (More Kulambu) is a popular yogurt-based curry recipe prepared in almost all South Indian households.

This flavorful and spicy curry has a sour yogurt or buttermilk base and can be made with or without coconut.

It’s a summer recipe, as all the ingredients used in this dish are known to cool down the body.

You can add vegetables of your choice to make more kulambu more wholesome.

Serve it with steamed rice and applam (South Indian papad) for a comforting meal. It is also popularly served as a part of the Onam Sadya in Kerala.

Ingredients

For The Coconut Paste

To make the paste, you will need yellow pigeon peas lentils (toor dal), raw white rice, cumin seeds, ginger, green chilies, fresh coconut, and curry leaves.

You can adjust the amount of green chilies as per your spice level.

To save time, buy grated coconut available in the freezer section of Indian grocery stores.

For The Curry

To make the curry’s base, you will need sour yogurt (tangy dahi, curd), turmeric powder, salt, and vegetables.

I have added pumpkin to the curry. Add other veggies like okra, white pumpkin, potato, arbi (taro roots), brinjal, etc.

If your yogurt is not sour (tangy), let it sit on the counter for 1-2 hours.

For The Tempering

To temper mor kulambu, you will need coconut oil, brown mustard seeds, asafetida (hing), dry red chilies, and curry leaves.

Coconut oil gives a very authentic taste to this curry but if it’s unavailable, then use any cooking oil or ghee.

To make it gluten-free, avoid adding asafetida to the tadka.

How To Make Mor Kuzhambu

Preparation

Soak 2 teaspoon toor dal and 1 teaspoon raw white rice in water for 30 minutes.

Soaked dal and rice.

Wash, peel, and cut yellow pumpkin into ½-inch pieces. You need 1 cup of cubed pumpkin.

Cook The Pumpkin

Add 1 cup of water to a saucepan and boil over medium-high heat.

Add 1 cup of cubed pumpkin to the boiling water and cook until softened (6-8 minutes).

Pumpkin added to boiling water.

Drain any remaining water and keep the cooked pumpkin cubes aside.

Note – You can save and use the water in the curry later.

Cooked pumpkin.

Make The Coconut Paste

Drain the dal and rice and add them into the small jar of a blender along with the following ingredients.

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 2 whole green chilies
  • 8-10 whole curry leaves
  • ½ cup chopped fresh coconut
  • ¼ cup water

Blend to make a smooth paste.

Soaked and drained dal and rice added to a blender.
Cumin seeds, ginger, green chilies, coconut, curry leaves and water added to a the blender.
Smooth paste made.

Make The Kulambu

Add 1 cup of sour yogurt to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the yogurt using a wire whisk until smooth.

Yogurt whisked in a bowl.

Add the following ingredients to the bowl and mix well.

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder

Note – You can use the water left from cooking the pumpkin.

Note – If using buttermilk in place of yogurt, then add turmeric powder to it and whisk until combined.

Water, turmeric powder and salt added to a bowl.

Add the coconut paste to the bowl and mix well.

Coconut paste added to the bowl.
Mixed well.

Transfer the yogurt mixture to a cooking pan. Add the cooked pumpkin to the pan and stir to combine.

Yogurt mixture and cooked pumpkin added to a pan.

Switch on the heat to low and cook the curry for 15-18 minutes, until it comes to a gentle simmer. Stir frequently while cooking.

Note: Do not get tempted to increase the heat. The yogurt will split if the heat is higher.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Cooked more kuzhambu.

Temper The Curry

Heat 2 teaspoon coconut oil in a small pan over medium-high heat.

Add the following ingredients once the oil is hot, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.

  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • 2-3 whole dry red chilies
  • 10-12 whole curry leaves
Tempering ingredients added to hot oil.

Pour the tempering over the kuzhambu. Mix well and serve hot with rice.

Tempering poured over mor kuzhambu.
Mor kulambu ready to be served.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make mor kulambu without coconut?

Replace fresh coconut with 2 tablespoon roasted gram flour to make it without coconut. Keep the rest of the recipe the same.

Which other vegetables can be used in this recipe?

1. Bhindi (okra, lady’s fingers, or vendakkai) – It is one of the most commonly used vegetables to make mor kulambu. Wash the okra and wipe it well. Cut it into 2-inch pieces. Saute in some oil until almost cooked, and then add it to the curry.
2. Brinjal (eggplant or kathirikkai) – Slice into thin slices or cubes. Saute in oil and add to the curry.
3. Ash Gourd (white melon or petha) – Peel and cube. Cook in water just like yellow pumpkin.
4. Potato (aloo or urulai kizhangu) – Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Steam, boil, or pressure cook until soft, and then add to the curry.
5. Drumsticks (mruungakkai) – Cut the drumsticks into 2-inch pieces. Peel the hard skin and steam or boil until tender.
6. Greens (spinach, amaranth greens, fenugreek leaves) – Wash the leaves and chop them. Saute or steam.
7. Chow Chow (seemai kathirikai) – Cut into cubes and steam.
8. Ripe Mango – Choose a firm-ripe mango for this dish. Peel and chop into cubes. Add to the curry. This version will have a sweetish tangy taste.
9. Raw Banana (plantain) – Peel, slice and steam.

You can also use a combination of veggies instead of using anyone.

Another variation of this dish is called paruppu urundai mor kulambu. In this dish, fritters made of lentils are added to the kulambu. You can check the recipe here.

Is Kuzhambu similar to kadhi?

While Mor Kuzhambu and Kadhi are yogurt-based dishes with a tangy taste, the ingredients and flavors used in each dish are distinct. Kulambu has coconut added to it, while kadhi has chickpea flour (besan). The tempering ingredients are also different, which makes a lot of difference in their taste.

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Mor Kuzhambu (Mor Kulambu) is a popular South Indian dish that is made from slightly sour yogurt. It can be made with and without coconut. Here is how to make it (vegetarian, can be easily made gluten-free).
3.84 from 12 votes

Mor Kuzhambu Recipe (More Kulambu)

Mor Kuzhambu (Mor Kulambu) is a popular South Indian dish that is made from slightly sour yogurt. It can be made with and without coconut. Here is how to make it.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

For The Coconut Paste

  • 2 teaspoon yellow pigeon peas lentil (toor dal)
  • 1 teaspoon raw white rice
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 2 whole green chilies
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • ½ cup chopped fresh coconut
  • ¼ cup water

To Cook The Pumpkin

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cubed yellow pumpkin (½ inch cubes)

For The Curry

  • 1 cup sour yogurt (tangy curd, dahi)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

For Tempering

  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing) (skip for gluten-free)
  • 2-3 whole dry red chilies
  • 10-12 whole curry leaves
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Instructions 

Preparation

  • Soak toor dal and raw rice in ½ cup water for 30 minutes.

Cook The Pumpkin

  • Add 1 cup water to a saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the pumpkin to the boiling water and cook until softened (6-8 minutes).
  • Drain any remaining water and keep the cooked pumpkin cubes aside.
  • Note – You can save the water and use it in the curry later.

Make The Coconut Paste

  • Drain the dal and rice and add them into the small jar of a blender along with cumin seeds, ginger, green chilies, curry leaves, coconut, and water.
  • Blend to make a smooth paste.

Make The Curry

  • Add yogurt to a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the yogurt using a wire whisk until smooth.
  • Add water, salt, and turmeric powder to the bowl and mix well.
  • Note – You can use the water left from cooking the pumpkin.
  • Note – If using buttermilk in place of yogurt, then just add turmeric powder to it and whisk until combined.
  • Add the coconut paste to the bowl and mix well.
  • Transfer the yogurt mixture to a cooking pan. Add the cooked pumpkin to the pan and stir to combine.
  • Switch on the heat to low and cook the curry for 15-18 minutes, until it comes to a gentle simmer. Stir frequently while cooking.
  • Note – Do not get tempted and increase the heat. The yogurt will split if the heat is higher.
  • Check for salt and add more if needed.

Temper The Curry

  • Heat coconut oil in a small pan over medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, asafetida, dry red chilies, and curry leaves, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
  • Pour the tempering over the kuzhambu. Mix well and serve hot with rice.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

You can adjust the amount of green chilies, as per your spice level.
If your yogurt is not sour (tangy), then let it sit on the counter for 1-2 hours.
To make it without coconut, replace fresh coconut with 2 tablespoon roasted gram flour. Keep the rest of the recipe the same.

Nutrition

Calories: 124kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 623mg, Potassium: 317mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 2917IU, Vitamin C: 126mg, Calcium: 113mg, Iron: 1mg
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