Moru Curry (Kerala Style Seasoned Buttermilk)

4.59 from 29 votes

Moru Curry (Moru Kachiyathu) is Kerala-style seasoned buttermilk popularly served as a part of Onam Sadya. It can be made with or without coconut.

You may like some more Kerala recipes: Kerala Style Egg Curry, Kerala Style Varutharacha Sambar, Mambazha Pulissery, Kadala Curry, and Kerala Prawn Curry.

Moru curry served in a bowl.
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About Moru Curry

Moru refers to “buttermilk” in Kerala. So, Moru Curry (Moru Kachiyathu) is spiced and seasoned buttermilk that is quite popular in Kerala households.

Buttermilk is seasoned with ginger, garlic, green chilies, shallots, curry leaves, and a few more simple ingredients. It is spicy, subtly tangy, and aromatic.

Moru Curry is perfect for making when you are pressed for time, as it comes together in just 20 minutes.

This recipe can be made with or without coconut. I am sharing both versions in the post below; choose the one you like better.

This Kerala-style seasoned buttermilk is popularly served as a part of Onam Sadya. You can also serve it with steamed rice, pickle, and papadam for a comforting meal.

Ingredients

Moru curry recipe ingredients - water and plain yogurt.
Moru curry recipe ingredients - Garlic, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, ginger, curry leaves, mustard seeds, coconut oil and dry red chilies.
Moru curry recipe ingredients - turmeric powder, shallots, green chilies and salt.

Buttermilk (Chaas) – The base of the moru curry is buttermilk. You can use store-bought buttermilk or make it at home with tangy yogurt and water.

Oil – For the traditional taste, use only coconut oil.

For The Tempering – You will need brown mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds (methi dana), cumin seeds, dry red chilies, curry leaves, fresh ginger, garlic, green chilies, shallots, turmeric powder, and salt.

Adjust the green chilies and dry red chilies according to your taste.

How To Make Moru Curry

Without Coconut

Make buttermilk by whisking 2 cups of plain yogurt (dahi, curd) with 2 cups water. Keep aside.

Note – If using store-bought buttermilk, then use 4 cups of it.

Yogurt and water mixed in a bowl.

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

Coconut oil heating in a pan.

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

  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3-4 whole dry red chilies
Mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and chilies added to hot oil.

Add the following ingredients and saute for 8-10 seconds.

  • 10-12 whole curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 2-3 green chilies (slit into half)
Curry leaves, ginger, garlic, green chilies added to the pan.

Add 6-7 thinly sliced shallots and fry until they turn slightly brown, stirring frequently.

Shallots added to the pan.

Now add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder and mix well.

Switch off the heat.

Turmeric powder added to the pan.

Now add the yogurt mixture to the pan and mix well.

Yogurt mixture added to the pan.

Switch on the heat again at low.

Cook the curry till it just starts to boil, stirring continuously to avoid the yogurt from curdling.

Do not let the curry boil; otherwise, it will split.

Switch off the heat. Add ½ teaspoon salt and mix well.

Check for salt and add more if needed.

Serve Moru Curry and plain steamed rice with papadam and pickle for a hearty weekday meal.

Ready moru curry (without coconut).

With Coconut

Moru curry prepared with coconut is known as Nadan Moru Curry, Moru Charu, Kachiya Moru, or Pullisseri.

To make it with coconut, grind 1 cup of grated fresh coconut along with 1 teaspoon chopped ginger, 2-3 green chilies, and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder.

Mix this paste with 2 cups of yogurt and 2 cups of water.

Pass this mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Press with the back of a ladle to get as much liquid as possible.

Discard the leftovers.

Add this mixture to the pan and cook on low heat until it comes to a boil.

Switch off the heat.

Add salt and mix well.

Now give a tempering of dry red chilies, garlic, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, and shallots in coconut oil. Serve!

Variations

Kumbalanga Pulissery (Ash-Gourd) – It is a Kerala-style moru curry where cooked kumbalanga (ash gourd) is added to the curry and is quite popular in the region. 

With Vellairkka – You can also add Vellairkka (Yellow Cucumber), as this vegetable is abundant in summer.

With Vendakka – This version is my favorite. Vendakka is the South Indian name for bhindi, or ladies’ fingers. You can add sliced and sauteed bhindi to the moru curry. 

With Pavakka – Just like bhindi, you can add sauteed Pavakka (Bitter Gourd) to the yogurt curry. 

With Pineapple – Cook chopped pineapple in a pan for about 5 to 7 minutes with salt, then add it to the moru curry.

With Beetroot – You can cook the beetroot separately or can cook it along with the tadka. This curry will have a light pink color.

With Muringayila – Muringayila means drumstick leaves. You can finely chop the leaves and saute them with the tadka. It adds a lot of nutrition to this dish.

If using ash gourd, yellow cucumber, or beets, peel them cut into ½-inch cubes, and pressure cook for 1 whistle. You can also cook them in an instant pot or steam in a steamer until softened.

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Moru Curry is Kerala-style seasoned buttermilk that is popularly served as a part of Onam Sadya. It can be made with or without coconut (vegetarian, gluten-free).
4.59 from 29 votes

Moru Curry Recipe (Kerala Style Seasoned Buttermilk)

Moru Curry is Kerala-style seasoned buttermilk popularly served as a part of Onam Sadya. It can be made with or without coconut.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups plain yogurt (dahi, curd)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3-4 whole dry red chilies
  • 10-12 whole curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 5-6 cloves peeled garlic (crushed)
  • 2-3 green chilies (slit into half)
  • 6-7 shallots (thinly sliced)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
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Instructions 

  • Make buttermilk by whisking yogurt with water. Keep it aside.
  • Note – If using store-bought buttermilk, then use 4 cups of it.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, and red chilies, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
  • Add curry leaves, ginger, garlic, and green chilies and saute for 8-10 seconds.
  • Add shallots and fry until they turn slightly brown in color, stirring frequently.
  • Now add turmeric powder and mix well.
  • Switch off the heat.
  • Now add the yogurt mixture to the pan and mix well.
  • Switch on the heat again at low.
  • Cook the curry till it just starts to boil, stirring continuously to avoid it from curdling.
  • Do not let the curry boil otherwise it will split.
  • Switch off the heat. Add salt and mix well.
  • Check for salt and add more if needed.
  • Serve moru curry along with plain steamed rice with papadam and pickle for a hearty weekday meal.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

The recipe to make it with the coconut is in the post.

Nutrition

Calories: 118kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 84mg, Potassium: 248mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 415IU, Vitamin C: 105.4mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1.4mg
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10 Comments

  1. if I want to add the ash gourd or any of the other vegetables you mentioned, you say add “cooked” How is it cooked? just steamed or sauteed? if you can give the basic instructions, that will be great. Just trying to add in veggies to make it more healthy:)

    1. You can cook the veggies in a pressure cooker or an instant pot. For bhindi and bitter gourd, you can slice and saute them in oil until cooked.

  2. 5 stars
    I am not new to this dish, but I recently started cooking and I tried this recipe and it came out really well. Thankyou

  3. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe today and it came out very well. Will recommend this for sure. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Neha,

      I have a quick question. Could you please let me know how ladies finger is added to the curd curry. Is it to be fried first separately?

      Thanks.

      Hazel

      1. Hi Hazel, yes, you first fry the chopped lady’s fingers and then add them to the curry and cook for a few minutes.