Category Archives: Coconut Gravies

Mor Kuzhambu/Buttermilk Curry


easy to digest – Tirunelveli Mor Kuzhambu


Mor Kuzhambu is a simple yoghurt curry. Mor means buttermilk and kuzhambu means gravy or curry in tamil language. In the north of India, the gravy made with yoghurt is called ‘Kadi’. Mor Kuzhambu looks like the north Indian ‘Kadi’, but the flavour of mor kuzhambu is enhanced by the ground coconut mixture and it is thinner in consistency. It is a really light gravy and very less or nil in pungent spices, which makes it easily digestible.

Vegetables like okra, long squash (lauki) or ash guard (white pumpkin or petha) are generally used in making this kuzhambu. Vadai (vada or deep-fried lentil balls) made fresh with soaked and ground kadalai paruppu/channa dal/bengal gram can also be used instead of vegetables to make mor kuzhambu.

When I was young, Mor Kuzhambu used to be our Sunday Lunch Special. Mostly, amma used to make ‘vadai potta mor kuzhambu’ or buttermilk curry with deep-fried lentil balls soaked in it. Sometimes, with vegetables.

 A few years ago, I had the splendid privilege of having aachi – my paternal grandmother and thatha – my grandfather come and stay with us for a while. When I wanted to cook something special for thatha, aachi suggested mor kuzhambu – one of his favourites and very easily digestible at any age.

Now, destiny had knocked my kitchen door to make me realise what I had missed so long.

I asked her to guide me. The step by step process of making mor kuzhambu…  the exotic aroma of grinding coconut with many more ingredients… the blended colour of buttermilk/beaten yoghurt with turmeric and the ground ingredients… the flavour of the vegetable cooked in this kuzhambu/gravy…. all made me relish the art of making mor kuzhambu and love tasting it too!

This is traditional tirunelveli style mor kuzhambu… thoothukudi mor kuzhambu might be different.

(Note: Amma’s mor kuzhambu is equally tasty… she always makes this mor kuzhambu she learnt from her mother-in-law – the same grand old lady of the household! I recollected this exact recipe from amma)

Mor Kuzhambu tastes best with ash gourd – vellai poosanikkai in tamil and petha in hindi.


vellai poosani/ash gourd


A few nutritional aspects of ash gourd –


Ash-gourd is loaded with nutrients. It’s an excellent source of vitamin B1 (thiamine), a good source of vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin C. It is also rich in many minerals like calcium. Its high potassium content makes this a good vegetable for maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Ash-gourd is alkaline in nature and hence has a cooling and neutralizing effect on stomach acids and as such used effectively for treating digestive ailments like hyperacidity, dyspepsia, and ulcers. Ash-gourd juice is a popular home remedy for peptic ulcers. Ash-gourd juice is also used to treat diabetes.

Ash-gourd is also useful in treating respiratory disorders like asthma, blood-related diseases, and urinary diseases like kidney stones



Mor Kuzhambu/Buttermilk Curry

 Ingredients (serves approximately 4)

  • cubed vellai poosani/ash guard – 2 cups
  • water – 1/4 cup to cook the vegetable
  • butter milk – beat 3 cups curds with 1/2 cup water together
  • turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
  • salt – to taste
  • coriander leaves – for garnish
  • asafoetida powder – 1/4 tsp


cubed vegetable


Grind to Paste

  • freshly grated coconut (do not use desiccated or dried coconut) – 1/2 cup
  • pottukadalai/roasted channa dal (chutney dal) – 2 tbsp
  • minced ginger – 1 tsp
  • cumin Seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Green Chillies – 3 no.s (according to spice level of chillies)




 grind to paste


 mix with buttermilk



  • cooking oil – 2 tsp
  • mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • red chillies – 1 broken into two halves
  • curry leaves – a few


add yoghurt mixture into cooked vegetable



beautiful yellow colour


Method of Preparation

  1. Peel the skin, remove seeds and cube vellai poosani/ash gourd
  2. Heat oil in an iruppu chatti/ kadai and add mustard seeds
  3. When mustard seeds splutter, add red chilly and curry leaves
  4. Then add the cubed vegetable and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  5. Pour in 1/4 cup water and a pinch of salt; Cover and cook the vegetable in medium heat till done
  6. Beat the curds and water to make buttermilk
  7. In a wide bowl, add the ground paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt to buttermilk and mix well
  8. Pour this buttermilk mixture to the cooked vegetable in the iruppu chatti/kadai
  9. Stir gently in low heat till everything blends well
  10. While getting cooked, the raw yoghurt gravy transforms into a beautiful light yellow colour kuzhambu
  11. Keep stirring till the kuzhambu comes to boil
  12. Kuzhambu is done
  13. Do not increase heat or boil the gravy too much as the buttermilk will lose its consistency or curdle
  14. Add very little water if kuzhambu is too thick
  15. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves
  16. Serve hot with rice.


mor kuzhambu done



  1. Never add desiccated or frozen coconut – freshly grated coconut tastes best
  2. Yoghurt should be beaten well – this avoids quick curdling while cooked
  3. Always cook in sim or medium heat to avoid curdling
  4. Kuzhambu should be stirred gently
  5. Other vegetables like vendaikkai/okra, suraikkai/bottle gourd, vellarikkai/cucumber or poosanikkai/pumpkin taste good in mor kuzhambu.

Mullangi Kuruma/Raddish Kuruma

This is a spicy kuruma I learnt from one my very good friends in Bangalore. Though she makes this better than me, I am not that bad a learner. This goes well with idlis, dosais, aapams, chapatis and rice too! Some children might not like the pungent smell and taste of radish – even grown ups. This is a better way to make them enjoy the goodness of radish.

For some health tips on radish –

White Radish is also called Japanese radish, Oriental radish, Chinese radish, lo bok and Mooli. It is a mild flavoured, very large, white East Asian radish.


Radishes are very low-calorie root vegetables.  They are very good source of anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber. Fresh Radishes are rich in vitamin C.  Vitamin C is a powerful water-soluble anti-oxidant required by the body for synthesis of collagen. Vitamin C helps body scavenge harmful free radicals, prevention from cancers, inflammation and helps boost immunity. In addition, they contain adequate levels of folate, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, thiamine and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and calcium.  (


Mullangi Kuruma/Mooli-Radish Kuruma


the coconutty kuruma



  • mullangi/radish – 500 gms
  • garlic – 5 cloves
  • vengayam/onion – 1 no. (big)
  • tomatoes – 2 no.s
  • grated fresh coconut/desiccated coconut – 3 tbsp
  • turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • garam masala – 1 tsp
  • salt – as needed
  • water – 1 cup
  • oil – 2 tsp
  • coriander leaves to garnish



Method of Preparation

  1. Cut mullangi/radish into long pieces
  2. Cut onions and tomatoes into big pieces and keep them separately
  3. Heat one teaspoon oil in a kadai
  4. Fry garlic cloves and cut onions till golden brown
  5. Add grated coconut and fry well
  6. Add cut tomatoes and fry till they are soft and pulpy
  7. Blend into a paste and keep aside
  8. Take one tea-spoon oil in a pressure cooker, add the paste and fry a bit
  9. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala and salt and fry well
  10. Since only one teaspoon oil is used to fry, keep stove in sim position – otherwise it might get burnt
  11. Add cut radish and mix well
  12. Add water and check salt
  13. Cook in high flame till first whistle; Simmer and cook till one more whistle and turn off stove
  14. Garnish with coriander leaves and Kuruma is ready to be served.


kuruma with groundnut



  1. Coconut can be substituted with groundnuts – 1/2 cup roasted ground nuts can be added while blending fried garlic, onion and tomatoes.
  2. Groundnuts give a glowy oily texture to the kuruma
  3. For the calorie conscious – no coconuts, no groundnuts – omit these and pressure cook. When the kuruma is done, add 1/2 cup milk/skimmed milk to give it a creamy consistency.