Monday, May 5, 2014

Mor Kuzhambu/South Indian Buttermilk based stew

Mor kuzhambu is a keeper at our home during summer mostly because of 2 reasons. Firstly, in summer mum makes a lot of buttermilk to serve for visitors and so there will be pots always resting in the fridge waiting to be spiced and served.
Usually all the pots will end up in the kitchen sink for washing. But at times if there are leftovers the next day it becomes the mor kuzhambu. Secondly,it cools the body and comes in a spiced version reducing the workload of preparing curries and coolers separately. Amma always says that for mor kuzhambu the buttermilk shouldn’t be too sour.Also it shouldn’t be very thin. We have 2 versions,the traditional one and the one Amma follows which will not have too much of grinding and soaking business. So i go for this version naturally! In this version the kuzhambu won’t be thick as there are no thickening agents like rice or dal added. Hence the buttermilk itself should be thick, say to 1 cup of curd add ¼ cup of water and beat well. This version is easy to make and tastes good.

Thick Buttermilk-2 cups
Pearl onions/Shallots-10 peeled
Lady’s finger/okra-10 small
Water-as needed
Salt-as needed
To Grind:
Scraped coconut-1/2cup
Green chillies-5
Ginger-1 inch piece
Cumin seeds/Jeera-1 tsp
Grind them with little water to a smooth paste.
To Temper:
Mustard seeds-1 tsp
Urad dal-1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Curry leaves-1 sprig
Asafoetida/Hing-1 pinch
Kari vadagam/onion vadagam-3-5(optional)
How It Happened:
1. Take buttermilk in a pan, mix the coconut paste into this, add salt.mix well and adjust the consistency with water. Set aside.
2. Peel the shallots and cut the okra to bite size pieces.
3. In a kadai, heat the oil, add the ingredients under the ‘to temper’ list and when they splutter, add kari vadagam and fry until golden brown.
4. Add shallots and lady’s finger and fry until golden brown.
5. Simmer the stove and add the buttermilk mixture.
6. Wait until the buttermilk froths in the top. Do not allow to boil else it will get curdled.
7. Serve hot with rice.

*Use thick buttermilk and also it shouldn’t be too sour.
* Instead of Lady’s finger masal vadai can be added. However i added both. The other version of mor kuzhambu tastes best when seppan kizhangu is added.However u can add boiled and cut seppan kizhangu in this version too.
*Adjust the chillies to your preference.
*Using kari vadagam adds a nice flavour but you can avoid it.

*I like my mor kuzhambu white in colour as that essentially differentiates it from the north Indian style Kadi. However you can add turmeric powder if you wish.

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