Category Archives: Kuzhambus

Mor Kuzhambu

Mor Kuzhambu

This is a classic south Indian dish to make when the usual sambars and other curries get boring. It is super easy to make but is super tasty as well.

The mor kuzhambu is a mildly spiced yoghurt curry. It can be made with any vegetable you have at home like okra, pumpkins, thai-brinjals (sundaikai).. sometimes I even use dry versions of the same.



Yoghurt                                                                           –              1 ½ cups

Turmeric powder                                                               –              ½ tsp

White pumpkin (cubed)                                                     –              1 cup

Mustard seeds                                                                 –              1 tsp

Red chillies (whole dry)                                                     –              3-4 nos

Curry leaves                                                                     –              1-2 sprigs

Salt to taste


To grind:

Coconut (grated)                                                               –              ¼ cup

Green chillies                                                                   –              4-5 nos

Ginger (chopped)                                                              –              1” piece

Jeera                                                                               –              1 tsp



In a bowl, whisk the yoghurt well to remove any lumps and form a smooth mixture.

Add the turmeric powder, salt, and whisk well.

Boil the pumpkin with water till tender, drain and keep aside.

Grind the coconut, jeera, ginger and green chillies to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Now, heat a tablespoon oil in a medium pan. When it’s hot add the mustard seeds and let them crackle.

Add the dry red chillies, curry leaves and sauté.

Add the yoghurt mixture, ground coconut mixture and boiled pumpkin to the pan.

Heat the mixture till bubbles appear on the sides.

Do not let it boil or the yoghurt may separate.

Remove from heat and serve.




Posted by on November 27, 2014 in Kuzhambus, Vegetarian Dishes


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Kola Urundai Kuzhambu

Kola Urundai Kuzhambu

When you make kola urundais you can also make a very tasty kuzhambu/ gravy with them. The kuzhambu/ gravy can be served with anything from idlys, Hoppers, string hoppers…

The kuzhambu is not very difficult to make and can be made either by deep-frying the kola urundais and adding them to it or by boiling the urundais in the kuzhamby/ gravy itself. My family prefers the earlier one, so here goes…



Kola urundais                                                                                       –              10-12 nos

Onions     (sliced)                                                                                 –              3 nos

Tomatoes (chopped)                                                                             –              2 nos

Ginger-garlic paste                                                                               –              2 tbsps

Cloves                                                                                                 –              3-4 nos

Cinnamon stick                                                                                    –              1” piece

Saunf                                                                                                  –              1 tsp

Turmeric powder                                                                                   –              ½ tsp

Red chilli powder/ sambar powder                                                          –              2-3 tbsps

Salt to taste

To be ground to paste:

Coconut (grated)                                                                                 –              ¼ cup

Poppy seeds (soaked)                                                                        –              2 tbsps

Peppercorn                                                                                        –              1 tsp

Cashews                                                                                           –         5-6 nos

Saunf                                                                                                 –              1 tsp



Make the kola urundai paste. Make small balls and keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai. Add the onions and sauté them till they change color.

Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté further till the raw smell goes.

Now, add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are soft.

Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Grind this to a paste and keep aside.

Heat a larger pan with oil and add the whole garam masalas i.e. the saunf, cloves, cinnamon stick and sauté.

Once they sputter, add the onion-tomato paste and sauté.


Add the turmeric powder, sambar powder and sauté. The gravy will start leaving oil from the edges.

When this happens, add a cup of water, season with salt and cover it. Let it boil on a low heat.

In the meantime, grind the coconut, saunf, peppercorn, cashews and poppy seeds to a fine paste.

When the gravy begins to boil, add the ground coconut paste and cook on a low heat. The gravy will thicken, do not let it boil again.

Remove from heat and squeeze the juice of half a lemon into it.

Now just before serving, fry the kola urundais and add to the kuzhambu.



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Posted by on November 4, 2014 in Chicken, Kuzhambus, Non_Vegetarian Dishes


Yennai Kathrikai Kuzhambu

Yennai Kathrikai Kuzhambu

For those of you who don’t know what the “Yennai Kathrikai Kuzhambu” means … it is a spicy fried aubergine in a tangy onion-tomato gravy.

The Yennai Kathrikai Kuzhambu as the name suggests has the aubergines/ brinjals fried in oil before being added to the gravy. Many variations to the kuzhambu are there. This is a cheats method to the original version but with no compromise to the taste.

The masala powder to be roast and ground for the kuzhambu can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container. The same masala powder can be added for other dished also, to enhance their flavour.

The kuzhambu tastes absolutely divine with just plain steamed rice.



Onions                                                                                     –              1 no

Tomato                                                                                    –              1 no

Coconut (grated)                                                                       –              ¼ cup

Small Brinjals (whole slit in 4)                                                    –              4-5 nos

Tamarind puree                                                                         –              2 tbsps

Kuzhambu milaga powder/ sambar powder                                  –              1 ½-2 tbsps

Turmeric powder                                                                        –              ½ tsp

Saunf seeds                                                                              –              ½ tsp

Curry leaves                                                                              –              1-2 sprigs

Small onions(chopped)                                                               –              4-5 nos

Garlic(sliced)                                                                             –              4-5 nos

Thalikare vadagam                                                                     –              1 tbsp


mustard seeds                                                                          –              ½ tsp

fenugreek seeds/ vendhayam                                                      –              ½ tsp

To roast and grind:

Red chilies                                                                               –              4-5 nos

Coriander seeds                                                                      –              2 tbsps

Cinnamon stick                                                                       –              1” piece

Saunf                                                                                     –              ½ tsp

Jeera                                                                                     –               1 tsp

Pepper                                                                                   –              ½ tsp

Channa Dhal                                                                           –              1 tbsp



Grind together the big onion, tomato, coconut, tamarind puree, turmeric powder, chilli powder(kuzhambu milaga powder) and salt to a paste in a grinder and keep aside.

Dry roast red chillies, channa dhal, coriander seeds, pepper, fenugreek seeds, saunf, jeera and cinnamon together and grind to a powder. Keep aside.

In a medium pan, heat oil and fry the slit brinjals. Shallow fry them in oil till they change color. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.

In the same pan, add the talikare vadam or the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and wait for them to sputter.

When they do, add the ground onion –tomato masala paste. Sauté them on medium heat till oil starts to appear on the sides of the pan.

Add the already sautéed brinjals and check the consistency of the kuzhambu. (You may have to add half a cup of water)

Close and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Remove the lid, add a tablespoon of the roast and ground masala powder, mix it well into the kuzhambu and cover again.

Cook the kuzhambu on slow heat for 5 minutes and turn the heat off.

In another pan, heat a tablespoon of oil, sauté the chopped small onions, garlic and sprig of curry leaf.

Sauté the onions and garlic till they turn slightly brown.

Pour the entire mixture over the kuzhambu and mix it well.

Serve hot with steamed rice.


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Posted by on August 25, 2014 in Kuzhambus, Vegetarian Dishes


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Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

This is the paruppu urundai kuzhambu or the lentil balls in a tomato gravy. They taste absolutely divine, especially when the same sambar and poricha kuzhambus get boring. It not very difficult, just that you need to soak the lentils before you make them. The lentil balls when cooked in the tomato gravy turns out soft and as they are cooked in the gravy itself are very tasty.

There are many ways to make the lentil balls. I have made mine with Bengal gram, but the same can be done with tuvar dhal too. The lentils can also be steamed before you add them in the tomato gravy. This should easy for someone making it the first time.


Ingredient for the urundai:

Bengal gram                                                          –              ¾ cup

Onion (diced finely)                                           –              1 no

Red chillies                                                             –              3-4 nos

Jeera                                                                        –              1 tsp

Saunf                                                                        –              ½ tsp

Coconut (grated)                                                 –              2 tbsps

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves(chopped)                           –              4 -5 tbsps



Soak the gram dhal for 2 hour min. in a mixer grinder, grind the jeera, saunf, coconut and red chillies to a coarse powder first. Drain the water and grind the dhal to a coarse mixture, not very coarse but very smooth either. Grind the dhal without adding any water. Mix the diced onions and coriander to this mixture and keep aside.


Ingredients for the kuzhambu:

Onions (diced finely)                                         –              2 nos

Tomato                                                                    –              2 nos

Garlic                                                                        –              5-6 flakes

Tamarind pulp                                                      –              from 1 lemon size ball

Sambar powder                                                   –              2 tbsps

Turmeric powder                                               –              ½ tsp

Salt                                                                            –              to taste

Thaalikare vadam

(or mustard, fenugreek seeds,

jeera&curry leaves)                                           –              1 tbsp

To grind:

Coconut                                                                  –              ½ cup

Saunf                                                                        –              ½ tsp



Heat oil in a deep kadai and add the thalikare vadam or the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, jeera and curry leaves. Add the onions and the garlic and fry till the onions are soft. Now, add the tomatoes and fry well. The tomatoes should get soft and mix well with the onions and tomatoes. Now, add the sambar powder, turmeric powder and fry for a minute. Add the tamarind pulp and enough water(1/2 cup) and mix well. Cover and let the gravy come to a boil. While the gravy is coming to a boil, grind the coconut with the saunf to a fine paste. When the gravy has boiled well for 5-6 mins, add the ground coconut and keep the heat on medium. When it comes to a slight boil again, make balls from the urundai mixture and add to the kuzhambu. Close and let them cook for another 5-10 mins on a medium heat. You will know the urundais are ready when they start to float on top.

Serve hot with rice and potato curry.



If you are doing this for the first time and are scared to handle the lentil balls, make balls out of them and steam them for 5 mins before adding them into the gravy.

The lentil ball can be made with tuvar dhal also or a mix of both. They all taste the same.

Also if you do not like the smell of saunf like many people, you can leave them and grind the coconut with jeera instead.

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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Kuzhambus


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Mochakottai Kuzhambu

Mochakottai Kuzhambu

So, I have been searching for the name for the mocha-kottai in English and the closest I could come to was the field beans. I am not sure if that’s what it’s called so am attaching a picture of it.


So this is what a mocha-kottai looks like. These beans add a lot of flavor to the gravy they are added to. One of the tastiest curries is this kuzhambu. It dosen’t take a lot of effort to make this, but just planning. The most important part is to soak it the previous night. This is one dish which can get my husband home for lunch, anytime. It’s his favorite along with beans paruppu usili, paruppu podi and arisi appalam. I don’t even have to make a call, just send a picture of what I cooked and he’d call and will be there, like magic.



Mocha kottai                                         –              ½ cup

Small onions                                          –              ½ cup

Garlic                                                        –              10-12 flakes

Tamarind pulp                                      –              from a lemon sized ball

Sambar powder                                   –              1 tbsp

Turmeric powder                                –              ½ tsp

Round red chillies                                –              3-4 nos

Jaggery                                                    –              a tsp (powdered)

Curry leaves                                          –              2 sprigs

Oil                                                              –              2 tbsps

Salt to taste

Thalikare Vadavam                             –              1 tbsp

( if you don’t have vadavam, you can add)

Mustard seeds                                     –              1 tsp

Fenugreek seeds                                 –              ¼ tsp



Soak the mocha-kottai in water the previous night. Pressure cook the mochai, not for long but 2-3 whistles or they will disintegrate in the kuzhambu.

Heat a deep pan and add oil. When it’s hot add the thalikare vadavam or the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds along with the red chillies and curry leaves. Add the small onions in after they sputter and cook the onions till they start to change color. Add the garlic and sauté well, till a nice aroma comes from the onions and garlic. Make a pulp with the lemon sized ball of tamarind and strain it. Add this extract to the pan along with the sambar powder, turmeric powder. Mix well. Add half a cup of water if the extract is too thick and close the pan. Let it simmer for 5-10 mins. The oil will start separating from the sides. Add the cooked mochai to the pan, with salt and reduce the flame. Cook till the required consistency is reached. The kuzhambu has to be thick and not watery.

Transfer the kuzhambu to a serving dish and serve hot with rice and arisi appalams.(rice papad)





Posted by on June 12, 2014 in Kuzhambus