8 June 2008

Traditional Lunch Series - Day 6 (Mor Kozhambu, Vazhakkai Curry)

Sorry for the two day break in series...not that i did not cook, but the weather has been too glorious to sit and blog. I have been lingering around in the balcony watching from the heights as the monsoons sweep over the landscape, clicking photos of the grey clouds with silver linings, and generally lazing around in the pleasant turn in the weather scene. It was so hot and sultry beginning June that I was fervently praying for an early monsoon - and it has started in full force from the middle of last week. The plants in my balcony are enjoying it and so am I :) Here's the pending two days account one after the other. I also have a wonderful bread coming up for you, called the Tassajara bread that we baked yesterday. Will find some time to sneak the baking notes somewhere in the middle of the traditional lunch series.

Day 6 Menu - Mor Kozhambu & Vazhakkai curry

Mor Kozhambu is a buttermilk based Tamil 'kadhi', which can have fried or sauteed okra pieces, chunks of cooked white pumpkin, or fried colocassia pieces. Even plain, it is delicious, very easy to make with the minimum of ingredients. It is also a delicious accompaniment to dosas and idlis which no hotel will ever serve you. There are two varieties of this buttermilk based kozhambu, one made with green chillies, which is pale green in colour and one made with red chillies, which is a pale pink in colour. The recipe varies in the masala that is ground for each.

Mor Kozhambu along with onion uthappam is truly mouth watering. When had with rice, it is usually accompanied by a vegetable-paruppu usili which is cooked veggies like beans / tendli mixed with crumbled steamed lentil paste, so that the proteins from the lentil usili make up for the lack of dal in the mor kozhambu. However, I made this with a simple plantain saute, which is also an equally superb combination.

Recipe for Mor Kozhambu (Pink variety)
Serves 4

3 cups thick buttermilk, slightly sour is better
1 cup water
To saute: 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 tbsp raw rice grains, 3 dried red chillies
1/4 cup fresh coconut
1 tsp salt
Tempering: 1 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 sprig curry leaves, 1 dried red chilli

1. Whisk the buttermilk and water in a heavy bottomed pan.
2. In a wok, heat 1/2 tsp oil, saute the fenugreek seeds, raw rice and dried chillies till the seeds turn darker (not brown though), and the rice becomes opaque. Remove, cool and grind with the coconut into a fine paste, using upto 1/4 cup water.
3. Add this paste to the buttermilk. Season with salt.
4. Place this mix on low heat, stirring all the while . This is the most important step, as even a minute of leaving this on the gas will make the buttermilk separate into whey and curd, which will render this dish useless.
5. Gentle heat and constant stirring until this comes to a simmer, will cook the paste keeping the buttermilk intact.
6. In the wok, heat a tsp of oil. Temper with the ingredients given and transfer it over the mor kozhambu. Keep covered until ready to serve.

If adding vegetables, chunks of cooked white pumpkin, or boiled, sliced and fried colocassia slices, or fried okra slices can be added to the kozhambu during step.5 (simmering stage)

Recipe for Vazhakkai curry
Serves 3-4

4 medium sized slim plantains (do not choose the short thick variety for this recipe)
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt

1. Tail and top the plantains. Lightly peel them. Cut through vertically into two and then slice to get semi circular slices of medium thickness. This is the only effort involved in this recipe.
2. Heat the oil in the wok. Splutter mustard and cumin seeds, add the plantain slices.
3. Add the turmeric, red chilli powder, salt, stir to mix well.
4. Sprinkle water, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring around 1-2 times in between until the plantain is soft and cooked.
5. If you want a crisper curry, add a tbsp of oil at this stage and let the curry crisp on a low flame without stirring for up to 5 minutes.

Lunch Series so far

Day 1
- Vengaya Sambar, Vendakkai curry, Potato Roast
Day 2 - Peerkangai thuvaiyal, Red Chauli
Day 3 - Keerai Milagoottal, Cabbage Curry
Day 4 - Capsicum Baath, Pumpkin pachidi, Thair saadam
Day 5 - Carrot Sambar, Avaraikkai Curry
Day 6 - Mor Kozhambu, Vazhakkai Curry


Deepa said...

Hi Nandita. ENjoyed your latest traditional recipe. Now I turn off the gas and then add the whisked butter milk. I don't cook any urther. Tastes fine. ALso, in the making of the masala, I also add jeera (1.2 tsp), toor dal dry (1/2 tsp) and sometimes a little ginger. The ginger, I came across in the cookbook called "Dakshin". Bell pepper is usually what I use. And I have it cook in a little plain water added to the sauteed bell pepper, before turning off the gas and adding the buttermilk. I am no expert on this, but this prevents the separation of the buttermilk problem from ever occurring. --Deepa

Nandini Vishwanath said...

:) Made Mor Kuzhambu yesterday. Followed Jai and Bee's recipe. Since I can barely cook, this was cooked based on demand from the man who can cook! So, since he said it was good, am assuming it was good ;)

Waiting for the bread recipe!

Happy cook said...

I love Mor kuzhambu.
I can eat a heap of rice when i have it.
Last time i had it was when my sis was here.
Here at home i am the only fan of moru curry so i tend to make them once in a while only.
Well i can just drool now.

Sumi said...

Morkuzhambu and vazhakaai curry pictures look awesome. The visual impact was so great that seeing your pics only filled my stomach!!! well, thats no excuse for my laziness, am sure i will try them sometime pretty soon. Will wait for your bread recipe!

Nandita said...

Deepa- Jeera, soaked tur dal and ginger with green chillies go into the Green variety that I have written about. They are not essential in this one, where the main taste is from fenugreek. Anyway, this is my granny's recipe, and I'm sure recipes vary from area to area, or even home to home :)

Nandini - if your hubby liked it, then all is well :) It must have been good :)

Happy cook - saw recipe for moru curry on a new food prog here, it was a Travancore royal recipes episode, where they started with coconut oil and a turmeric based buttermilk, in which they boiled the sliced okra. You can try it this way now:)

Sumi - haha glad this made you sated...but do try it out, its easy, really!

Shalini said...

Morkozhambu is my fav too.So easy to make and simply delicious.My Mom adds peppercorns and a dash of vellam sometimes.As you said,the recipe varies from home to home :) I too made Vendakkai Morkozhambu yday with a side of potato curry and carrot poduthuval. It's the best weekend comfort food.

Jayashree said...

My favourite combo with morkootan is spicy potatoes.....your vazhakka looks good....

Mallika said...

That plantain curry looks yum! I miss the monsoon at home. Just tagged you in a Meme, if you're up to it.

Shilpa said...

Hey Nandita..I love your traditional meal series. I made your keerai kootan over the weekend...Ohh..its just so good....Love it. Thanks a lot. Keep them coming :)

Miri said...

Love Mor kozhambu and the walakai curry is a perfect foil to it , thanks for the recipes and the whole series!

I was in Mumbai till the 1st and just about missed the monsoon, but after so many years away dont think I would be able to handle the unrelentless rain pouring down and all the flooding - but yes I miss the glorious colours and weather...

delhibelle said...

Love this wholesome meal !
And thanks for widening my limited exposure,did'nt know there were green and pink versions of one of my fav dish which at Ananda Bhavan here is a rather bright yellow!Interestingly,it sounds similar to another hot fav of mine-red, green, yellow thai curries:)

Madhoo.S.Gargya said...

Fried colocassia pieces in the Morkuzhambu is a good idea,never tried that...will do that the next time.Thanks.
Also, I came across the honey Banana muffin recipe in ur blog,I'm eager to try that bcos its eggless and I liked that idea of 1/2 AP flour & 1/2 WW flour......gotta go to Wal-mart to buy a muffin pan:)

Rajitha said...

for a person who has not been eating any tradional food for a while..ur food is a sight for sore eyes. All i do is salivate and go back to my boring food...

harihara said...

Hi, I am homesick & missing my MIL.
recipes look yummmmmm

will try it in summer holidays

Raaga said...

Hey... you've been tagged!


Usha said...

Hi Nandita,
It has been the longest time since I have had mor kozhambu and vazhakai curry,your post brought back fond memories...

Swati Raman Garg said...

coming over after a loong time.. interesting series gonig on haan .... i love this combo ... another fav combo of mine is the mor koyumbu and prupu usli combo... with some toghayalll ... aah

A-kay said...

I have tagged you - hope you don't mind.

Anjali said...

I'm going to try this mor kuzhambu souns easy too. Hey the clouds and the sea and the end of the corridor make me wanna rush home to Mumbai.

Neelu said...

Hi Nandita-
Plaintian reicpe looks soo simple.
I am surely going to try it.
Looks like you have been into traditional reicpies lately. I am again into this world now, n hope I can keep writing frequently.

Cynthia said...

You are forgiven, when beautiful days abound, one must acknowledge and bask in them.

Shreya said...

Hi Nandita, Lovely moru kozhambu. I just made it today!:-) The vazhakkai curry looks awesome. I have stopped making it this way as my daughter likes it more dry and in small cubes. The picture makes me want to eat it right away.

Ramki said...

Not letting the buttermilk split is the most important technique,which for reasons unknown, is ignored by most cookbooks. I'm delighted you have highlighted it !

Just because of this lovely colour,and creamy consistency this recipe will go into the 1001 MoreKuzhambu cookbook.

Manasa said...

Amazing recipes. The pics made me drool :))

Lekhni said...

The plaintains look gorgeous :) Enough to make anyone hungry!

White On Rice Couple said...

What an amazing dish, I have never had this before. I just your recipes, they have so much flavor and great variety of spices. I will try this soon!

Kamini said...

This is one of my favorite combinations. You are making me home-sick!!

Compulsive Dreamer said...

Hi, Its been a long time since you posted... hope everything is okay!

arundati said...

something for you at my blog....pick it up when you can.....hugs!!

Anonymous said...

where are you? no updates, no posts.

Please key in some lines.


Spicelover said...

Looks yummy Nandita.
I havent seen you around in a while...
havent been blogging or flickering much myself... should get back
Hope all is well

Kitchen Flavours said...

Looks gr8.

ss said...

Really love your recipes - been a while since you posted. Hope things are ok at your end.

fanatika said...

Tambrahm food..how I miss it. So hard to find plantains here. :(
Can I use like..potato or something? :|

Kay said...

Oh my god! A series of traditional lunch series! :) Wow!

So good to see all these yummy food here. Thanks!

Vijayalakshmi said...

Hi! Went through the lunch recipes. Very healthy and tasty combination. Why don't you add the Tamil's favourite Rasam?
There are lot of varieties of rasam.. Milagu Rasam, Thakkali Rasam, Paruppu Rasam, Mysore Rasam, Garlic Rasam.. and so on.
Waiting to see your recipes of Rasam soon..
Thanks - Viji

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