Mor Kuzhambu / Spiced Buttermilk Indian Curry

What is common amongst all of these – Rasam saadham, Thayir saadham with pickle, Kichidi, Dal chaawal, Mashed potatoes, Mac n Cheese, Maggie/ramen noodles, Toasted bread, Chicken soup?

Well, depending on whether you are from Mylapore or Andheri or Brooklyn or where ever it be… one or more of these dishes would bring back soothing memories of a childhood meal, mama’s quick fix or that which you long to eat after days of binging… it’s your very own COMFORT FOOD! Needless to say, I have my own share of dishes that evoke that nostalgic element within and take me on trips down memory lane all the way back to my grandmother’s kitchen… Mor Kuzhambu is right on top of that list!

From the perfect blend with just the right shade of yellow to a curdled mix that is too thick to pour, I have had it all! Though it is such a simple mix of spices and can be put together well before you are done listening to 2 or 3 Rahman songs, it is quite easy to mess this simple dish and trust me when I say that! Here is a tried and tested recipe to help you get it right.

MOR KUZHAMBU ~ Spiced buttermilk curry

Original version: Grandmom’s

Serves: 4 (unless you happen to go back for 3 servings at one meal, like I do)

Cooking Time: Under 30 minutes


  1. Sour curd or plain yogurt – 1 cup
  2. Choice of vegetable (ashgourd/white pumpkin or okra or bottle gourd) – 1 cup cubed or cut into medium sized pieces
  3. Tomato – 1 (optional) cut into medium sized pieces
  4. Oil – 1 or 2 tsp
  5. Salt to taste

For spice paste:

  1. Coconut – 3 to 4 tsp grated or small pieces
  2. Roasted bengal gram dal (channa dal / pottu kadalai) – 1 tsp
  3. Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1 tsp
  4. Green chillies – 2 to 3
  5. Dry red chillies – 1 or 2
  6. Peppercorns – few (5-6)
  7. Coriander leaves – 2 to 3 strands

For tempering:

  1. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  2. Urad dal seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Turmeric – 2 pinches
  4. Dry red chillies – 1 or 2
  5. Curry leaves – a few
  6. Hing (Asafoetida)- 2 to 3 pinches

For garnishing:

  1. Chopped coriander leaves


1. Add about 2 cups of water to the yogurt to make into thin buttermilk and mix well so as to not have any lumps of curd. Add salt to taste.

2. Make a fine paste with the ingredients listed under the ‘For spice paste’ category adding just a little water to bring them all together (chutney consistency)

3. Mix the spice paste to the buttermilk and blend together well. Add water if required but be careful not to make the solution too thin as there might be some water from cooking the vegetables next which will add to the overall consistency as well (Tip: It is safer to err on the thicker side here as you can always add more water if required right after you add this buttermilk solution to the cooking pot). You can taste this now to see if the salt and spice levels are to your liking and make adjustments if required

2. To a hot pan, add oil and then mustard seeds, urad dal, broken dry red chillies, turmeric, hing and curry leaves

3. Add the cut tomatoes and vegetable of your choice and a pinch of salt for flavor and allow it to cook until completely done (Tip: Add water for the gourd veggies to cook while okra can be sauted without water to avoid making it too mushy. Be careful about the amount of salt you add here as you have already seasoned the buttermilk mix with salt and this is just to flavor the veggies)

4. Put the pot/pan on medium flame and add the buttermilk mix string continuously to avoid curdling and blend the mixture well (Now is when you make the final adjustment to consistency with water if required)

5. Cook on medium-low flame with constant stirring until you see the first signs of a boil come up and then remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rice!


* The tempering can be done in the end to give a nice aromatic flavor and pep up the presentation – in this case you would just cook the vegetables separately by boiling or sauteing (in the case of okra) and add to buttermilk mix and bring it all to the near-boil stage and remove from heat. Then do the tempering separately on a pan and add to this cooked curry and serve right away!

* The curry can be made plain without any veggies as well for a quick fix. I love it simply with just tomatoes which add to the tanginess!


This dish is best eaten freshly prepared and hot. But if you do need to reheat any leftover curry, the preferred method would be to microwave or steam cook in a cooker or double boiler. Direct heat can alter the taste and may also cause a curdling effect.

4 Responses to “Mor Kuzhambu / Spiced Buttermilk Indian Curry”
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] hot with steamed white rice and curry of choice. Family favorites include mor curry, fish curry and […]

  2. […] with curry of choice and rice. I personally like mild curries like dal tadka or mor kuzhambu for […]

  3. […] meal? I often find myself in that position, especially when I make my favorite butter milk curry mor kuzhambu – I could eat portion after portion of the curry with rice and not want anything else… […]

  4. […] I ask my mom or anyone for a recipe. I still come back to my blog post of my all-time favorite Mor Kuzhambu recipe ,even though I have made it over a 100 times by now. You see, I don’t trust my memory […]

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