My favorite festival will always be Thai Pongal. While a lot of people enjoy Diwali for the lights and the joy, I will always cherish the humble Thai Pongal just for the lunch spread enjoyed by the entire family. It is the same menu at my grandmom's in Chennai every year. Two types of pongal, Yam kara kozhambu, potato roast, Mor kozhambu (with vadai), rasam, two types of vadai and ofcourse payasam. So afternoons on 14 January every year was spent in "post prandial coma". And then round 2 begins with the leftovers. I love the mor kuzhambu along with the soaked vadai.
Mor Kuzhambu is a pan-India dish. With slight variations, there is a version in each state. It is the kadhi of South India.
There are many versions some where the spices are roasted first, some where there is more of chana dal. My version is adapted from Mallika Badrinath cookbook.
You can use a range of vegetables. Please refer notes. I have made it vegetable-free.
Sour curd - 3 cups
Turmeric powder - 1/2 t
Salt to taste
Grind to a paste
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Green Chillies - 7
Dry Red Chillies - 7
Coriander seeds (dhania) - 1.5 t
Jeera - 1 T
Tuar Dal - 1T (soak in water for 1 hour)
Roasted gram dall - 1T (pottukadalai)
Mustard seeds - 1t
Fenugreek (methi / vendayam) - 1/4t
1. Grind the items given under "to grind" to a sooth paste.
2. Beat the curd with turmeric and salt and blend in the paste. Add some water to make it thin.
3. Bring to a boil.
4. Heat oil in a seasoning pan and add items to season.
5. When the seasoning splutters, add to the mor kuzhambu and switch off.
- If you are adding vegetables, then precook them and add in step 3. Vegetables that go well are ladys finger/vendakkai, seppankizhangu/ yam / arbi etc. Avoid vegetables like brinjal. The root vegetables need to be boiled and added. Lady's finger should be deep fried and added in the end.
- You can add medu vadai or small medu bondas. Check out the recipe here. Fry them ahead and soak them well before serving the mor kuzhambu.
- You can also roast the items given under "to grind" except the coconut. This will give a different flavor to the mor kuzhambu.