January 11, 2008

Mor Kazhi and Menthi Kuzhambu

There are favourites and then there are favourites... and then there's mor kazhi. While we were kids, lunch was always rice, sambar, rasam, curd and a vegetable. Sometimes the sambar became dali saar and we had a konkani meal complete with a masla randeyi. And at other times, we had plain dal and avial or mor kuzhambu. On other days we had menthi kuzhambu.

Known as Vathal Kuzhambu (or Vatha Kuzhambu) in many households, I think that Menthi Kuzhambu or Vendhaya Kuzhambu is one of those dishes that leaves you licking your fingers. At our home, this is traditionally made with brinjal, lady's finger or yam. My Iyer friends make it with shallots, pumpkin and even radish. I make it with just about anything I can lay my hands on. I have even made a version of this with garlic. My father had once told me, "If you want to make me happy, learn to make menthi kuzhambu for me" and I (thinking it was too much trouble) said, "It's OK with me if you're not that happy... let's have paruppu kuzhambu". Now, I know better!

On days when we had Menthi Kuzhambu for lunch, we tried to have mor kazhi for dinner. The combination is simply superb. I made this for dinner last week and I'd also made some rice just in case S doesn't like this mor kazhi of mine. But the rice was eaten about two days later.

Menthi Kuzhambu


1 Radish, sliced
1 tbsp Vathal (Sundaikkai, Cluster Beans or Manathakkali - optional)
1-2 Red Chillies
1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Asafoetida
1 tbsp Toor Dal
2 tbsp Tamarind Paste
1 tsp Oil
7-8 Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Sambar Powder
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a vessel and add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, toor dal, vathal and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves and the chillies. Add the radish and fry for a minute. Add the sambar powder and fry for another minute. Add the tamarind paste, salt and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the radish is cooked.

My friend Preeti suggested that I cook the vegetable in the sambar itself. She also suggested that I use gingelly or sesame oil while making this type of sambar. So, while a lot of how I cook comes from Amma, these are two things I remember while making this.

Mor Kazhi is probably one of my favourite snacks. I don't know how many things I am allowed to count as favourites. Instead of waiting for leftover Menthi Kuzhambu, I decided to make both items fresh. My very first attempt at making mor kazhi was a success. I think I'll experiment with different flours from now on too.


1 cup Flour

1/2 cup Rice Flour

4 cups Buttermilk

1 tsp Chilli Paste

1 tsp Ginger Paste

1/4 cup Coriander, chopped

1 tbsp Lime Juice

2 tbsp Oil

1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds

1/4 tsp Asafoetida

1/4 tsp Urad Dal

1/4 tsp Chana Dal (optional)

2 Red Chillies

7-8 Curry Leaves

Salt to taste

Mix the flours with the buttermilk and add the coriander leaves along with the ginger and chilli pastes. Add the salt and the lime juice and mix until well blended.

In a kadhai, heat the oil and add the urad and chana dals, mustard and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the red chillies and the curry leaves. After a minute, add the buttermilk-flour mixture and mix well and remove any lumps. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Serve hot with menthi kuzhambu. I am told that there are several ways in which mor kazhi is served. Cut into squares, made into balls. I would love to try this out in all the different ways it is made. I have only eaten this at home and only in this manner. And I love it.


Suganya said...

Ah! I have mor kali in my drafts. Nice to see another version. BTW, isn't called kali and not kazhi?

amna said...

ah. i am not a fan of kali/kazhi. i think we call this kali too..

Jayashree said...

It's been ages since i had mor mother used to cut it into squares...i've never tried making it myself, though....

Padmaja said...

Yummy dishes Raaga. MY favourite cuisines are punjabi and kerala and those dishes looks so delicious!!
have a nice weekend

FH said...

OMG!! Sometimes I forget you are a Konkani girl.You make so many Tamil style food and in such traditional way too. Both look fabulous and I am hungry!:))
Raaga, there will major changes in my blogs.I will still post but will not be visiting any blogs except during festivals to greet you some of you. I will explain why in my next post.I need to make some time for myself. Keep in touch though!Hugs to you!:)

Revathi said...

My favorite - vetha kolambu

Anonymous said...

We call it 'mor koozhu' which my mom makes with rice flour or ragi flour. It's an awesome dish!!

musical said...

Vathral kozhambu is yummy! Great combo Raaga! Simple and traditional meal, and totally yummy!

Anonymous said...

Raaga, I am a frequent visitor to your blog. Wow, you cook-up really authentic tamil dishes. I love mor kali too. Vendaya kuzhambu and mor kali - yum,yum, yum. Can you see that I am drooling right now?:-)You dishes are awesome. Great blog!!!!


Anonymous said...

That is one lipsmacking combo, second only to Keerai masiyal + vetha kozhambu :) I love the browned (stuck to the bottom of the vessel) parts of mor-kazhi - that is truly divine!

DEEPA said...

My grandma used to make it ..I have never tried making it here ...will try it soon ..Thks for sharing

Raaga said...

No clue Suganya... always been called kazhi at my place. One of my al time faves.

Nags: Well... its like how many people don't like upma!!

@Jayasri: Now may be a good time to try :-)

Raaga said...

@Padmaja: I can't pick a personal Indian favourite cuisine... it so depends on my moods :-)

@Ashakka: Totally understand... I'll post some konkani recipes soon... just thinking that I should save them for the konkani RCI in May... what say?

Raaga said...

@Revathi: One of my faves... but fave to cook... always :-)

@Anon: Thanks for visiting. I do plan to try this out with ragi flour very soon.

Raaga said...

@Musical: I love it when it simple and tasty... of course healthy is like a bonus :-)

@Sudha: I drool at the thought of this stuff... and if I feel like eating, I have to make it myself... so I decided it is about time :-)

@A-Kay: I dig the brown parts too... yummy

@Deepa:You must try it... I am glad I did :-)

Archana Doshi said...

I love mor kazhi. Especially with fried mor molaigai. Slurrrp. I usually have it plan, since there would be the mor lolaigai's, we just en dup licking the whole thing with our fingers. Nice picture of it.

KayKat said...

*drool*! Ok, you made my day by giving me a mor kazhi recipe - this was one of my favourite tiffins as a kid, I can't wait to try it out now :)

Thanks, Raaga!

Latha Narasimhan said...

Very true! More kali tastes great with venthaya kuzhambu! :)Nive pictures dear! Recently I met a lady from malnad and she told me a lot about dishes steamed using various leaves! :) I was just thinking about you!

Anonymous said...

more pictures than i seeing utilization of a new toy?? :)