Friday, November 18, 2011

Mochai-Kathiri-Murungai Karakuzhambu

This  flavourful 'Tamil Kuzhambu' is very much associated with my inlaws' cuisine. I believe the base of this Kuzhambu is almost similar to any vegetarian  Karakuzhambu of the state.
Mochai and Murungai never falls in the same season, mochai available only in winter while murungai or the drumsticks are abundant only in summer. Somehow I was lucky enough to get hold of both mochai and murungai recently which prompted me to make the curry served with the main dishes Pal Pongal and Kambu Sadam on two different days.

V absolutely loves 'Pal pongal' and 'Kambu Sadam' and the combo, according to him, is ultimate!!

Serves- A small family

Baby brinjals -5-6  or  2-3 regular ones if you don't get the smaller ones
Drumstick - 1 no
Mochai (dolicho beans)- fresh preferable, or dried if you don't get fresh ones- one small cup

Tamarind- a lime sized ball
Salt-to taste
To roast and grind to a very smooth paste
Oil-a tsp
Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tsp
Coriander seeds -  3 tbsps (1/4 cup scant)
Thuar/ Bengal gram dal- 3 tsps
Red Chillies-8-10
Black Pepper corns- 1/2 tsp / or a few corns
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Shallots- 5-6 nos
Garlic cloves- 2,3
Curry leaves-a sprig
To Season

Oil-1/4 cup
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
Asafoetida-less than 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves-a sprig


Preparation of the vegetables

Wash and soak Mochai (if you use the dried ones) over night and pressure cook in salt water until soft. Fresh ones don't need to be soaked.
Wash and cut drumstick into 3 inch pieces.
Wash the baby brinjals and cut the bottom part as a cross. Retain the green calyx and stem.
If you use regular brinjals, slice them breadth wise into 2 large pieces.

Cook the drumstick pieces in enough salted water and a little turmeric until half done and add along the brinjals cooking until just done. Keep aside.

Preparation of the Kuzhambu

1. Soak tamarind in warm water. Extract pulp.
2. Heat a tsp of oil as mentioned in the “roast and grind” list in a heavy bottomed kadai.
Roast the fenugreek and next the coriander seeds, dal and the red chillies in medium flame stirring all the time till the colour changes and the aroma spreads out.
3. Turn off the flame.
4. Throw in rest of the ingredients ; the pepper corn, cumin seeds, turmeric powder,
shallots, garlic and curry leaves in order, stirring the mixture heating them all up.The heat of the kadai is enough for this step.
5. Cool and grind to the smoothest paste with just enough water.
6. In a thick bottomed vessel, combine the above paste with the tamarind extract. Add salt. Let the curry be a little watery at this stage. Boil and simmer the kuzhambu well closed with a lid. After 10-15 minutes, Dunk the vegetables carefully into it. Simmer for a few minutes to let the spices seep into the vegetables.
7. Season the simmering kuzhambu by heating the ¼ cup of gingelly oil in the earlier kadai, used for roasting, splutter the mustard seeds, add asafoetida and throw in the curry leaves. Add to the curry.
Simmer for a few more minutes until the flavour emanates and the oil separates.

The 'Kuzhambu' served with 'Pal Pongal' and 'Thengai Thuvaiyal'. The traditional 'Pal Pongal' recipe in bronze pot is already posted here. The above was made in pressure cooker since the quantity was lesser and I will post the recipe soon!

When the curry was made another day and served with Kambu Sadam or the Millet Meal (I will post the recipe soon) with 'Murungai Thazhai Koottu' (drumstick leaves curry)

       Serves perfect with boiled rice and pappads as well! 


  1. Awesome combination curry..looks so tempting...And the clicks are soo lovely!

  2. I shouldgoogle what this mochai beans is, oh how i wish i had drumsticks, super deliious looking curry B.

  3. What a fantastic dish. This is a very new recipe for me as I don't use tamarind in my curries.

  4. Omg, one of my fav kuzhambu,i can survive for many days with it..

  5. I love that you post the in process shots as well... looks very authentic. Also the lunch feast that is set on the table looks so yummy that I just want to hop on the plane and get home where we don't eat out of glass and porcelain but good ol' stainless steel.
    This sounds so similar to the varuthu araicha kuzhambu but the combination sounds good. We get all this in frozen aisle so I can try all year round :D

  6. The clicks of kuzhambu looks simply delicious and inviting. Awesome preparation.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  7. Oh wow this is a combo in Koli cuisine too!

  8. First look it looks like rajma, but I guess this is different. It looks very inviting. Wish I could just take that bowl out of the picture for dinner tonight.

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  10. I luv this kulambu to the core...Bharathy..The lunch spread luks extremely heaven to me..Gud to see ur tamil spirits here..

  11. wow! nice reccipe. we too do for every pongal

  12. Superb clicks...thats a nice traditional recipe :)
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  13. This curry looks awesome and very tempting too.

  14. This kuzhambu sounds delicious, I make mine the same way minus the shallots and the garlic, but I am sure they are excellent additions!

  15. I have been trying to make Kuzhambus at home from the time I tasted it first in a Tamil hotel, but I have always failed. This recipe took me back to that place and I really enjoyed making and eating it.

    Thanks for a wonderful recipe.


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