Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pudhina / Mint Leaves Mor Kuzhambu ~ Day 169

A cool and refreshing twist to one of my favorite dishes from Southern India, Mor Kuzhambu.   Plain yogurt combined with mint and coconut paste with some spices make this dish so flavorful and delicious.   You can add any vegetable like okra, green pepper, brinjal (eggplant), or colocasia (sepankizhangu).  But the winter melon/ash gourd/poosanikai pairs best with this mint kuzhambu.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 6

  • Winter melon or chayote squash - 2 cups, peeled and cubed
  • Plain yogurt - 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few
To grind:
  • Urad dal - 2 tsp
  • Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Dried red chilies - 4 or to taste
  • Green chilies - 4 or to taste
  • Ginger - 1-inch piece
  • Roasted gram dal / pottu kadalai - 2 tbsp
  • Fresh mint / pudhina leaves - 1 cup, packed
  • Grated fresh coconut - 1/4 cup

  1. Cook the vegetable in enough water until soft.  Keep aside.
  2. Meanwhile, roast urad dal, peppercorns, cumin seeds, red chilies, green chilies, and ginger in 1 tsp oil until golden brown.  Add the roasted gram dal and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the mint leaves and saute until wilted.  Let cool and grind to a smooth paste along with coconut. 
  3. Whisk the yogurt, turmeric powder, asafoetida, and salt with 1 cup of water.  Whisk in the ground paste and cook until frothy, over low heat.  Don't let it come to a boil.  Add the cooked vegetable and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. If the gravy is too thick, thin it down with 1/2 cup of water.  Remove from the heat.
  5. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a small skillet.  Splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves.  Pour the tempering over the gravy and give it a stir.
  6. Serve hot with steamed rice.

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