1tspfenugreek seedscan reduce it to 1/2 tsp if you don't like the bite
Prepare the spice paste-
Grind all the ingredients given under "To Grind" by adding 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water and take it in a bowl.
To this ground paste, first, add the turmeric powder and salt.
Then add the buttermilk and mix it thoroughly. The buttermilk spice paste or mix is now ready.
Preparing the mor kuzhambu | majjige huli-
Heat a pan or kadai and add 2 tsps of coconut oil.
When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, and asafoetida. Let the mustard seeds splutter.
Now add the vegetable; in my case, I went with brinjal. Please refer notes if using other vegetables.
Saute for 3 to 4 minutes and add 1/2 cup of water and cook the brinjal until it is soft and tender (not mushy). Sorry I missed to click this step picture.
At this stage, add the prepared buttermilk spice paste and reduce the heat to low.
Let it simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until it becomes frothy and comes to a boil like below. Keep stirring in between so that the buttermilk doesn't curdle.
Turn off the heat and add one more tsp of coconut oil on top. You can add a few more curry leaves as well. Cover it partially and let the flavors infuse. (PS - Do no cover the mor kuzhambu fully)
Serve hot with rice and any spicy curry.
As always, adjust the spices according to your preference. Ginger and whole pepper add unique flavor, so I always add them. But it's optional.
Usually, you will find recipes that call for a tsp of rice while preparing the spice paste. I am using roasted gram instead of rice, and that what my mom and MIL do, and I follow the same. Both rice and roasted gram help to thicken the kuzhambu.
I highly recommend coconut oil for this recipe. But you can use other oil as well.
Sour buttermilk works well for this recipe, but I have tried making it with non-sour varieties and it comes out well. I usually take 1 to 1.5 cups of yogurt and dilute it with water and make the buttermilk. You can use either store-bought buttermilk or dilute the yogurt and use it.
As we are using chana dal, the roasted gram is optional but as I like thick gravy, I always add it. Veggies used in mor kuzhambu-
We usually add veggies like chayote squash, white pumpkin or ash gourd, okra, brinjal, cucumbers, spinach, etc. After coming to the US, I started adding zucchini and broccoli and asparagus as well.
You can add veggies of your choice, but I don't add vegetables like radish, kohlrabi, etc. as it alters the taste completely.
For veggies like cucumber, zucchini, broccoli, okra, and brinjal, you can saute them and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they become soft and tender. But for other veggies, you can either cook them separately or add more water and cook for 10 to 12 minutes until the vegetables are soft and tender. The cooking time of the mor kuzhambu varies depending on the veggies used.
I don't add more than one vegetable variety in the mor kuzhambu. Adding more veggies makes it like spicy avial. :-)