This vegetarian Tamil Nadu dish (pronounced mor ku-lam-bu, with “mor” meaning buttermilk and “kuzhambu” meaning “gravy” or “stew”) features a slightly tangy, creamy sauce peppered with warm Indian spices coating your choice of greens. Buttermilk is extremely popular in Indian cooking, especially on hot summer days, for its cooling effect and digestive properties. As the weather begins to warm up, try your hand at mor kozhambu–it’s fast and easy to put together, and makes for a simultaneously lush and refreshing side dish. It’s a spectacular accompaniment to my Curry Leaf Fried Chicken!
2 bunches leafy greens, such as rainbow chard or mustard greens, chopped
1 ½ TBSP neutral oil, such as canola
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground fenugreek
2 pinches asafoetida
5 fresh curry leaves, finely chopped (optional)
2”-piece ginger, peeled and minced
4 medium green chilis, stemmed and rough-chopped
2 TBSP rice flour
4 cups dahi or buttermilk
Salt, to taste
Fresh cilantro, chopped, to garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the greens; cook for 2-3 minutes, then drain well, pressing as much water from the greens as possible. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the mustard seeds. Cooking until they begin to pop, then stir in the cumin seeds, turmeric, fenugreek, asofoetida, curry leaves, ginger, and chilis and cook until aromatic and the chilis have slightly softened.
Add the rice flour and cook for another minute, then stir in the dahi and mix well. Fold in the greens and heat through.
Add a bit of salt, taste, and adjust the seasoning as desired. Serve immediately, topped with fresh cilantro.