Mor Kuzhambu / Poosanikkai Mor Kuzhambu

Mor Kuzhambu / Poosanikkai Mor Kuzhambu – A South Indian Main Course with Ash Gourd cooked in a delicious Coconut and Yogurt based gravy with a tempering in coconut oil in true South Indian Style. (Gluten Free) (Vegetarian)

Mor Kuzhambu / Poosanikkai Mor Kuzhambu

Mor Kuzhambu / Poosanikkai Mor Kuzhambu

Ash gourd in a Coconut and yogurt based gravy – South Indian Veg Main Course 

Mumbai monsoons are at their full glory since last couple of days and it seems the Rain Gods have finally shown some respite to the perspiring and humid Mumbaikars. I on the other hand have been busy doing up the house, taking classes and blogging too.

I had posted the recipe of Kadhi Pakora last month and did mention briefly about the South Indian version of the Kadhi i.e. the Mor Kuzhambu. It was while editing the Kadhi Pakora post, that I also realized, I had not blogged one of my favourite recipes. I am so glad this post is up today as this is a childhood favourite with my eternal favourite combination – coconut and yogurt gravy.

For a South Indian like me, coconut based curries and gravies are pure nostalgia. Palakkad Iyers like myself favour the coconut and yogurt based curries along with a thoran or poriyal that goes with some short grain steamed rice and generous helpings of papads or poppadams, my personal favourite is the Arisi Appalam. We also call this dish Mor Kootan and usually add a variety of vegetables like Senai Kilangu / Yam / Elephants Foot, Okra or Bhindi and better yet, Arbi or Colacassia or Sir Kizhangu pieces in the gravy.

Mor Kootan or Kuzhambu, as I mentioned above, is something I have been fond of since childhood and have emptied bowls and bowls of this gravy, enjoying the Arbi pieces which my Ma always added a bit extra for me as they were my favourite. This is her recipe and is indeed special.

Mor Kuzhambu or Poosanikkai Mor Kuzhambu

When it comes to Mor Kuzhambu, my husband prefers Poosanikkai and / or Okra or Bhindi or Lady Finger whereas I prefer the Seppankizhangu or Arbi or Taro Root Vegetable. I end up making a Seppankizhangu Roast and make the Kuzhambu with his choice of vegetables and both of us are happy. The secret to a happy marriage is not sacrificing anything for each other. Do what you love and do it together!

Some other Sabzis or Poriyals and Pachadis that would combine beautifully with Mor Kootan and make a complete meal from the blog which you can try.

Since Arbi wasn’t available, I had to make do with another favourite i.e. the Karamani Poriyal or the Yard Long Beans Poriyal which I spiced it up by grinding green chillies and coconut together. It matched beautifully with the medium spicy yogurt gravy along with home made vadu manga pickle (tender mango pickle) and was a great hit for lunch. I tend to make extra Mor Kuzhambu as we enjoy eating the leftovers with Adai or Dosa or with upma too.

Mor Kuzhambu or Poosanikkai Mor Kuzhambu

And to let you know a little secret about me. I have been a big fan of Mumbai Pavs dunked in this Mor Kuzhambu since childhood. My Ma always thought I was crazy eating pav with the gravy but I loved it and In fact still do. Now with my own bakes I don’t even have to worry about the preservatives etc which Ma was always worried about with regards to store bought breads and pavs. And I have also managed to turn Narayan into a fan of the Pav Kuzhambu combination. Don’t agree with me? Combination sounds weird? Why don’t you make a batch and let me know! I bet you will come back saying it sounds delicious! I guarantee – you will!

In the meanwhile, check out the recipe and let me know how you liked this!

Recipe for Mor Kuzhambu / Poosanikkai Mor Kuzhambu

Prep Time – 15 minutes

Cook Time  20 to 30 minutes

Serves 3 to 4


  1. ½ kg Ash Gourd washed, peeled, deseeded and cubed
  2. Half a coconut (grated) or roughly chopped
  3. 3 to 4 nos. green chillies
  4. 1 tblsp of raw rice soaked
  5. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  6. ½ cup of thick yogurt
  7. 2 cups water to cook the ash gourd + as required to grind and adjust the gravy consistency
  8. Salt as per taste

For the tempering

  1. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  2. 2 whole red chillies broken
  3. 2 tsps of coconut oil
  4. Curry leaves


  1. Soak the raw rice with few 4 tblsp of water for atleast 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a kadhai / thick bottom steel vessel with 2 cups of water and add the roughly chopped / cubed pieces of ash gourd along with turmeric powder and allow it to cook until the ash gourd pieces are cooked.
  3. Ensure the ash gourd is just cooked right else it will turn mushy. Prick it with a fork and it should be firm and shouldn’t squash.
  4. Now prepare the yogurt mixture by whisking the yoghurt with some water and keep aside. The mixture should be of lassi consistency.
  5. In a mixer grinder jar, add the grated / chopped coconut, soaked raw rice, green chillies and grind it into a thick paste.
  6. Once the Ash gourd is cooked, add the coconut gravy paste and mix well.
  7. Add salt followed by the yogurt.
  8. The mixture will thicken due to the coconut and raw rice and ensure the flame is low at this point.
  9. Bring it to one boil and switch off the flame, prepare for tempering.
  10. Heat some oil, add the mustard seeds and once they crackle, add the whole red chillies and curry leaves.
  11. Pour the tempering over the hot gravy and serve with some steamed rice, poriyal or veg of your choice.

Recipe Notes

  • Raw Rice is added for thickening the gravy and in case you don’t wish to add, you may skip the same. In that case, add more coconut.
  • Some add coriander seeds and cumin seeds in the gravy mixture but since this is my Amma’s recipe, I have made no corrections to her creation and make it as above.
  • You can add yam, arbi, bhindi as alternative to ash gourd. However, arbi can be pressure cooked for one whistle to hasten the process of cooking and so can yam. Bhindi, on the other hand, needs to be sautéed in oil for some time before cooking it with the turmeric and salt water.
  • Ash Gourd tends to leave some moisture so do ensure you don’t make this gravy very watery and keep it thick. (Hence the raw rice)
  • If you forget to soak the rice, skip it and instead use rice flour 2 tsps for the above recipe but don’t add raw rice directly as it spoils the whole texture of the dish.
  • The yogurt that we prefer using at home is not tangy but some do prefer adding a bit of tangy yogurt which also tastes good.

Vidya Narayan

Views: 1110

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. Comfort food Vidya👌

  2. Your recipe sounds authentic, thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

  3. Loving the color of the curry. 😍 Comfort food for summer

  4. I am drooling Vidya. This looks superbly delicious and comfort food. Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Authentic south indian morkuzhambu recipe vidya. It is so tempting. The combination is awesome. “Okra and Mor kuzhambu”, what more I want, its a heavenly lunch for me. Thanks for sharing dear.

    1. Absolutely Okra is the ideal choice of many including my husband. Thank you so much dear Malini.

  6. What a mouth watering recipe Vidya! Your Amma must be so proud of you. I would like the arbi one too….not sure about dunking paav in it yet 🙂

    1. Dunking pav is my crazy idea Sandhya and I am sure not everyone would love that. Rice is the best option anytime and super touched with your kind words. Thank you so much.

  7. A good introduction the kuzhambu as I had no idea what it was. I love any yogurt based curry and making one with either ash gourd or arbitration sounds perfect to me.

    1. I am sure you would love it, a spicy stir fry veg on the side and you are sorted. Thanks Mayuriji

  8. Delicious and droolicious. Love the curry and the colour and your secret to happy marriage 🙂

  9. This is totally new recipe to me. I love this simple side dish to relish along with some rotis, and rice. I love this sort of simple sabzi.

    1. Thank you. This was my lunch yesterday and enjoyed it thoroughly, as always.

  10. Morkozhambu is my father’s favourite and I hated it all through my childhood. Imagine being in Kerala, a Tamil girl and hating every little bit of morkozhambu!!! but my father never gave up on his insistence, till i was pregnant with my second and developed a sudden liking to this, especially the pooshnika one…. lovely recipe. I should try making it for the kids now.

    1. Oh is it? I am yet to come across anyone who doesnt like MorKozhumbu. But in your case, the hatred didnt last for a long time which is good. Haha.. Sometimes, you tend to like something after ages or develop a sudden dislike too for that matter. Glad you liked the recipe Seema!

  11. To be honest,I never made moru curry till now…being Ash gourd my favorite vegetable..I will be trying this for the way may I know where you are in Palakkad?

    1. If you love Ash Gourd Lathi, you would love this. Do try! I am from Kollengode but sadly no one is living there and I personally haven’t been there ever! My parents and grandparents migrated to Mumbai ages ago.

  12. A very delectable, monsoon recipe! I love spicy, soupy dishes with steamed rice on rainy days. The coconut gravy sounds so awesome that I’d be happy to add any vegetables at all to it and gobble up! 😋
    Very sound marital advice at the end – compromises breed bitterness in a relationship. 😊

    1. Ha Ha – Thank you for taking that advice so positively and glad you loved the dish. Perfect for all seasons.

  13. This is one food which I enjoy anytime. Ours is a slightly different version.

    1. That is the magic of Indian food – Every few kms the taste and preparation style changes. Thank you.

  14. Never got a chance to taste this curry but recipe sounds very interesting….some what similar to the avial recipe I read in a cookbook. Would love to try it.

    1. Thanks you should try it Poonam. Aviyal and this certainly taste different. They have the same ingredients but the vegetables and preparation makes all the difference.

  15. fabulous, this ash gourd recipe looking so tempting and inviting. In gravy you added rice which is new but must say gravy has come so rich and mouthwatering. I am bookmarking it gonna try it soon. ash gourd is my favorite veggie.

    1. Thanks a lot and glad you liked it. Rice is added to thicken the gravy, this is especially useful when you dont want to consume too much coconut (which is the main ingredient) and yet desire that beautiful texture and thickness. Do try, I am sure you will love it.

  16. I once tasted mor khuzambu at a friend’s house and love the simple yet rich taste of it. Yours looks amazing.

  17. I have a weekness for all types of Mor Kuzhambu. Would love to have it with piping hot rice and ghee with mor malaga and appalam.Hmmm mouthwatering ……………….

    1. My gosh Preethi, you read my mind and now I am craving myself for a hot bowl of rice and kuzhambu. ha ha .. Thank you dear.

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