Mor Kulambu

One of my favorite flavor profiles is creamy, sour, and spicy – this dish hits all those nodes. I guess you could describe this as a classic South Indian yogurt soup, that takes a versatile range of vegetables, and sometimes features some mouth watering vadas (fried doughballs). Every household has a slightly different recipe, and here is just one variation.

Servings: 4


  • 2 cups of plain yogurt at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 fresh, sliced Asian chilis (Bird’s eye will do just fine)
  • 1 tbsp toor dal, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1 tbsp white rice, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1/2 in piece of ginger, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 crushed, dry red chili
  • Your choice of: zucchini, eggplant, okra, or vada
  • cilantro for garnish


  1. Saute the ginger, garlic, and fresh chilis until the garlic just starts to brown
  2. Blend the toor dal, rice, ginger/garlic/chili, coconut and a little water until it is finely ground
  3. Temper the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, turmeric and dry red chili in a medium sized pan
    1. Add the mustard seeds to hot oil, and cook (covered) until they stop popping
    2. Take the pan off the heat
    3. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well
  4. Add the vegetables, cook for about 5-6 minutes, until tender
  5. Add the ground coconut mix, stir well, cooking for about 1-2 more minutes
  6. Gently stir in the yogurt and salt, and reduce the heat
  7. Adjust the consistency by adding some water, as needed
  8. Garnish with cilantro
  9. Serve with rice or rotis