Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mochai Kuzhambu

Mochai (in Tamil) is made very often at home when in season. My dad simply loves it and my mom makes poriyal, kootu and kuzhambu with it... I don't find these here in the US but the closest looking thing here is the 'Surti Papdi Lilva' in the freezer section of Indian grocery stores. When my mom was visiting us, she made a kuzhambu using this and we loved it so I wrote down the recipe then... and have made it many times since then.



Mochai (Surti Papdi Lilva) - 1 to 1.5 cups
Onion - 1 small to medium sized one, chopped finely
Garlic - 2-3 cloves, chopped
Tamarind - small lemon sized, soaked in warm water and juice extracted
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 3 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Salt, to taste

To Grind to a smooth paste:
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Jeera (Cumin seeds) - 1 tsp
Splash of water, if needed.

Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Jeera (Cumin seeds) - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Asafoetida (hing) - pinch


1) Cook the mochai with some salt and about 1/2 cup water in the microwave for about 10 minutes (Covered).

2) Heat 2 tsp of oil and season with mustard, urad dhal, jeera and curry leaves. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Saute this until golden.

3) Now add the chilli and coriander powders (ratio of 1:3), stir for about a minute or less and immediately add the tamarind juice. Next add the turmeric powder. Allow this to boil for about 5 minutes before adding the cooked mochai. Add salt to taste, if necessary.

4) Let this cook until the raw smell goes away and then add the ground coconut-jeera paste. Let this boil for about 5 more minutes. This goes really well with rice.

For another version of mochai kuzhambu with dried beans check out this recipe.


  1. Lavs...Looks very tasty...No doubt ur dad liked it dear :-) Goes great with steamed rice :-)

  2. We call it Avarekalu, a classic beans in K'taka. We make Uppittu, saru etc with it. I only get dried beans here, still good but fresh is way better. Looks delicious L, enjoy!:))

  3. Laav- mouthwatering curry.. Can i join in for lunch? I used the dried bean & make a curry - fresh ones use to make veg only.. must try this one.

  4. So simple and straight forward. No coriander seeds, vendhiyam as the usual ones.

  5. wow!!! thats adiff curry to me..i have heard abt this..havent tasted yet...looks delicious...

  6. laavanya..looks so good and comforting..now all i need is some applam to complete the meal ;)

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  8. Mochai kuzhambu looks great!!we also make this with dried mochai..Thanx for the recipe and picture looks good laavanya!!

  9. hmmm... never cooked with this before.

  10. lovely! mom makes it too, during the rare occasion that we actually get hold of some..

  11. Same pinch - I made Avarekalina Saaru.

  12. Siv loves this, he keeps talking about mochai kuzhambu, I will check the freezer section for this brand next time, so he can finally make his favorite dish :) thanks Lavanya!

  13. Mocha is averekalu in kannada. In karnataka it is produced in large scale and used for all preparations during the season!:)) Nice kuzhambu laavanya!

  14. Very nice recipe lavanya... Looks delicious.. I haven't tried this before. Thanks for the tip.

  15. I too love this mochai kuzhambu. Did not know that it comes in frozen bags. Thanks for sharing the pic and the recipe. Looks delicious.

  16. Thank you Sirisha & Sagari.

    Oh.. I should keep a lookout for the dried beans. Thanks for letting me know Asha.

    Seema, Thanks.. of course are you always welcome. Post the curry using the dried bean, I'm going to buy it the next time.

    Suganya, yes, this is pretty simple except for grinding the coconut.

    Remya, do try making this. Am sure you'll like it.

    Rajitha, so true.. Appalam would be just perfect. :)

    Thank you Raks. How did i miss this dry bean?

    TBC, the first time i tried was when my mom was here but since then i regularly buy this one.

    Thank you Nags. I think it's usually prevalent during Dec-Jan in India if i remember right. I also like the kootu they make with this.

    Lakshmi, I have to try the saaru sometime... seems like it will be similar.

    Sig, you are welcome. The frozen one works quite well in the kuzhambu. When siv makes it, do post his version too...

    Thank you Sreelu and Latha mami.

    Anu and Kribha, Thank you for your kind words.

  17. I like the kuzhambu. It looks so good with the rice. Felt like washing my hand and sit and eat the plate of rice and kuzhambu.
    Hey i can dream can't I :-)))

  18. Looks delicious Lavanya ,so simple and nourishing.

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  20. Kulzlambu looks delicous lavanya. My GM always use to make it with tomatoes and potatoes.

  21. These look as if they have the texture of fresh pigeon peas.

  22. Would like to try this. The Grinding part is different from the usual one.


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