Be it pumpkin, okra, brinjal, banana, banana stem, sepankezhangu (colocasia) and the list can keep extending! Mor kuzhambu has been the standard for tradition and it can accept any of the vegetables, although when you prepare it for rituals, you restrict the list to only a very few. My heart favorite has always been okra and pumpkin. Though colocasia is irresistible to me and my family in any form, generally it is devoured roasted. However, adding it in Mor kuzhambu is also good. A few weeks back, I made mor kuzhambu with colocasia.
My feelings associated with this particular dish are a bit funny! No doubt I always enjoyed it when amma makes it and every time she would conjure up a new flavor. The buttermilk is like a base, it will just reflect the taste of the spices one is going to use. So, any slight modification will result in a different taste. A slight excess in cumin or coriander or a spirited use of pepper or using them with or without roasting can all be detected even when it is under preparation! I never knew how to make it and once I asked amma over skype the procedure and she patiently explained it to me and when I tried to make it, I over boiled the butter milk and lost the consistency and all I did was to fish out the okra from it and eat! After that I didnt not attempt to make it for a long time and decided that my wife needs to know how to make excellent mor kuzhambu!
After that it was Vasu who tempted me again with her excellent preparation and then I watched her make it and learnt the nuances. Soaking toor dhal for 30 minutes is the first step. Then dry roasting red chilis, few coriander seeds and few cumin seeds is an important and careful step. Some people soak the cumin and coriander along with the dhal, but I prefer this roasting. Once carefully roaster, it is blended with the dhal along with luscious amounts of fresh shredded coconut. After spluttering mustard seeds in coconut oil, turmeric and hing are added. If it is going to be okra, then this is the right time to add it and fry it a little. If pumpkin, then add water, add cut pieces of pumpkin and let it boil for few minutes before adding inside the ground dhal mixture. Since I made it with colocasia, I had already pre boiled it and peeled it. So, after cooking the dhal, it was addition of colocosia into that and adding the right amount of salt. Finally well beaten butter milk is added and the mixture is allowed to simmer for few minutes. Final garnish is done with lots of coriander leaves and cut green chili fried in coconut oil.