Taro root cooked with spices and simmered in a yogurt and coconut sauce is a wonderful tangy and cooling accompaniment to rice, especially on hot summer days. This Chembu Moru Curry also called Chembu Pulissery makes an appearance in the traditional Kerala feast called Sadya!
Tangy and creamy with just a touch of spice, Moru Curry or Pulissery, the mallu land (slang for Kerala) version of a kadhi / yogurt curry is a favorite comfort food of mine. The Northern Indian version of this, Kadhi, uses besan / garbanzo bean flour to thicken the yogurt sauce, where as the Southern Indian version uses freshly grated coconut ground to a fine smooth paste along with some spices, to thicken the yogurt sauce.
All in all, the tanginess of the yogurt and the mild spices play really well together, with such harmony, that makes you wanna get a second, third or even fourth helping.
Pulisseri is a favorite summer curry, as the yogurt acts as a coolant. A variety of vegetables can be used to make this curry, including mangoes, raw bananas / plantains, ripe plantains, cucumber, tomato, winter melon or taro, making it such a versatile and easy to make dish.
You could also check out my collection of 35+ Kerala Sadya Recipes, all vegetarian!
Do you make moru curry at home? What is your favorite kind to make?
Cucumber Tomato Pulisseri - Vellarikka Thakkali Pulissery - Cucumber Tomato Yogurt Curry
- 1 cup peeled and cubed yellow cucumber substitute with white pumpkin / ash gourd
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 roma tomato chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne / red chillie powder
- salt to taste
- 2 cups sour yogurt
To grind to a smooth paste
- ½ cup grated fresh coconut (I buy the freshly frozen grated coconut from the local Indian store)
- 3 Thai green chillies
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- Cook the cucumber in water with the turmeric powder, cayenne and salt, till it gets just cooked. Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, till it softens.
- While the cucumber and tomato is cooking, grind the coconut, green chillies and cumin to a very fine paste with a little water.
- Once the cucumber and tomato is cooked, add the coconut paste to it and bring it to a boil.
- Meanwhile, beat the yogurt well and keep it ready. Once the coconut - cucumber mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and add the yogurt to this, stirring constantly. Cook till steam comes from the pan and don't let the curry come to a boil or else the yogurt will separate.
- Switch off the heat. In a smaller pan, heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds to it. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the curry leaves, dried red chillies and the fenugreek powder. Switch off heat and pour this over the taro root curry. Close the pan with a lid, to let the curry absorb the flavors from the tempering.
- Mix well before serving and serve with hot rice and a side of vegetables.