Instant No Grind Morkuzhambu (with podi)

August 7, 2021 (Last Updated: August 13, 2021)

Do you have that single dish that is never tiring for you to eat or even to make? For some, that is Biryani or may be Sambar. But, in my household that is Morkuzhambu and Parupusilli. Morkuzhambu is a simple dish to make on its own and a shortcut is not really one may think of, but trust me and try this. It eliminates thawing/grating coconut and more importantly, grinding anything when you crave Morkuzhambu.

one of the joys of my life – morkuzhambu and parupu usilli

What is a Morkuzhambu?

OK, if you are really new to this dish, let’s talk about what is a morkuzhambu, ok? The base recipe of a Morkuzhambu is a fat (coconut), a souring agent (curd), flavoring agents ( cumin usually, but some versions have coriander seeds, pepper) and it is usually cooked in coconut oil and garnished with curry leaves.

Morkuzhambu is a coconut-yoghurt gravy flavoured with cumin and spiced with chillies. Every South Indian state has its own version of it with minor variations. The Karnataka version called Majjige Huli and Kerala Morcurry are two variations I make often at home too.

With this base recipe, several variations can be made! BUT, most versions require a freshly ground paste. So, this recipe was developed when I lived in a home with no mixie. Years later, I have more than one blender at home but still make this often at home because of its ease and honestly, the taste too. We can all do with a little smart cooking, right?

Instant No Grind Morkuzhambu

This quick morkuzhambu uses canned coconut milk, yoghurt and spice mix that has gram dal, corainder, chillies and cumin. It takes less than 10 minutes to make and tastes delicious with rice.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword morkuzhambu
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2


Morkuzhambu Podi

  • 4 tbsp channa dal/kadala parupu
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 8-10 red chillies
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds optional, but I like the flavour
  • few curry leaves optional
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Making Morkuzhambu

  • ½ cup thick coconut milk store-bought/canned full fat coconut milk or cream diluted.
  • ½ cup thick yoghurt store-bought greek yoghurt or homemade thick curd
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp morkuzhambu podi can add 1 more tbsp if you prefer it spicy.

For thalipu

  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • a few red chillies and curry leaves


  • In a tsp of oil, add red chili, channa dal and coriander seeds if using and roast followed by cumin, pepper and curry leaves. This needs to be done in a low flame to ensure nothing is burnt.
  • Let it cool a bit and grind to a smooth powder. This makes about 1 cup of Morkuzhambu podi.
  • To make morkuzhambu, add the coconut milk, yoghurt, water, turmeric, salt and whisk well until combined. Add morkuzhambu podi and whisk to ensure it is fully lump free.
  • Now, turn heat on and let it simmer for 5 minutes or until small bubbles appear on the sides. It is important to do this on a low flame and continuously keep stirring and stay around when it is done.
  • All ingredients are cooked – the podi is roasted, coconut milk and yoghurt are good to eat raw and the aim is to heat everything together so the powder can dissolve fully. The dal in the powder helps to keep the yoghurt from splitting but it is important to do the whole cooking in a low flame
  • Once done, add a thalipu and any cooked vegetable of your choice/fried vathals.


Adding Vegetables.

Boiled, sauteed or fried vegetables can be added to your choice in a morkuzhambu. In this recipe, the vegetable is added in the simmering stage if it is boiled or sauteed, and added after cooking if it is fried. 
There are some of the commonly used options:
Boiled – In a little water, add chopped vegetable (usually cut into 1 inch chunks) and a pinch of salt, turmeric and cook the vegetable until fork tender.
Suitable veggies – ashgourd, tindora, hairygourd, zucchini, chayote or pressure cooked and cooled arbi/colacassia.
Sauteed – In a little oil, saute the vegetable with a pinch of salt and cook until it shrinks and tastes done.
Suitable options – ladies finger 
Fried – Any deep fried vathal like clusterbeans, bittergourd, turkeyberry works well.

How does this recipe work?

All ingredients are cooked – the podi is roasted, coconut milk and yoghurt are good to eat raw and the aim is to heat everything together so the powder can dissolve fully. The dal in the powder helps to keep the yoghurt from splitting but it is important to do the whole cooking in a low flame.

roasting ingredients for podi

The measurements given here will make enough for 3-4 batches of morkuzhambu for two adults. To store this podi, keep in a dry closed jar in a cool place. Unless you live in a humid place, it need not be refrigerated if roasted and cooled well before storing.

I prefer to make small batches to keep the flavour fresh however, this recipe can easily be scaled. Amma used to make this podi and send to me and I would make a jiffy morkuzhambu. If making a large batch, it is best to refrigerate.

Making morkuzhambu is a weekly affair at home and I have shared it a dozen times and more on Instagram. I shared a version of this particular recipe here in May 2020.

If you are looking for more delicious lip-smacking kuzhambus to make for a weekend, I highly recommend you to try the Milagu Kuzhambu here. It is one of my favourites!

Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help me learn more about your preferences and will help other readers.

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    Paruppu Usili - just ONE recipe for any vegetable! - My Flavour Factory
    August 13, 2021 at 10:05 pm

    […] Paruppu Usili literally means ‘Lentil Crumble’. It is a nutritious, protein rich side dish made with soaked and crumbled lentils, chillies and spices, mixed with a steamed vegetable. It is best served with a tangy gravy with vatha kuzhambu or morkuzhambu. […]

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