Nellai More Kozhambu is a popular gravy of the Tirunelveli region in Tamilnadu in India. There are two versions of this gravy – both of them go well with steamed rice and can be prepared with different vegetables like White Pumpkin, Drum Stick, Ladies Finger (Okra) or Colacoasia.
Ingredients for Grinding:
Grated Coconut – ½ cup
Split Black Gram (Urad Dal) – 1 tbsp
Fenugreek (Methi) seeds – ¼ tsp
Dry Red Chilli- 2 Broken
Oil- ½ tsp
Ingredients for Tempering:
Mustard (Rai) seeds- ½ tsp
Curry Leaves- 1 string
Asafoetida (Hing) – 1 pinch
Yogurt (Dahi/ Curd) – 300 ml
Ash Gourd (White Pumpkin) – 200 gms
Chilli Powder – ¼ to ½ tsp
Sugar – ¾ tsp (Optional)
Turmeric Powder (Haldi) ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro – 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
Peel the thick skin off the Ash Gourd, cut into big chunks, wash well and drain.
Heat Oil in pan. Add Dry Red Chilli, Black Gram (Urad Dal), and Fenugreek and stir fry till the Urad Dal becomes pink.
Cool it and grind to a fine powder.
Add the grated Coconut, little water and grind to a fine paste.
Whisk the Curd smooth. Add the above masala and whisk again and keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add Mustard and allow it to crackle. Add curry leaves and Asafoetida and stir fry for 10 seconds.
Add 1 cup of water. When it starts boiling, add the Ash Gourd, little Salt and Turmeric Powder.
Cover with a lid and cook in low to medium flame till the vegetable becomes soft.
Add the Curd mixture, salt, chilli powder and sugar. Add water according to the consistency required. Check for salt sufficiency and add, if required.
Stir cook for 4 to 5 minutes taking care to avoid curling of the curd.
Serve with steamed Rice.
Do not use sour Curd. Sugar is optional. Cook the gravy on low heat to avoid curdling of Curd.