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Edited on 02/08/2021 to include more information and to make it reader-friendly. 🙂
In this moru curry, the chayote squash pieces are simmered in yogurt, coconut & spices. a tasty curry - from the first mouthful to the last.simple Kerala style Moru curry with Chayote Squash. "Moru" in Malayalam is buttermilk and Moru Curry simply means, a curry that uses buttermilk in its preparation.
ingredient run down
- Chayote Squash
- Cayenne pepper/ Ground Red Chilli
- Ground Turmeric/Haldi
- Serrano Pepper (or any green chilli)
- Yogurt/ Curd
- Grated Coconut
- Cumin Seeds/Jeera
- Mustard Seeds
- Curry Leaves
- Whole Red Chillies
step by step instructions
Full recipe + measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Moru curry is a simple preparation from the Kerala cuisine. Here is the step by step instructions to make the dish.
Wash, peel and dice chayote squash into medium sized pieces.
Grind coconut and cumin seeds to a fine paste.
Whisk yogurt to remove any lumps.
Cook chayote squash with Cayenne pepper, Serrano pepper, Turmeric powder and salt.
Once the pieces are cooked, add the ground paste and bring back to a boil. Adjust the consistency by adding water.
Turn off the heat and add yogurt. Mix well to combine.
Prepare the tempering in another stove. Heat oil in a small pan on medium heat and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, reduce the heat, add the curry leaves and whole red chillies. Add the seasoned oil along with the spices to the chayote squash curry and serve hot.
how to make it less spicy?
To make this moru curry less spicy, reduce the quantity of Cayenne pepper used. You can use sweet paprika instead.
One more way to reduce the heat is to reduce the quantity of green chillies or Serrano peppe used. You can also remove the veins and seeds of the green pepper to reduce the heat.
what other vegetables can be used instead of chayote squash?
There are many vegetables that you can use instead of chayote squash as "kashnams" in the recipe:
- If you are familiar with vellarikka, or madras cucumber, they work well in the recipe. Peel, de-seed, and use in the recipe.
- Winter melon is yet another option that works well in the recipe.
- If you like raw bananas, try using them in this recipe.
- I have also used Kohlrabi and Raw papaya to make this curry.
frugal tip for you.
Do not throw the white flesh of the watermelon. You can freeze it and use it in this dish. Just peel off the green skin with a peeler or paring knife and chop the white flesh into pieces and save it in a ziploc for later use. I buy the organic watermelon if and when I plan to save the white flesh.
best yogurt to use in the recipe
I use either home made yogurt (made with 2% milk) or store bought plain yogurt in the recipe. It does not matter whether it is full fat or low-fat yogurt. Just make sure there are no flavors added to the yogurt - you want plain yogurt.
tips to get the best results
- make sure to whisk the yogurt before adding it to the curry.
- turn off the heat before adding the yogurt.
- adjust the spice levels to suit your taste - keep in mind that coconut and yogurt do have a mellowing effect on the curry.
- you can use Thai peppers or Serrano or any other green chillies/peppers.
- use freshly grated coconut or frozen and thawed coconut. I have fresh coconut in my local US grocery stores. You can find frozen coconut in local Indian grocery stores. If using frozen coconut, make sure to thaw it. Grind the coconut with warm water.
I love to serve this curry with some steamed rice. if you have access to Palakkadan matta rice, try this curry with the matta rice. That is an amazing combination.
Usually in a Kerala style meal served on a day-to-day lunch/dinner will have rice, a curry (like this moru curry), a side ( dry stir fry or sabji), pappadom (thin fried lentil wafers), pickles. If you eat non-veg food, then you can serve a fish or chicken dish as given below:
The chayote squash pieces simmered in yogurt, coconut and spices absorb all the delicate flavors and aromas. A dish so simple but exquisite - imagine the riot of flavors it bring to your taste buds - from the very mouthful to the last!. Oh well, let rephrase that statement. Don't imagine the flavor and the aroma, cook it and let me know how you liked it! 🙂
- 2.5-3 cups (Approx. 500g or 2 medium sized) Chayote Squash, diced (See Recipe Notes)
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper/ Ground Red Chilli ; adjust to taste
- ½ tsp Ground Turmeric/Haldi
- 1 Serrano Pepper (or any green chilli); adjust to taste
- 1 cup Yogurt/ Curd
- 1 cup Grated Coconut
- ¾ tsp Cumin Seeds/Jeera
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Oil
- ½ tsp Mustard Seeds
- 4-5 Curry Leaves
- 2-3 Whole Red Chillies
- Knife & Chopping Board
- Medium sized Sauce Pan with lid
- Small Pan for Tempering/Tadka Pan
- Measuring cups & Spoons (This is optional since the measurements need not be precise.)
- Food Processor/Mixer-Grinder
- Small whisk to whisk the yougurt/curd
- Wash and roughly dice the Chayote squash.
- in the medium-sized pan, add chayote squash pieces, Cayenne pepper, ground turmeric, sliced Serrano pepper, salt, and a sufficient quantity of water, and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium/low, cover the pan with a lid and cook till squash pieces are soft.
- Meanwhile, whisk the yogurt to ensure no lumps are present.
- Using a food processor or dry grinding attachment of the mixer/grinder, grind the coconut and cumin seeds to a very smooth paste using as little water as possible.
- Once the squash pieces are cooked, lower the heat and add the whisked yogurt and mix well.
- Now add the ground coconut paste and bring to another boil.
- Adjust the consistency and the seasoning if required.
- Prepare the tempering on another stove. Heat oil in a small pan on medium heat and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, reduce the heat, add the curry leaves and whole red chillies. Add the seasoned oil along with the spices to the chayote squash curry and serve hot.
1. Instead of Chayote Squash, you can also use Raw Papaya, Ash Gourd (also called Winter Melon), Kohlrabi and even Raw Banana.
2. When dicing the Chayote squash, remove the inner seed using a paring knife.
3. If you do not like the peel of the Chayote squash, remove it using a peeler, though I have not done so.
4. Do not forget to lower the heat or even remove the pan from the heat before adding the whisked yogurt. If you do not do this, there is a chance of the yogurt/curd curdling due to high heat.
5. You can use low-fat yogurt without compromising the taste.
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