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Capsicum Morekuzhambu and Fried Karela Rounds

Yogurt based capsicum morekuzhambu, made the Tamil Iyer way. With hot rice and fried karela or brinjal and with papad, its the perfect comfort food
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: south indian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Sujata Shukla


  • 3 cups curd (yoghurt)
  • pinch turmeric powder a
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (Jeera) powder
  • to taste salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 capsicum

For the paste:

  • 1 tbsp raw rice
  • 1 cup coconut ( grated)
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1/4 cm ginger ( piece)
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 Peppercorns
  • 2 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 red chili Dry
  • a few curry leaves

For the Karela Rounds:

  • 2.5 cups Karela sliced into rounds or 1 long Karela
  • 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • To make Morekuzhambu:
    Soak the rice and dal/ lentils in water just enough to cover it, for about 10 mins.
    The Curd should not be too fresh and creamy, but about a day old.
  • Dice the capsicum into one cm sized pieces. Heat coconut oil and saute the capsicum for 2 minutes. Remove into a dry bowl and reserve the oil for the seasoning.
  • Churn/whisk the curds adding a little water if too thick, add turmeric, jeera powder and required salt, and bring to a boil. The curd splits into whey or curdles if exposed to high heat, hence cook only on a low flame throughout. Whisk frequently .
  • Add the soaked dal and rice to the grated coconut, ginger, jeera, peppercorn, 2 curry leaves and the green chili and grind to a paste. Keep aside
  • Once the curd begins to simmer, add the coconut paste. Boil for 2- 3 minutes on low flame.  The rice in the paste will help it thicken. Add the capsicum. Remove from the stove.
  • Season with mustard, dry red chili, jeera seeds and curry leaves in the reserved coconut oil.
    Serve hot with hot rice and bhendi/ brinjal or karela. And pappad.
  • To make Karela / Pahakkai Rounds: Wash the karela, keeping the peel intact. Slice horizontally into 1/4 cm thick rounds.
  • Mix coriander powder, turmeric and salt in a dry bowl. Place one layer of the karela slices in a colander or wide bowl, sprinkle the powder mixture on top. Add another layer and repeat till all the slices are coated with the turmeric coriander salt mixture. Shake the colander so that both sides of all slices are well coated.
    Round slices of bitter gourd or karela, marinated with turmeric and salt
  • Heat oil in a small frying pan. Fry the karela in batches, keeping the stove on high for two minutes, for each batch, and then maintain low flame so the karela does not turn black and char. Stir frequently.
  • Once the slices begin to brown with just the edges being greenish in colour,it's time to remove them from the pan.
    Transfer each batch to a dry container after draining the oil. Cover it only after the karela has cooled, otherwise it could turn soggy if covered when hot.
  • Serve karela / Pahakkai with Morekuzhambu and hot rice.