Monday, January 26, 2009

1001 More kulambu ( Buttermilk Stew )

Aah.. it is nice to be back blogging ! The cooking solo for 500 event drained me completely and it took me over a week to slip back into normal routine !

Kulambu is a sour stew, usually cooked with tamarind. In more kulambu (buttermilk sour stew), we use yogurt / buttermilk as a souring agent, instead of tamarind. It is a very simple stew and need not even be cooked, though it is normally briefly heated. Konkani Tambli is a version of uncooked More Kulambu. (Note : Yogurt curdles on prolonged cooking). Ash gourd / stir fried Okra are common additives. The north Indian Kadi belongs to the more kulambu family and uses pakodi ( fried gram flour dumplings) in place of veggies. Though not traditional, a variety of fermented milk products from across the world ( KefirViili  , Kaymak, sour cream etc) or other yogurts ( goat, mare, camel) can also be used to cook up never before cooked, exotic more kulambu.

 This cookbook lists 1000 simplified buttermilk stews, the More Kulambu, cooked in Tamilnadu. Ten bases are combined with ten different additives and ten different flavouring to create a thousand different more kulambu varieties.  The building blocks are listed below: 

The bases:
A mixture of coconut , cumin, green / red chilies are blended together with various combinations of roast and groud fenugreek, coriander seeds, soaked / roasted lentils to cook up an array of bases. In an interesting variation, the Devasa ( Death anniversary) More kulambu is ultra orthodox and uses black pepper (native to India) instead of chilies (the ‘foreign’ import). 

Flavouring :
A variety of fried spices like mustard, curry leaves, fenugreek, red chili, asafetida as listed in column 2 can be used. 

Additives :
Boiled Ash gourd, str fried okra are the most often used vegetables. However almost any vegetable can be used. More kulambu tastes great with cooked stuff ( boiled lentil balls – paruppu urundai, pakodi or even torn papad). (Quick tip : use cut up ready made masala vada as a vegetable substitute).


Nithya Praveen said...

Hi ramki....visited ur blog for the first time....Must say u r a super cook...a genious....awesome blog:)

bhaskar said...

Hi Ramki,

Happend to see the Article on Food in Indian express magazine section. I think Cooking is your passion 1001 more kuzambu, no one would have imagined this many varities is possible. Way to go Ramki.

Janakiraman said...

Came upon your blog from Ananda vikatan. You are a genius ! I never imagined so many different varieties are possible ! I have Raghavan Iyer's 660 curries book, which weighs three kilos - but this one page cookbook beats it hands down ! I still can't believe a single sheet of paper has enough recipes to last me for a lifetime ! Keep up the good work. Hats off !

Janakiraman said...

I'm still at your blog wondering at the thousands of varieties of sambar, rasam, kootu, chutneys etc. I wish I have a few more lifetimes so that i can taste them all ! I'm nominating you for the Nobel prize :)

Vasantha Ragavan said...


I thought the Ananda vikatan coverage was a joke, till I read your blog. You are AMAZING ! KEEP BLOGGING !!!

Ravi said...

Hi B Ramakrishnan, this is Ravi(PVS) your classmate in Prema from Tirupur. Glad that you are still rocking wherever you are.... Hope you remember the all famous punch dialogue - Both Ramakrishnan and Venkatesh, GET OUT.... Let us catchup... God Bless You

Mail me at

Ravi said...

I am sorry, the mail id was typed wrong, it should read

vinoth kumar said...

Hi Ramki,

Such a nice Blog....

vincent said...


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM!!! YUM!!!.
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Blog Archive

Cooking is fun - Duplication is a pain !

"It is extraordinary to me that the idea of creating thousands of recipes by mixing building blocks takes immediately to people or it doesn’t take at all. .... If it doesn’t grab a person right away, ... you can talk to him for years and show him demos, and it doesn’t make any difference. They just don’t seem able to grasp the concept, simple as it is". ( Thanks Warren Buffett !)

"What's angering about instructions in many cookbooks is that they imply there's only one way to cook a dish - their way. And that presumption wipes out all the creativity." Cook dishes your way - Download  1001 South Indian curries now and learn to cook, not to duplicate ! ( Thanks Robert Pirsig !)

"Recipe purity is no different from racial purity or linguistic purity. It just does not exist. Cuisines are alive and change all the time. What is traditional today was esoteric just a few decades back. So being a 'foodist' is as bad as being a racist !

About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
Okay, let me start from the very beginning. 1500 crore years ago, with a Big Bang, the Universe is born. It expands dramatically. Hydrogen forms, contracts under gravity and lights up, forming stars. Some stars explode, dusting space with the building blocks of life. These condense into planets, one of which is Earth. Over time, self replicating molecules appear, multiply and become more complex. They create elaborate survival machines (cells, plants, animals). A variety of lifeforms evolve. Soon, humans arise, discover fire, invent language, agriculture and religion. Civilisations rise and fall. Alexander marches into India. Moguls establish an empire. Britain follows. Independence. Partition. Bloodshed. The license raj is in full sway. I'm born. India struggles to find its place. Liberalisation. The Internet arrives! I move from Tirupur to Chennai. Start a company. Expand into Malaysia, Singapore and the Middle East. Poof! Dot com bust. Funding dries up. Struggle. Retire. Discover the joy of cooking, giving, friendships and the pleasures of a simple life. Life seems less complicated. Pizza Republic, Pita Bite and Bhojan Express bloom !

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