Payaru Kozhambu|Green Moong Gravy For Dosa And Rotis

Payaru Kozhambu is a delicious and nutritious gravy made with whole green moong beans. It makes for a wonderful side to rotis as well as dosas.

Let me show you how we make this kozhambu at home.

Delectable Payaru Kozhambu, served with dosas

Looking for other accompaniments for idlis and dosas? Check out my recipes for Peanut Podi, Dosa Milagai Podi, Sutta Kathrikkai Thogayal, Vazhakkai Thol Thogayal, Pineapple Thogayal, Kale Thogayal, Bombay Chutney, Basic Coconut Chutney and Tomato Onion Gojju.

Ingredients used in Payaru Kozhambu

Whole green moong is the main ingredient used in this dish. Moong beans are known for their high protein content, which makes this kozhambu extremely nutritious. It is made using very little oil, too.

A freshly ground paste made of onion, tomato and coconut is added to the moong beans, which definitely gives the kozhambu a flavour boost. In addition, coriander powder, a bit of garam masala and jaggery are also added in for more oomph. The result is incredibly yum!

How to make Payaru Kozhambu

Making Payaru Kozhambu is not a very difficult proposition. It is a dish that can be put together in about 25 minutes, including hands-free time.

This is my aunt’s recipe. My aunt is a great cook, and I have learnt a lot from her, including this Masala Poori recipe and this one for Gojju Avalakki.

Here’s the Payaru Kozhambu recipe.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

To grind:

1. 2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped roughly

2. 1 small onion, chopped roughly

3. A 1-inch piece of cinnamon, pounded in a mortar and pestle

4. 2 cloves

5. 2 tablespoons of fresh coconut, grated or slivered

6. 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped fine

7. A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

8. 5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled

Other ingredients:

1. 3/4 cup whole green moong

2. 1/2 tablespoon oil

3. 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

4. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

5. 2 pinches of asafoetida

6. A sprig of fresh curry leaves

7. Salt to taste

8. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

9. Red chilli powder to taste

10. 3/4 teaspoon coriander powder or to taste

11. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala or to taste

12. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder (optional)

13. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander


Top left: Step 2, Bottom left and right: Step 3, Top right and below: Step 4

1. Wash the whole green moong well under running water. Drain out all the water. Now, add in enough fresh water to cover the moong completely. Let it soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.

2. When the moong is done soaking, drain out all the water from it and discard. Transfer the soaked moong to a wide vessel and add in enough water to cover it completely.

3. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

4. Meanwhile, take all the ingredients listed under ‘To grind’ in a mixer jar. Grind to a smooth paste. Keep ready.

Left top and bottom: Steps 5 and 6, Right top and bottom: Steps 7 and 8

5. Once the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, we will start making the Payaru Kozhambu. First, heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard and let it sputter. Add in the cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Let them stay in for a few seconds.

6. Add the paste we ground earlier, to the pan. Wash the mixer jar with about 1/4 cup of water and add this to the pan too. Turn the flame down to medium. Mix.

7. Let the paste cook on medium flame till the raw smell goes away completely, 7-8 minutes. Stir intermittently. The paste will thicken considerably by this stage.

8. Add in the cooked moong, along with the water it was cooked in. Add in about 3/4 cup of water or as needed to adjust the consistency of the Payaru Kozhambu. Mix well.

Top left: Step 9, Top right, below and bottom right: Step 10, Bottom left: Step 11

9. Add salt to taste, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes.

10. Now, add in the coriander powder and garam masala. Mix well. Allow the mixture to cook on medium flame for 3-5 minutes more or till it begins to thicken. Mix in the jaggery powder, if using. Switch off gas at this stage. Remember to keep the mixture on the runnier side as it thickens up with time.

11. Mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Payaru Kozhambu is ready. Serve warm with rotis, idli or dosa.

Related Event: The Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge

I’m presenting this recipe for Payaru Kozhambu in association with the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. This is a foodie challenge run by a group of passionate food bloggers.

Members of the Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group showcase recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every month. The group members are divided into pairs, and each pair exchanges two ingredients secretly, unknown to the rest of the group. Each pair then uses these two secret ingredients to make a dish that fits into the theme of the month. A picture of the completed dish is then shared in the group by each pair of participants, and the other members try to guess what the two secret ingredients would have been. It’s fun, and a great learning experience!

The theme for February was ‘Protein-Rich Breakfast Dishes’, suggested by Renu of Cook With Renu. You guys have to check out the beautiful Indian-Style Spicy Tofu Scramble Renu has prepared for the challenge!

I was paired with Preethi, author of Preethi’s Cuisine, for the month. I gave her the ingredients ‘coriander’ and ‘chilli’, and she used them to prepare this unique Green Chickpea Mushroom Scramble. How lovely!

Preethi suggested I use the ingredients ‘cinnamon’ and ‘cloves’ in my dish, which fit right into this Payaru Kozhambu recipe I was planning on sharing on the blog for a long time anyway.

Is this Payaru Kozhambu vegan and gluten-free?

It is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to people following a plant-based diet.

If you want to make this Payaru Kozhambu gluten-free, just skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour and are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of water depending upon the consistency of the Payaru Kozhambu that you require.

2. You may skip the jaggery if you don’t prefer using it. However, using it does add a beautiful flavour to the dish.

3. I use home-made garam masala which is quite strong, so very little quantity is needed. Adjust the quantity you use as per personal taste preferences.

4. I have used home-made coriander powder here – I lightly roast coriander seeds, allow them to cool down fully, and then grind them to a powder. This can be made in small batches, stored in an air-tight bottle, and used as needed. Adjust the quantity you use as per personal taste preferences.

5. Do not overcook the moong. 2 whistles in the pressure cooker after about 6 hours of soaking is good.

7. Soaking the whole green moong is advisable to avoid flatulence and ensure even cooking. However, for some reason, if you haven’t been able to soak the moong, just pressure cook them with enough water to completely cover them for 7-8 whistles. This will work too.

8. I have used country (‘Nati’) tomatoes, which are quite sour. If you are using the ‘farmed’ variety, which isn’t sour, I would suggest adding a dash of lemon juice to the Payaru Kozhambu after it is cooked and ready.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!


30 thoughts on “Payaru Kozhambu|Green Moong Gravy For Dosa And Rotis

  1. a different yet protein rich curry.. my sister’s MIL makes this often for breakfast with dosa / idli too. looks delish with the masalas going in


      1. Using green moong to make kozhambu is interesting. I often make green moong but dal style. Will try your recipe soon.


  2. Priya, mung bhaat Gujarati style is my all time favourite. Had no idea that I can use moong with gravy instead of the usual sambar. Such a wonderful idea. Can’t wait to enjoy some dosa with moong gravy.


    1. @mayurisjikoni

      There are so many different types of side dishes consumed in South India, other than sambar and chutney – it’s mind-boggling! πŸ™‚ This Payaru Kozhambu is nutritious and absolutely delicious. You should definitely try it out.


  3. I love this dal, or as called as Payaru Kozhambu. We make it in a different style. I love your version, would be so good with dosa’s and filling and would balance out the nutrients.


  4. What a fabulous curry! We had them with set dosa and I think I will make this payaru kozhambu a regular practice.


  5. This curry is very different from the way we make at home. These moong curries are a perfect source of proteins and pairs well with doda, puttu or chapati. I would like to try this version of your curry.


  6. I prepare this moong dal kozhambu for roti’s, loved your version alot. All the spices along with coconut added surely enchances the taste nd aroma, going to try thi soon.


  7. Such a protein-packed and nutritious curry. I used to make it for chapati and like your version of freshly grounded masala, making it more flavorful and delicious. Would like to try your version soon.


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