Sambharam – spiced buttermilk.

spiced buttermilk, sambharam , neer moru, sadhya recipe, ramnavami recipe

Spiced buttermilk or sambharam is one the sweltering summer months of Kerala relies on. Served at the sadhyas, this thinned out buttermilk is laced with the flavours of curry leaves, rock salt, kaffir lime, ginger etc.
The big pitcher of sambharam or moru vellam that is placed at the dining table with a few floating ice cubes at my grandmother’s place is my best memory of this summer drink. Extremely simple to make with thinned out homemade yogurt, the jugular of moruvellam was the welcome drink and the end to a simple home meal. To have a light lunch or dinner, a scoop of steamed rice is mixed with a cup or two of this spiced buttermilk and formed into a thin cold soup. If you are planning the whole sadhya, check out my guide to the working women’s time saving version.

Here is a  video version of how to make neermoru.

Not very different from sambharam is  neermoru, it is the small changes in the herbs that make them regionally specific. I add mint and coriander leaves to neer moru and crushed curry leaves and kaffir lime leaves to sambharam. During Onam and Vishu we prefer to make sambharam and the neermoru for Ramanavami. Also check out this -Brahmi neermoru while you are here. If you are a bit under the weather use this, moru kachiyathu,  home remedy which also uses the traditional buttermilk with turmeric and similar spices and herbs

The recipe card below carries the recipe the way my maternal grandmother made it.


Spiced buttermilk served in Kerala menu. Popular with the summer months this nutrionally bslanced sambharam recipe will keep you hydrated. Described in the post are also the difference between neermoru and sambharam.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine diabetic friendly, gluten free, Indian, Kerala, Malabar, Summer, Vegetarian, zero oil
Servings 4 glasses
Calories 48 kcal


  • mixing bowls and spoons.


  • 2 cups yogurt (low fat works perfectly)
  • 3 cups drinking water
  • 2 kaffir leaves
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • 6-8 curryleaves
  • 1 tsp green chilli chopped ( optional)
  • salt to taste


  • Whisk together the yogurt and water to create a thin watery solution.
  • Pound the kaffir leaves, ginger, chilles and curry leaves gently to release the juices .
  • Add in the pounded fresh herbs and spices to the thinned out butter milk
  • Add salt to taste and mix well.
  • Store in claypot for the day or in the refrigerator.
  • Consume within a day or two.
    spiced buttermilk, sambharam , neer moru, sadhya recipe, ramnavami recipe


Serving: 100gCalories: 48kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 4gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 127mgPotassium: 183mgFiber: 0.02gSugar: 6g
Keyword Kerala recipes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Have you checked our Instagram page? – Take a peek.

This post was originally written in 2014 somewhere at the beginning of my blogging adventure. The post was first published when the blog was a tiny trial with Blogger. At that time the post had nothing but images and the recipe. I knew nothing about holding a DSLR or taking a food image. This was my first clear capture, for that I love this image always. The thrill that I experienced getting one clean photograph was immense.


Now, in 2021 when I revisit this post with Foodies redoing old posts, it makes me think about the changes in leaps and bound that has taken over in my blogging style. The images and the recipe, remain the same as before. The content is all that I have updated after all these years. Hope you like the changes and will stay on with us. 

5 3 votes

Subscribe & Follow

You Might Also Like

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Poonam Bachhav
6 years ago

Refreshing summer coolant..we make similar preparation and call it mattha in Marathi

2 years ago

nothing beats summer like buttermilk. the quintessential Indian coolant !

Mayuri Patel
2 years ago
Rating :

Different parts of India have different ways to prepare the chaach or buttermilk, such a cooling and nutritious drink. Interesting use of kaffir leaves in sambharam.

2 years ago
Rating :

Buttermilk is my favourite drink be it summer or anytime. I love to pair it with my lunch as it helps you digest as well as is refreshing. I like the addition of kaffir leaves in your drink

2 years ago
Rating :

My refreshing and healthy summer drink. I remember drinking glasses and glasses of spiced buttermilk after I won a pickle eating competition! Ahh sounds like a lifetime away now.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x