Horse gram..It is almost like there was a contest for worst names ever for a lentil and the winner was horse gram…Like, who names a good, yummy lentil this way, rigghhht? Even it’s tamil name – Kollu, you got to admit…not the most exciting!!
To add to the misery, it is always touted as a healthy, weight-loss ingredient. So, automatically, people think that is just code for ‘poor tasting’. So not true!!
And so, with all these pre-conceived notions, this ingredient ends up very under-appreciated and under-utilized. But, fear not, upgrade my food is here…to kollu’s rescue
Horsegram is :
- Easy to prepare
Before we get into the recipe, let’s talk about nutrition specifics. I was super excited to research about horse-gram after a lot of hearsay about its health superiority (Note to self- My life needs more excitement, if research about horsegram seems exciting:)).
Here’s what I found:
(references listed below)
100g of horsegram has 24% protein and 5.63% fiber.
OK, hmmm…Protein is definitely as high as whole moong and fiber is at par with moong and toor. So purely in numbers terms, they are not mind-blowing good, but still pretty good. But, that’s only half the story…
On further exploration, it is not the amount, but the type of protein that is great in horsegram. Scientists have found that horse gram seed contains proteins called alpha – amylase inhibitor that has the ability to reduce post-prandial hyperglycemia by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and reducing insulin resistance.
Furthermore, horsegram’s key feature seems to be that – It is rich in polyphenols and flavonoids – the major anti-oxidants. The high level of anti-oxidants is the reason why they are recommended in ayurveda as an anti-inflammatory solution for many problems such as arthritis, asthma, etc.
Horsegram has super high calcium values as discussed in my lentils nutrition blogpost. There’s a lot of research going on exploring horsegram, I have only covered the basics. I hope that more research and more awareness makes this ingredient more mainstream.
2 things I like about the recipe.
1) It is a 2 in 1 recipe. You make rasam, sundal with the same horsegram. If you have rice (or any alternative carb) ready, dinner is done!! Yay!!
2) The horse gram does not get mushy when cooked like other lentils. So, this gives it a nice bite and chew and makes for a really yummy sundal.
Inspired by the Kannada dish, Huruli Saaru and Palya, here is a 2 in 1 dish that gives you a delicious rasam and sundal using the nutritious horsegram.
- 2 cups Horsegram (soaked overnight)
- 1/2 cup cooked horsegram and its water
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 2-3 tsp Sambar or rasam Powder
- Juice of 1 golf ball tamarind soaked in water
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp Coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- Few pinches of Hing
- Few curry leaves
- 1.5 cups cooked horsegram
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp urad dal
- 2 Red chillies
- 2 onions chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- few curry leaves
Soak 2 cups horsegram in water overnight.
Pressure cook it well for about 3-4 whistles.
Add all the water from cooked horsegram, 1/2 cup of drained, cooked horsegram, coconut, sambar powder, turmeric and salt to a blender and blend to paste.
Boil tamarind extract in a pot for a few minutes. Add blended paste, boil for a few minutes.
To hot oil, add tempering ingredients. Pour sizzling tadka on Rasam.
Heat oil in a pan. Add tadka items (mustard seeds, urad dal, red chillies, curry leaves) and fry.
Add chopped onions to oil and fry for a few minutes. (I do not fry the onions too long. A slight crunch adds to the taste of the sundal)
Add 1.5 cups cooked and drained horsegram (drained water goes for rasam) and stir fry. Finally add shredded coconut and fry for a few minutes.
Most of the horsegram packets I have used still has 1 or 2 stones in the product. Hopefully, the quality improves. Until then, it is a good idea to spread it on a white plate, fish out the stones and then soak the lentil.
Soak horsegram overnight and then pressure cook it.
Grind 1/2 cup cooked horsegram with the water, coconut, sambar powder, turmeric and salt in a blender
Add blended paste to boiling tamarind water
Add tadka and serve
Keep aside 1.5 cups of drained horsegram.
In a pan, heat oil, add tadka items, onion and stir fry.
Add horsegram, coconut, stir fry some more and serve.
Horsegram is mostly grown in hilly areas. Which is probably why they offer some unique health characteristics, that other lentils don’t have. Because of that, Karnataka (Western Ghats) and Northeast (Himalayan foothills) have some of the best recipe concentrations for horsegram (Kulthi, Gahat dal in Hindi).
This recipe was inspired by the kannada recipe website: swayampaaka.com. I encourage viewers to check it out as a great recipe resource.
By the way, can I just say, how impressed I am with kannadiga recipes recipes. The majority of them seem to be very healthy and easy. I am going to try more of them in the future.
Are you a fan of recipes from Karnataka? What are your thoughts on horse gram? Please share your comments down below. As always, I love hearing from you!!
The nutrition info is just meant as an overview for understanding, and not to be taken as a remedy for any illness. Please consult your doctor before you make any major changes to your diet and lifestyle.