Horse gram or ulavallu(telugu), is a staple lentil of many Indian farm families. In our child hood days I remember once in a quarter, my grand mother sister used to get this ulava chaaru from her farm house. They slowly cook it or hours on this charcoal clay oven which gives tremendous flavor to this dish. She always gets this dish as we cannot find it in cities. We used to sit in our back yard with the soup pot in the middle and ate our dinner under the moon light, trust me it is much better than a candle light dinner, wouldn’t you agree with me.
This small, flat, oval bean has an assertive earthy flavor. It is purely a traditional dish, but now a days by knowing the value of it star hotels came forward to provide this dish to the people. It is highly valuable dish for health.
Horse gram is believed to prevent the formation of stones in the kidney and for those with the problem, consuming boiled horse gram water for one month will help to dissolve the urinary stone and can help cure it without surgery. It is also believed to be beneficial for cough and phlegm too.
Staying abroad we miss all these favorite traditional recipes. This week end, I found this horse gram dal in Indian store and thought let’s give it a try, it is definitely a little long procedure but it’s worth the time. I have to say I am proud to make this in America. Besides, missing the nice smoky flavor from the clay oven, it is almost close and satisfied my cravings.
- 1 cup ulavallu / Horse gram dal (soaked overnight)
- lemon size tamarind, soaked in hot water
- 5 green chilies slit length wise
- 6 small onions (skin peeled)
- 2 whole dry red chilies
- 10 curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp jaggery(optional)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- Soak horsegram (ulavalu) overnight. Pressure cook for 4 whistles.
- Generally ulavalu will not have a mushy appearance as compared to other lentils like toor dal. The liquid has a dark brown chocolate color.
- Strain the liquid and keep it separate. Take the cooked dal, mash it or use a hand blender and squeeze out the juice. To the left over pulp, add 1 cup of water and let it boil for 15 mins.
- Let the dal cool, squeeze dal and extract the juice. After squeezing out the juice (you might get little bit of pulp , that’s ok), Discard the mushy pulp.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Now add cumin seeds, whole red chilies, garlic, curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
- Add the small onions and green chilies and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the strained ulavalu water and let it boil. Add salt, tamarind, jaggery and turmeric pwd. Let it cook on low heat for 20- 25 minutes stirring occasionally and till you get a thick soup like consistency.
- Serve hot with rice and a generous amount of fresh homemade butter or cream.
Very healthy and tasty dish.