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Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Ulava Charu (Horse Gram Rasam / Soup - Andhra Style)

          Horse Gram Lentil (Kulthi / Kollu / Ulavalu) is not too familiar and the name itself may not sound appealing to the ears. But this humble lentil contains an amazing number of nutritional benefits. It is a rich source of protein, calcium, iron and is also low in fat and is diabetic friendly. It can be sprouted and made into salads, cutlets with the boiled and mashed dal or into delicious charu / soups. 

          So come lets make this amazing and healthy soup named Ulava Charu in the local Telugu lingo. It is a traditional Andhra rasam / soup, prepared from the strained liquid after boiling this lentil. It is light on the stomach and is relished either with rice or as a soup. Please check for a step by step methid with pictures to prepare this spicy and tangy delicacy.

  • 1/2 cup Horse gram lentil, soaked overnight
  • 1-2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • pinch of fenugreek seeds (opt)
  • 1-2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1-2 dry red chilies
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 cup tamarind water or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (opt)
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves to garnish

          Pressure cook the soaked horse gram in 3 cups water for 10-12 minutes on a low flame after the first whistle. Set aside to cool. 

          Drain the water and keep aside. Grind 3-4 tbsp. of the boiled Horse gram lentils to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the red chilies, green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds.

          Add the garlic, cumin powder and pepper powder. Saute for a few seconds more. Then add the stock, salt, tamarind water, sugar and the lentil paste.

          Mix well and bring it to a boil. Simmer on a low flame for 15-20 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot in individual bowls.

1.  Adding sugar is optional. I added to bring a balance to the taste.
2.  Tempering can also be done in ghee / butter to enhance the flavour.

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