Horse Gram Curry and Rasam (Kultha saar upkari)


Konkani cuisine uses lot of Horse Gram (called as Kulith) in its cooking; there is the ghashi, koddel, chutney, dosa and this saar/upkari. This is a simple dry curry and rasam, delicious and nutritious as well. Horse gram is first soaked, cooked and then finally seasoned. The cooked water is used to make the rasam by flavoring with seasoning of garlic. Since the cooked water is used, there is no wastage or loss of nutrients of any sort. 


Horse gram is an excellent source of iron and molybdenum.  It is considered helpful for people with iron deficiencies, weight loss and maintaining body temperature. It is also recommended for people who have knee pain problems.  

I pretty much follow the same procedure for this as I do while making Chana Saar/ Upkari, Lima Beans Curry or the Black Eyed Bean Saar upkari. I usually make a saar/upkari once a week using either of these beans. The combination goes well with plain rice and a small dollop of ghee.



Ingredients: (Horse gram subzi /Kultha upkari) 

  • 1 cup dry Horse Gram/ (soaked overnight) [Hurali/Huralikalu in Kannada, Kulith in konkani]
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 1 cup chopped dill leaves (substitute with coriander leaves, palak etc) [shepu bhaji/ Sabbasige sappu]
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • Salt
  • oil 

Ingredients: (Horse Gram Saaru /Kultha Saaru) 

  • water available after boiling horse gram
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped finely
  • 2-3 green chillies, slit into 2
  • ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • 5-7 garlic cloves, crushed and skin removed
  • 1-2 dried red chillies
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • Salt
  • oil 


Procedure: (Horse Gram upkari/curry) 

  • Make sure that the beans are soaked overnight or for about 8-10 hours in enough water. 
  • Pressure cook the soaked Horse Gramin sufficient water. This takes a long time to cook, I have to let it cook for 6-8 whistles). Keep aside and let it cool. 
  • Take a heavy bottom pan. Add oil and prepare the seasoning with mustard, curry leaves. 
  • Add onion, green chillies, salt and sauté until the onions turn transparent. Add the chopped dill and continue to stir. 
  • Meanwhile open the pressure cooker and drain the cooked water completely into another vessel (do not throw this water away; this is used for making the rasam/saaru). 
  • Add the cooked horse gram to the mixture and stir well. 
  • Note: it takes time for the horse gram to get the salt into it. So add salt and keep sprinkling water and mixing. 
  • Check for taste. Add more salt, chilli powder, if required. 
  • Finally add the coconut and mix again. 

Procedure: (Horse Gram Rasam) 

  • In a separate vessel/sauce pan transfer the pressure cooked water from the horse gram. 
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes, tamarind paste, slit green chillies and salt to this cooked water. 
  • Let this cook on low flame for about 20-25 minutes stirring in between. The liquid will reduce and make it little thick. 
  • Meanwhile heat a separate pan (for seasoning) add 2 tsp oil. Add all the crushed garlic and stir until it turns light brown. Add curry leaves and broken red chillies. 
  • Add this garlic seasoning to the boil rasam and close the lid. Garnish with coriander leaves. 

Spicy Pepper Jeera Rasam

Winter is upon us and along with it comes the essential cold, cough sneezing sniffling etc. So at home, I try avoiding medicines as far as possible and look for some easy home made remedies. So far we have had good success with black pepper (Kali Mirchi in Hindi) and so I use it in different ways and among them one is this Pepper Jeera Rasam.

As I understand this is referred to as Milagu Rasam in TamilNadu. Milagu means pepper in Tamil. This Black Pepper Jeera rasam is a medicated rasam and because of black pepper in it is good for common cold, congestion, loss of appetite and even indigestion. (Source)

Even though making this rasam is lengthy process what with the roasting of different ingredients, powdering, boiling, blending and seasoning the effort is really worth it. Besides if you make the Jeera Pepper powder ahead of time and then making this Rasam is a breeze and does not take much time.

This is hearty concoction with good combination of herbs and very aromatic as well. We enjoy drinking this as right out of a small steel cup, instead of sipping it with a spoon (that is how it is traditionally consumed). Also one has to drink it 2-3 times a day to see some effect on cold/cough.




Jeera Pepper Powder

  • 1/2 Tbsp Channa daal
  • 1 Tbsp Urad daal
  • 2 Tbsp Dhaniya/ coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 2-3 Tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 dry red chilli (optional)

Rasam Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Tamarind extract


  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 red chill broken into 3 pieces
  • 5-6 Curry leaves
  • 5-7 garlic pods (peeled)


·         Pepper Jeera powder: Roast all the ingredients for the Jeera Pepper powder one after the other and keep aside. After it is cooled grind the ingredients to a coarse powder. Store in airtight container. This powder can be re-used many times.

·         Boil about 3-4 cups of water in a vessel and then add the tomatoes (along with the skin, with one slit on each of them).

·         Boil until the skin of the tomato wrinkles and the tomato is cooked. Keep aside.

·         When it is slightly cooled, remove the skin from the cooked tomatoes.

·         There are 2 options here. A) To pulse this tomato in a blender along with cooked water and make a thick even paste or to b) mash the cooked tomato with hand removing all lumps along with cooked water. The later version will not be thick.

·         I followed the first method as we like our rasam thick and also we like having it with rice.

·         Now add 2 tsp of Pepper Jeera powder, salt, tamarind juice to this tomato paste and boil for 3-5 minutes.

·         Meanwhile heat oil in a pan for the seasoning. Add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter and then add crushed garlic pods, curry leaves and red chilli.

·         Add this to the hot rasam, add the chopped coriander leaves and cover it with a lid.

Serve hot with plain white rice or drink it hot as is after serving in cups.

Split Moong Daal Sambhar

moongdaal_sambhar 002

We usually do our Indian grocery shopping once a fortnight and time permitting, we go to different groceries each time. During one such trip, I found these husked split moong daal in the lentil aisle.  Since I had not used them before, I was skeptical but knowing their nutritional value I decided to buy them anyway. 

I was not able to find recipes over the internet using this, so I decided to stick to the known and unfaltering and made Sambhar. We could not make out any difference in taste and this tasted like our regular old Toor Daal Sambhar. If you want you can add some greens like Spinach or vegetables into it and make it healthier. 

Dear Reader, I am looking for more recipes using the split moon daal, so I would appreciate if you can briefly share it with me or just point a link to the recipe. Thanks in advance.

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