“Ulava Charu” in other words horse gram lentil soup or kollu rasam, is South Indian states Telangana and Andhra Pradesh’s favorite soup. Ulava Charu is a traditional yet luscious, luxurious Andhra Rasam. It is generally served with rice and topped with home-made butter. Instead of ulava chaaru mixed in rice yourself, this recipe brings you that aroma, taste immersed together. It gives most pleasure to taste buds. It is served as a special dish when special guests arrive. Horse Gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum) is not very popular bean anywhere other than South India. In South India it a rich and delectable food.
In South India, Rasam or Charu is a staple food. It is watery and soup consistency and is usually consumed with rice, lentils, and ghee. Sometimes rasam is served as a gravy with dry fry dishes. Lately, it’s been consumed a soup as well. Rasam tastes sour, tangy and flavorful. It is made of tamarind juice base. It can be made of tamarind juice cooked in a variety of vegetables or plainly cooked tamarind with tampering, cooked lentils, and spices. You can make wide varieties of rasam by changing sour agent. Ranging from tamarind to tomato, raw mango. Rasam is called Chaaru in Telugu, Saaru in Karnataka. Many variations of Rasam is made in different regions. You can play with various veggies, spices, condiments to make a different rasam. In typical South Indian meal, rasam or chaaru is a must. No South Indian traditional meal is complete without rasam. Made with all natural ingredients, including sour, tangy tampered in spices. The well-known Mulligatawny soup in the Western world is actually a rasam.
In this recipe, soup prepared with tamarind juice base, with cooked horse gram and spices. Horse gram lentils simmered and slow cooked in tamarind juice along with spices and tampering. Ummm yum yum. Horse gram is called ulavalu in Telugu, Kulith in Hindi, Kollu payiru in Tamil, ghat in Nepali, in Karnataka cuisine hurali saaru, in Maharashtra kulith. It is a staple lentil soup of many South Indian farmer families. When people consume rasam made of horse gram, the remaining cooked lentils are given as fodder to cows, buffaloes, and horses. Yet horse gram is suitable for people and cattle.
Horse gram is believed to have good nutrition. It is rich in protein, calcium, Iron, Potassium. Excellent diabetic food. Horse gram is said to improve kidney, liver health. It prevents stones formation in kidneys.
- 1 cup - horse gram lentils
- 1½ inch ball sized tamarind
- 1½ tbsp ghee or your favorite healthy oil
- 1½ tbsp healthy oil as coconut oil
- 5-10 green chilies depending on your spice level
- ¼ tsp - cumin
- 3-star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ tsp - chili powder
- ½ tsp fresh ground coriander powder
- ¼ cup Cilantro
- 3 cups basmati rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 medium onion
- ½ cup carrot
- ½ cup cauliflower
- ½ cup kale - optional
- A night before, wash and soak horse gram lentils.
- Next day add 6 cups of water and cook horse gram in a pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles. If cooking in a pot, cook till soft. Make sure you keep in medium heat and boil slowly. Add water if needed. When water is simmered in lentils, it thickens. Make sure you get 3 cups of thick soup. Extract soup without lentils. Take ¼th cup of lentils. Grind to paste.
- In a pan, add oil or ghee. Heat to medium. Add cumin. Cook until golden brown.
- Add chilies, onions, carrots, cauliflower, kale or any of your choice of vegetables. Now add horse gram soup along with ground paste. Add salt, chili powder, coriander powder.
- Close lid and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
- In another pot, add ghee or oil. Heat to medium. Add star anise, cinnamon and bay leaf. Cook for 30 seconds.
- Add 3 cups of water and 3 cups of washed rice. Add salt. Close lid and cook till all water is evaporated. Now add vegetables along with horse gram soup. Close lid and cook on low heat till all water is evaporated and rice, vegetables are well cooked. Add water if needed.
- Garnish with cilantro.
- Serve hot with gravy.