Horse Gram Rasam And Stirfry
Image Credit: facebook/Sucheta Nayak

One of the top protein-rich pulses to exist in the array of grams, but also the most ignored – Horse Gram is even better in taste. Though a jar full of Horse Gram can be found lying on the shelves, it is hardly brought to use. Different in appearance, growth, and cooking style, Horse gram is a simple preparation. While in the north of India, the making of this pulse involves a huge amount of onions and tomatoes; down south the concoction of Horse Gram is spicy, sweet, and tangy. The Horse Gram Rasam from Karnataka is a great remedy for winter souls.

Tracing The Rich History Of Horse Gram

Known in India by the name of Kulith, Horse Gram is a pulse from the family of legumes. This pulse is generally grown in dry agricultural areas. But if one were to outline the origin of the humble legume, it is native to tropical southern Asia. As per archaeological findings, Horse gram has been found in India starting from 2500 BC. Many pieces of evidence point toward the gram to have probably been first domesticated in India and from here it travelled to Myanmar and the rest of the Asian countries. 

As for the name of the Horse Gram, in ancient times as the pulse was grown in the wild, it became a staple food for horses in India, hence the name.


  • ½ cup Horse gram
  • Small-sized Tamarind, soaked in water
  • ½ tsp Jaggery
  • A few Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • To Grind:
  • ¼ cup grated coconut
  • 3 tsp Rasam powder
  • Water
  • To Temper:
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 6 Garlic cloves
  • A few Curry leaves
  • Horsegram Palya Ingredients:
  • ½ tsp Mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp White lentils
  • A few Curry leaves
  • 1 cup cooked Horse Gram
  • 1 tsp Jaggery
  • 1 slit Green chillie
  • ¼ cup grated Coconut
  • Salt
  • Oil


For Rasam:

  • Wash and transfer the horse gram to a pressure cooker.  And enough water that the pulse is submerged. Cook it for about three-four whistles. Make sure it is cooked perfectly soft in texture. Once done strain and keep the cooked gram aside.
  • Transfer the stock of the gram into a pan over medium heat. Add turmeric powder, jaggery, and the juice from the soaked tamarind, and curry leaves. Bring it to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, to a grinder add coconut, rasam powder, and little water. Grind into a fine paste.
  • Add the grounded paste and salt to the boiling gram stock. Mix well and let it simmer on low flame.
  • Grind two tablespoons of soaked horse gram into a fine paste. Add this to the boiling rasam. Add water as per convenience. Let it boil.
  • In another pan over medium heat add oil, garlic cloves, and curry leaves. Sauté until they splutter. Then pour over the mustard. Serve.

For Palya:

  • Over medium heat in a pan add oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, and curry leaves. Cook until it splutters.
  • Transfer the rest of the soaked horse gram to the pan. Give it all a good mix and fry it for about two minutes.
  • Then add the green chillies, jaggery powder, and salt. Mix well and add four tablespoons of water. Cover and let it cook for about five minutes.
  • Then add the grated coconut, mix well and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

If there is one way this Horse Gram is rejected from the dinner table, try the other cooking preparation. Well, the making of Rasam out of this much-ignored pulse is the ultimate culinary gift. One can adjust the level of heat but it is best served when taste buds are ready to explode.