Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Kollu in Tamil, ulavalu in Telugu, kulith in Marathi and horsegam in english, these lovely little beans look very beautiful. My mom never used this lentil in cooking. I am introduced to this lentil by one of my friend named Singaravelan. He used to bring this rasam. He prepares it himself. Sometimes he even has beetroot in his rasam preparation :). Few times I got a chance to taste his kollu rasam. It tasted very good. He used to say that kollu has many medicinal properties.
The scientific name of horsegram is Macrotyloma uniflorum. It is generally used as a horse feed. It is very rich in iron and molybdenum. They are also high in polyphenol content. They have high amonut trypsin inhibitor. So it is always better to soak them or roast them well before cooking, otherwise the trypsin inhibitors willl interfere with protein digestion.
Kollu or horse gram is appreciated for its medicinal properties. In tamilnadu villages people prepare it when somebody in home is suffering from fever. It is also thought to help with water retention. People with kidney stones are encouraged to include it more often in their diet. Kollu is also claimed to be good for losing weight. Whetever might be, the rasam prepared with kollu tastes wonderful with a mild nutty flavour. I love it. Hope you will like it too.
Kollu or horsegram - three handfuls
Tomato- 1 no
Tamarind- size of a small lemon
Green chillies- 3 nos
Red chillies- 4 nos
Jeera seeds- 1 heaped tspn
Pepper corns- 1 tspn
Fnugreek, mustard and jeera seeds- 1/2 tspn each for tempering
Turmeric powder- 1 /2 tspn
Asafoetida powder- 1/4 tspn
Garlic- 6 pods
Coriander leaves- a handful
Curry leaves- 20 leaflets
Oil- 3 tbspns
Salt to taste
First roast the kollu in a hot pan until they acquire a darker colour and emit a nice aroma. Then pressure cook it until they are cooked. The water in which the horsegram is cooked acquires a dark brown colour. This water should be used for making rasam. I guess this water is rich in polyphenols and iron. Seperate the cooked kollu from the remaining water. Grind the cooked kollu in a food processor to a paste. Soak tamarind and extract its juice. Now add tomato, coriander leves, curry leaves and kollu paste ( how much to add depends on you. If you need a thick rasam add more kollu paste) to the diluted tamarind water. With your hand mash the tomatoes and all other ingredients well. Now take red chillies, green chillies, garlic, jeera and pepper corns in a food processor. Just give a pulse spin to grind them coarsely. Tansfer these ground itmes into the tamarind water mixed with other ingredients. Mix everything well with your hand. Add turmeric and asafoetida powder to this mixture. Now heat a pan with oil. When the oil gets hot enough add fenugreek seeds. When they become brown and emit a nice aroma add mustard and jeera seeds. When they splutter add the entire tamarind water mixture to the pan. When the top of the mixture foaths remove from fire and add enough salt to taste. A very tasty, healthy, aromatic kollu rasam will be ready to be served.
Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : Kollu contains small stones hidden between them. Make sure to clean the kollu before you use. Either soak or roast kollu well before cooking. Never allow the rasam to boil. When it froaths on the top (as shown in last picture of the collage) you should remove from fire. Add salt only at the end of rasam preparation. Kollu gets charred easily. So when roasting stir them frequently: Happy cooking !!!