Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Ulavacharu/Horse Gram Rasam

Ulavacharu is a distinctive and classic dish from the Andhra region made using the cooked horse gram water with a little tamarind and spice. This is a popular food too. This recipe is vegan and can be served with rice and a little cream on top if preferred.

Traditional way of making ulavacharu is time consuming. This is because when boiled on stove top, the horse gram takes about 2 two two and a half hours to cook. This recipe uses Instant Pot to cook the horse gram. I have used high pressure settings for 15 minutes. In this way, the cooking time is reduced and this helps enjoy the loved foods even with a busier life. This can be cooked on a regular pressure cooker, cooked for 5 to 6 whistles.

The water from the cooked horse gram alone is used to make the rasam. This gives a unique and distinctive flavor to the rasam. The below measurements with a cup of horse gram, will easily make ulavacharu for four to six servings or more depending on the serving size. The lentils after draining can be used in patties, soups, or curries. I love to make kurma with it. 

Our traditional rasam is more of water, like a kind of a thin broth. We add the cooked toor dal water to the tamarind base rasam and cook. Ulavucharu is made with the cooked horse gram water as the stock for the rasam. This ulavacharu is a little thicker. It is in between thick paste and a thin broth. This is amazing to be served with a steaming plate of rice and some veggies. This rasam is vegan but when serving, serve with ghee or cream, if preferred. I tasted this in one of our friends home when we had a gettogether and from that time I got hooked on it. This is how my friend taught me to make and I am following her steps ditto!

Horse gram is packed with nutrients. It is loaded with proteins. And in calcium and iron. This lentil is fed to horses and hence the name. This also helps in weight management and including this in our diet helps managing weight and staying healthy. I love to make idli/dosas.Horse gram sprouts are also the best ingredient to add to many foods. Try this Kale and Kollu Sprouts Paniyaram and this idli, you will change your mind about horse gram and will start to include these in your menu!

This ulavacharu, a popular Andhra style rasam is quite different in flavors and comforting. When exploring different cuisines, regional foods give a different flair to your regular menu. Coupled with fresh produce of the different regions, it is possible to make rasam in different flavors and here I am sharing A-Z rasam varieties as a part of Blogging Marathon. Check out the link below for amazing and raving rasam recipes!


Horse gram - 1 cup
Water - 5 cups
Tamarind - 1 tsp soaked in 1/4 cup water
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/8
Chili powder - 1/8 tsp


Dried red chilies - 3, torn
Mustard seeds - 3/4 tsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Asafetida - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 4 , sliced


Soak the horse gram in 5 cups of water for 8 hours or overnight. Cook it with the same water under high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Filter.

The cooked gram can be used for any other recipe. This recipe will use the drained horse gram water. Set aside one to two tablespoons of the cooked horse gram for the charu.

Extract the tamarind juice using another quarter cup water. set aside.

Heat oil in a sauce pot. Add the dried red chilies and mustard seeds. When the mustard splutters and cumin, asafetida, curry leaves, and garlic. Sauté for 30-40 seconds.

Add the horse gram water and bring it to a boil. reduce it to half.

In the meantime, grind the reserved cooked horse gram with tamarind water to a smooth paste.

Add this, salt, turmeric, and chili powder. Simmer for a few minutes till it looks a little sauce like. It shouldn't be too thin or too thick.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with steaming rice.


  1. I have heard about kollu rasam but yet to prepare this at home. Will try soon 👍🏼

  2. I have heard about this rasam and have to try it, since my girls love horsegram... and it looks very refreshing...

  3. A definitely nutritious rasam. I agree it has a very distinct flavor and is addictive :)