Kulthi, or horse gram daal, is a superfood with the highest protein levels of all the daals, and hardly anyone has heard of it! It's not used very much in Indian kitchens but is often used to feed animals because of its high protein content, hence the name horse gram daal. Don't let this put you off enjoying this little nutrition bundle. I wanted to post this superfood recipe with horse gram daal so that you can share this food's health and medicinal benefits. Great for vegetarians and vegans!
Horsegram daal is known by many names: kulthi bean, gahat, hurali, or Madras gram. The cooked daal has an earthy flavour. My recipe is the slow method, not using a pressure cooker, so the daal needs to be soaked overnight.
Are you a daal fan? Then please try my other daals:
- Basic Arhar daal
- Kaali daal
- Bengali chana daal with coconut
- Simple one-pot aubergine daal
- Moth daal
- Saag daal with carrot greens
- Tomato pappu
- Horse gram daal
- Baking soda
- Mustard seeds
- Cumin seeds
- Chilli powder
- Olive oil
- Curry leaf
Preparing the tamarind: Soak the tamarind in boiling water and set aside for five minutes. Then strain to extract the pulp. Add boiling water again to the remaining pulp and extract the pulp again. Discard seeds and skin
See the recipe card for quantities.
Soak the daal overnight or for at least eight hours.
After soaking, rinse and drain the horse gram daal.
Add to a heavy-bottomed pot along with the water, black peppercorn, baking soda and turmeric and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce to medium heat. Add the chopped ginger, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes until the daal is soft and breaks between the fingers.
Then add the tamarind, season with salt and cook, covered, for 15 more minutes.
For the tadka, heat the oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds, and once the seeds start to pop, add cumin seeds, asafoetida and chilli powder. Remove the curry leaves from the stem and add to the tempering. This is a quick process, no more than a minute. Please give it a good mix.
Add the tadka to the daal and mix.
Serve with flatbread or rice.
You can flavour this daal differently by changing the spices.
Instead of asafoetida, you can use fried onion, garlic and tomato to flavour the daal.
This daal can be kept in the fridge for up to three days; always reheat thoroughly before eating. Add a bit of water if required while reheating.
Please make sure you soak this daal. Soaking reduces the cooking time and changes the chemical composition of the daal, making the nutrients it contains more easily absorbed into the body.
The horse gram does not break down with cooking, but you can achieve thicker daal by blending some of the cooked daal and mixing it into the dish.
Because of its high protein content, horse gram daal is suitable for a vegan and vegetarian diet. In the Ayurveda medicine system, it is held in high regard. I like the comparison given on the Isha foundation website that illustrates the all-around goodness of this legume. It has three times the calories of chicken, two times the protein of eggs, and ten times the calcium of milk. Horse gram recipes certainly deserve the title superfood recipes! Like most lentils and pulses, soaking them for a prolonged period helps make the nutrients they contain more absorbable by altering the chemical composition.
Like other lentils, horse gram can be sprouted and eaten for extra health benefits.
Tadka is the process and name of spices fried in hot oil to release their fragrance and flavours. This is a quick process, and you should be careful not to burn the spices, so make sure you have all your tadka ingredients ready before starting.
Using baking soda speeds up the cooking of the horse gram daal. The alkalinity the baking soda adds causes some chemical changes that enable faster cooking. It will also help reduce gassy feelings in the stomach.
Superfood Horse gram (Kulthi) Daal Recipe
- Digital scales
- 200 g Kulthi/Horse gram daal
- 15 g Ginger
- 6 nos Black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 15 g Dried Tamarind
- 900 ml Water
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon Asafoetida
- ¼ teaspoon Red chilli powder
- 1 stem Curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon Oil
Preparing the Tamarind
- Soak the tamarind in boiling water, set aside for five minutes, and then strain to extract the juice. Add boiling water to the remaining pulp and extract more juice; discard the seeds and the skin.
Cooking the Daal
- Soak the daal overnight or at least for 8 hours.
- Rinse and Drain the water from the daal and add it into a heavy bottom pot along with fresh water, black peppercorns, baking soda and turmeric; cover and bring to a boil.
- While the daal is boiling, peel and finely chop the ginger.
- Once the daal has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and remove scum forming on the top.
- Add the ginger, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the daal is soft and breaks when pressed between your fingers.
- Once the daal is cooked, add the tamarind juice and season with salt and continue cooking, covered, for another 15 minutes.
Making the Tadka
- Heat the oil in a small pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds, and once the seeds start to pop, add the cumin seeds, asafoetida and chilli powder. Remove the curry leaves from the stem and add to the tempering. Please give it a good mix.
- Add the tadka to the daal and mix.
- Serve the daal hot with flatbread or rice.
In a professional kitchen, food hygiene and safety are top priorities, and from the beginning of my training, I practised good habits and routines. Of course, practising good food hygiene and safety at home is also essential. Here are some fundamental practices to adopt in the kitchen.
- Wash your hands regularly while preparing, handling and cooking food.
- Wipe down countertops and high-contact points regularly.
- If you cook meat and fish, do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat. Use separate chopping boards for meat and fish. Wash your chopping boards immediately after use.
- Thoroughly cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods (more than 2 hours).
- Store food correctly.
For more details regarding food hygiene and safety in the home, visit the UK Government's Food Standards Agency webpage.