Comfort Food · Curry · Indian · Konkani · Main Course · Mangalorean · Rice · South Indian · Vegetarian

Brown lentil/Horse gram/Kulitha Saaru


I was walking up to the cinema hall a few days back and a suddenly out of nowhere the aroma of tempered garlic filled the air. It reminded me of home, the very aroma that fills the house when my mum used to temper garlic for the lentil saaru she prepares. I developed the craving to have some saaru. Been sometime since I posted anything on lentils as well. So decided to prepare some saaru for lunch.

Brown lentils/ horse grams are one of the lesser known lentils. Probably because it is generally utilised as cattle feed. But this is consumed a lot in Southern India.It is very popular among Konkani’s. Kulith refers to horse gram in Konkani.We make a liquidy soup like dish called Saaru. It is usually accompanied with some papad or some spicy pickle by the side. Prepared mostly on those days when we konkani’s are fed up of the usual Daali toy or DDT or the Tomato saaru.  Like all lentils, they require to be soaked overnight. Boil the soaked lentils for about 15 minutes and temper them with some Indian spices, there you are… the yummy saaru is ready. You can have the liquid as a soup, or mix it with some steamed rice and eat the grams alongside.

Konkani’s make many kinds of saaru. To name a few – tomato saaru, devasthana saaru, (devasthan means a temple in konkani. This type of saaru is prepared in the temples during the temple festivals), alsande bee saaru (alsande refers to black-eyed peas, bee refers to beans) etc.

Simple yet flavourful. I love the aroma of tempered garlic. Garlic adds a nice flavour in the Saaru as well.

Tip: You can cook the horse gram in a pressure cooker if you have not soaked them overnight. Just cook them till you hear one whistle. Unfortunately if you end up with a pack of horse gram that do not cook easily from adding them to boiling hot water even after you have soaked them overnight, the only solution is to transfer them into a pressure cooker and cook them till you hear one whistle.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)       Preparation Time: 15 mins (Does not include the time taken to soak the lentils/grams)
Brown lentils/horse gram – 1 cup, washed and soaked in 2 cups of water overnight
Garlic cloves – 3 medium-sized, crushed with its skin using a pestle
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Dried red chilli’s – 2-3, roughly torn
Coriander leaves – 1-2 sprigs (optional for garnishing)
Cooking Oil – half – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Heat about 3/4 – a litre of water in a pot. You can adjust the water based on how many people you plan to serve. A litre should serve 4 people. Drain away the water used to soak the lentils. Add the drained lentils to the water when it comes to a boil. Close the pot. Reduce the heat to low and let the lentils cook in the boiling water for 10 -12 minutes. Check and adjust salt.

When the lentils are close to getting cooked, heat the oil in a small fry pan/tempering vessel. Add mustard seeds when the oil is hot and let them splutter. Next add the dried red chilli’s. Fry them for a minute. Do not let them turn brown/black, if the heat is too high, then reduce it. Now add the crushed garlic cloves and fry till they turn slightly brown. Now add the curry leaves and turn off the heat. Just toss the curry leaves in the hot-tempered vessel. Add this tempering to the lentils in the pot. Mix well.

Garnishing:
If you wish to, garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with some steamed rice by the side. You can also have the liquid from this as soup.

Brown lentil/Horse gram/Kulitha Saaru

Oh well, I know it does not look very inviting, but I’m sure you would agree that it is tasty once you prepare and try it. 🙂

If you like this recipe, you may also like other konkani recipe’s from my blog.

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