Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Ulava Chaaru / Horsegram Lentil Thick Soup

"Ulava Chaaru" in the winter! There couldn’t be a better time to enjoy this steaming hot delicious South Indian soup with rice!

Rasam or Chaaru is a South Indian soup prepared with tamarind (paste) water, tomatoes and pepper,coriander,garlic and other spices...lentils are an integral part of most rasams. It is eaten with rice, or can be had as a soup by itself. In a normal South Indian meal,rasam or chaaru is a must.

Horse gram or ulavallu(telugu),Kulith(Hindi)and Kollu payiru(Tamil) is a staple lentil of many Indian farm families.It is a small,flat,oval bean with a darkish rusty tan color and has an assertive earthy flavor.Horse gram is believed to prevent the formation of stones in the kidney and for those with the problem, consuming boiled horse gram water for one month will help to dissolve the urinary stone and can help cure it without surgery. It is also believed to be beneficial for cough and phlegm too.

Ulava Chaaru is a traditional Andhra Rasam or Chaaru.Its a thick horsegram lentil soup and is generally served with fresh cream or butter and rice.In our homes we serve it as a special dish in parties and weddings.

1 cup ulavalu (soaked overnight)
tamarind, soaked in hot water
3 green chilies slit lenght wise
10 button onions (peeled)
2 whole dry red chilies
10 curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tsp jaggery(optional)
2 tbsp oil

For the Powder:
1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
6 garlic cloves
Grind coriander seeds,cumin seeds and garlic cloves to a fine powder and keep aside.

Soak overnight the horsegram (ulavalu) and boil it in 8 cups of water in a fairly large pot.Boil till the dal is well cooked.Generally ulavalu will not have a mushy appearence as compared to other lentils like tur dal.The liquid has a dark brown chocolate color.Strain the liquid and 1/2 cup of cooked dal. The remaining left over dal can be thrown away.Generally its used by farmers as fodder for their cattle.

Take 1/2 cup of cooked ulavalu and one cup of the strained ulvallu water and grind it to a paste.Keep aside the ulavalu paste.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet.Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
Now add cumins seeds,whole red chillis and curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
Now add the button onions and green chillis and fry for 3 minutes.
Add the strained ulavalu water and let it boil.Add salt,jaggery and turmeric pwd.
Now add the ground pwd ,ulavllu paste and tamarind paste and let it cook on low heat for 20- 25 minutes stirring occasionally and till you get a thick soup like consistency.
Serve hot with rice and a generous amount of fresh homemade butter or cream.

Generally the butter is melted and added to the soup and rice,mixed and eaten.Very tasty dish , eaten and relished more during winter times as its supposed to give heat to the body.

Traditional Andhra dish - 'Ulava Chaaru' is my entry to 'From My Rasoi' food event started and hosted by Meenakshi of Hooked on Heat...the theme being 'winter' I couldnt think of a better dish than 'Ulava Chaaru'...:)


Lera said...

Sailu ,Thanks a lot, for your spicy Authentic Andhra Ulava charu for which I have been craving since long, but couldn't find a recipe .Plan to do this next week & It's gonna be named after you at home.(" sailu's ulava chaaru")

Indira said...

What a great entry, Sailaja.

Neenu kuda, ee recipe kosam veduku tunnanu. Maa vipu, ee chaaru intilo cheyaru. kaani nenu oka friend intilo ruchi chusaanu. Baaga nachhindi.
Ippudu mee recipe valla, nenu kuda intilo chesukovachhu. Thanks!

paz said...

Sounds perfect, indeed, for the winter.


Kathy said...

I really like your blog.

I have one question though...

What is jaggery?

sailu said...

Lera,your most tell me how the 'andhra ulava chaaru' turned out..:)

Thank you, Indira.
Chaala santhosham,Indira,meeku ee chaaru tappakunda chayyandi....

Perfect for the winter,Paz.

Thank you,Kathy.
Jaggery is a pure, wholesome, traditional, unrefined, whole sugar. It contains the natural goodness of minerals and vitamins inherently present in sugarcane juice & this crowns it as one of the most wholesome and healthy sugars in the world. It Mexico & South America, it is also known as panela.Its often called the
'medicinal sugar'.
It is available in any Indian grocery store.

cric_watch said...

Hi Sailu,

Would like to know if U have any other recipes using horsegram. I once had a side dish(something like kurma), made with horsegram which went well with puri & peas pulao,in a friend's place. They were from Andhra. So thought it might be some traditional andhra recipe. If U have any recipe like the above said, pls do post it.

LisaSD said...

Sailu--I love the taste of tamarind, but I never knew it was used as an ingredient, only as a condiment. This sounds delicious!

Tanuja said...

Hi Sailaja thank u for remembering me of my golden days by reading ur ullava chaaru receipe . when i was in INDIAN i used have it almost once a week after coming out that was just left behind in my ddreams this is one of my fav.

Can u help me by giving me the info if i can buy ullavalu in US , I am from ATLANTA GA thank u once again , u have a good collection of receipes.

sailu said...

cric_watch,sure will post more horsegram lentil recipes.

Lisa,it is delicious,indeed!

Tanuja,I am glad it brought back memories of home..:).Horsegram lentil is available in Indian grocery stores,I heard.I am not really sure which store its available in Atlanta.