Lentil curry/ Horse gram curry/ Kollu kadaiyal

Horse gram dhal curry for better grades!( just kidding!)

My daughter was getting ready for her exam scheduled at 1.00 p.m. and I had to pack her lunch. She doesn’t like anything that involves her fingers getting messy while eating in the class. I had made horse gram curry and I was in a dilemma. She mentioned that she could buy her lunch but I mixed rice with the right amount of  curry, added some ghee (clarified butter), transferred it to a lunch box and stuck a spoon in it. She looked at it and decided to go with it. She was already nervous and a bit preoccupied.

When she left the house I hugged her, told her to relax and do well. My son who was watching the whole episode added, if you are an optimist, look up pray and write; if you are a pessimist, look down close your eyes and write; if you are an opportunist, open your eyes look sideways and write well. I gave him a high five as we like to tease her but told her not to listen to him, wishing her good luck. When she came back, she said that the food was good and the exam was okay!

Horse gram cannot boost ones memory but it is a robust winter food. Although it is a lesser used lentil, it has medicinal qualities according to Ayurveda, which is an alternative, natural medicine. This lentil is slightly flattened and comes in different shades of brown. It is mainly used as a cattle feed and hence the name. Maybe we could gain some horsepower by eating it! Being a rich source of protein, I dare say, it is an under utilised power house of energy!

1 horse grm

Horse gram curry

1 hg curry


  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup horse gram
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • few curry leaves
  • salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • fresh cream or ghee to garnish
  • I tomato chopped
  1. Pressure cook horse gram after soaking it for few hours. It becomes quite soft on cooking. When pressed between thumb and index finger the lentil  should crush easily.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan heat oil and crackle mustard seeds and few curry leaves. (The oil has to be very hot and mustard crackling on contact gives out a striking aroma which improves the taste.)
  3. Add chopped onions, garlic, green chillies and fry till tender.
  4. Then add the cooked lentil to the pan and mix everything well.
  5. Add turmeric powder and tomato pieces and boil.
  6. Remove from the stove and blend with a hand blender to crush the beans further.
  7. Garnish with fresh cream or ghee.
  8. Serve hot with cooked rice or flat breads.

1 hg rice

1 hor gram

Kollu kadaiyal is the name of this dish in Tamil Nadu. Horse gram is also used in preparing dry chutney powder, rasam (soup) and its sprouts can be added to salads. Horse gram plainly cooked has a unique taste of its own to distinguish itself from other beans. My husband is an ardent admirer of this curry.


About coconutcraze

I'm obsessed with coconuts!
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3 Responses to Lentil curry/ Horse gram curry/ Kollu kadaiyal

  1. I love the ya and yang plating….. 🙂


  2. Poppy says:

    So many people (including myself of course!) have trouble making curry look pretty on a plate. Your presentation is beautiful and classy, really love it! 🙂


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