Kollu/ Horse Gram Rasam

I have been down with a bad cold and a cough, and have been feeling terrible most of the time, lately. Apparently, it is the change in weather – it now rains almost every day in Bangalore, and mornings and evenings are getting colder. I had to delve into our family treasury of rasams, and make one to soothe my cold-parched throat. Yesterday, for dinner, I chose a simple horse gram (‘kollu’ in Tamil), which I happen to love.

Horse gram has several nutritional benefits, and hence, this rasam is quite healthy too. The recipe that we use in our family makes use of the water in which the horse gram was boiled, as well, making it all the more nutritious. I also love the addition of a dash of jaggery to this rasam, which makes it very tasty and drinkable.


What is even better about this rasam is that it doesn’t really need a curry to go with it, when you have it with rice. The horse gram in it is nice and chewy, and makes for a tummy-filling meal with rice, in itself. It tastes great when had by itself too, hot, hot, hot, like a soup – great for such weather!

Check out the recipe!

Ingredients (4-5 servings):

A small gooseberry-sized ball of tamarind, soaked in a little boiling water for at least 10 minutes

¼ cup horsegram aka kollu, soaked overnight or at least for 5-6 hours in normal water

Salt, to taste

2 teaspoons of jaggery powder or as per taste

2 medium-sized tomatoes, finely chopped

2 tablespoons rasam powder (I use home-made rasam powder – if you don’t make it at home, it is easily available in several stores)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Red chilli powder, to taste (Optional – use only if you feel the rasam powder isn’t spicy enough)

A small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

A few fresh curry leaves

1 tablespoon ghee or oil for the garnish

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

A pinch of asafoetida

5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed


  1. Using a little water, extract a thick paste out of the tamarind. Do this a couple of times, till you get all the juice out of the tamarind. Keep aside the extract and discard the squeezed-out tamarind.
  2. Boil the horse gram in a little water, about 6 whistles in a pressure cooker. When the pressure releases, drain out all the water out of the boiled horse gram but do not throw it out – reserve the water in which the horse gram was boiled, for later use. Keep the boiled horse gram aside.
  3. Take a little water in a deep-bottomed pan and add the tomatoes, salt to taste, turmeric powder and red chilli powder, if using. Let this mixture cook till the tomatoes begin to turn mushy.
  4. Now, add the tamarind extract, the reserved horse gram water, and rasam Cook till the raw smell of the tamarind goes away.
  5. Add jaggery, boiled horse gram and curry leaves. Add more water at this stage, if you think the rasam feels too thick. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring to make sure the rasam does not boil over.
  6. Switch off the gas, and add the finely chopped coriander leaves.
  7. In a small pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter, and then add the asafoetida. Add the crushed garlic and fry for just a second. Add this garnish to the rasam in the other pan, and cover it immediately. There’s no need to cook the rasam further after the garnish has been added.

Consume piping hot, like a soup or warm, with rice.


2 thoughts on “Kollu/ Horse Gram Rasam

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