Horse Gram Series – Sundal (warm salad)

January is a month when the realization of the excesses of the festive season hits most people and almost everybody wants to detox and diet.  Horse gram is one of the pulses which ancient Indian medical sciences of Ayurveda and Siddha claim to have many medicinal properties including liver and kidney detoxification and weight loss (  Horse gram is also good for coughs and colds.   We have some horse gram in our store cupboard and have decided to make a weekly dish to tide us through the winter and try to combat the many winter viruses that afflict us.  This is the first dish in the horse gram series with more to follow.  Horse gram is a hard pulse and takes very long to cook, so remember to soak the horse gram at least  for 8 hours prior to cooking it.


What do I need to make it?

  • 1 cup pre soaked  horse gram
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated coconut
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4-6 side portions

How do I make it?

Pressure cook the horse gram with a pinch of turmeric powder and two cups of water. Once cooked drain  any excess water and set aside. (Do not throw away the cooking liquor as this can be used to make a delicious and healing  horse gram soup (recipe to follow)).  Heat oil in a wok.   Add a pinch of asafoetida and the mustard seeds.  Once the mustard seeds crackle add the dried red chillies and the curry leaves. Saute for a couple of minutes before adding the cooked horse gram and salt.  Saute the horse gram for a few minutes, garnish with freshly grated coconut and squeeze the juice of half a lime.  Serve warm.

Spicy mutton with coconut

A favourite dish with many a Keralite, this dish makes a great starter for dinner parties.   The dish is simple to make with many variations but the recipe below is one handed down to us from Anna’s mum and it hasn’t failed us so far.


What do I need to make it?

  • 500 gms mutton cubed (can substitute with lamb/beef )
  • 1 large red onion sliced
  • 4-6 green chillies
  • Handful fresh curry leaves
  • 2 inch piece of fresh coconut cut into slivers
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil

For the paste

  • 1 large cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 6-8 cloves of  garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger skinned
  • Handful fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tbsp dhania (ground coriander) powder
  • Salt to taste


How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Grind all the paste ingredients in a blender till you get a coarse paste (add a bit of water if needed).   Wash the mutton and pat dry before mixing in the paste ingredients.   Add salt to taste and allow the meat to marinade for a couple of hours (the longer the better).   Place the marinated meat in a pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes or till the meat is cooked.   Once the pressure cooker is switched off and if you notice liquid build up then place the meat on the stove till all the liquid has evaporated.   Heat a large pan and add the coconut oil, then add the curry leaves and green chillies  and stir for a minute before adding the sliced onions.   Saute on medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the cooked mutton and coconut.   Keep tossing over medium heat till the meat begins to brown a bit.   Take off the heat and serve with a nice ice cold pint of lager or beverage of choice.