Horse gram series – adai

Adai is a typical South Indian dish akin to the more popular dosai but the batter tends to be thicker and coarser.   Traditionally adai batter consists of a blend of rice, tuar dhal, red chillies and asafoetida.  The recipe below replaces the tuar dhal with horse gram and we have added a few extra ingredients.  The adai turned out very crisp and tasty.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 1/2 cups idli rice (available in most Asian grocery stores)
  • 1/2 cup whole black urad dahl
  • 1 cup dry roasted horse gram
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 3-4 whole dried red chillies
  • Handful curry leaves
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Around 20 adais depending on size

How do I make it?

Soak all the ingredients with some cold water till they are completely immersed and leave overnight.  Grind the ingredients with the water till you get a thick spreadable batter.   You might need to add more water during the grinding process to get the consistency right.   Leave the batter overnight to ferment a bit.   To prepare, heat your pan and spread a laddle of batter to form a disc.  Drizzle with some vegetable oil or sesame oil (for a more authentic taste) to ensure the adai doesn’t stick to the pan.  Cook on both sides till done.

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Horse Gram Series – Olan (stew)

As promised earlier we are going to try and pull together a few recipes using horse gram over the next few months.  Olan is one of the simplest dishes to make with the fewest of ingredients and the addition of fragrant coconut oil makes it one of our favourite comfort foods.  We normally make this dish with pressure cooked black eyed peas, however for this recipe we have substituted it with pressure cooked horse gram.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 2 courgettes peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup horse gram – soaked overnight and pressure cooked
  • 4-5 green chillies slit
  • Handful fresh curry leaves – washed and crushed in the hand to release their aroma
  • 2 1/2 tbsp of coconut milk powder (can be substituted with 200 ml of tinned coconut milk)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Cook the courgettes, green chillies and curry leaves with a little bit of water over a low heat.   Once done add the pressure cooked horse gram and bring to a boil.   Sprinkle the coconut milk powder and adjust seasoning.   Switch off the heat and drizzle the coconut oil over the dish – serve hot with rice.

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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_gram).  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.

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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.