Kulith saaru – Horsegram curry

horse gram
The lesser-known horsegram has a distinct aroma and taste and is quite popular in rustic South Indian cooking. Known to give you energy in horsepowers, this bean did not honestly work with me in the forms that my mom introduced. This was reintroduced by my sis in law.  Somehow, I liked it a lot at her place than the recipes my mother taught me. This kulith saaru recipe is a modified version of what my sis in law shared with me.

Horse gram in Indian cooking

If you are now stuck with the image of the galloping horse now, like me, then bear with me till your reach the end of this horsegram curry post.
Cultivated from the Neolithic ages, this bean was often fed to the cattle and kings’ horses for the protein content. From there, horsegram made it to the kitchen of the poor, where the stomachs had to be satisfied. This is where horsegram started getting used in daily cooking. In South India, the bean is known as kulith, kollu or muthira and very many delicacies are prepared. Towards Northern India, the bean is cooked and stuffed in parathas that make it filling and so tasty. 

The nutritional benefit of horsegram

 Ideally, this bean should be placed under the super bean zone due to its nutritional content
  • Widely regarded in ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of intestinal issues to low sperm counts, this bean is consumed often in the rural region as “Food is medicine”
  • Called as Ulavu, Kollu, Muthira, Kulith or uzhuval, the Horse gram calculates a high 22percent of protein content.
  • Used as a winter bean, this is a very low-fat option for weight watchers.
  • Recommended towards women with high menstrual bleeding and anaemia, the horse gram improves the iron content of the body.
  • Gastric ulcer healing, reduction of flatulence, reduced constipation and general improvement in gut health have been noted upon regular use of this bean.
However, it is contraindicated in patients with gout and high uric acid predilection.
curry with horse gram

Horsegram curry

Don’t forget to tag and rate us when you make Kulith Saaru for your lunch at home. The detailed recipe is in this recipe card below with step by step directions.

Kulith saaru

Kulith saar Horse gram curry is a delicious south Indian stye recipe that pairs well with steamed rice for lunch. Enjoy this healthy unusual, gluten free, tree nut free recipe as a winterwarmer.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course sidedish, Soups and salad, Traditional
Cuisine Autumn, diabetic friendly, gluten free, Indian, Karnataka, One pot, Pressure cooker, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter
Servings 4 people
Calories 113 kcal


To pressure cook

  • 1/2 cup horse gram
  • 2.5 cups drinking water

For the masala

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 4-5 dry red chilli
  • 10 curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida

for the tamarind pulp

  • 1 lime sized ball tamarind or 1/2 tsp tamarind paste conc.
  • 1/4 cup Water

for tempering

  • 1 tsp coconut oil ( any cooking oil is fine)
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 curryleaves
  • 1 dry red chilli broken into bits


  • Collect all the ingredients needed for the preperation
    horse curry
  • Wash and drain the horse gram to remove any impurities.
    cooked horse gram
  • Add the 2,5 cups of water and pressure cook the horsegram for about 4-6 whistles
  • Release pressure naturally (about 10-15 minutes)
  • Gently mash the cooked horse gram and set aside
  • Mean while, Dry roast the coconut, the curry leaves, the coriander seeds, chillies and cumin seeds till aromatic
  • Make this mix into a smooth powder and add 1 ladle full of the horse gram plus the cooking liquid and grind further into a smooth paste
    curry masala
  • Into a wok add the oil and ingredients for the tempering
  • When the mustard seeds crackle, add the cooked mashed horse gram and the masala paste prepared.
  • Add salt to taste and the tamarind pulp
  • Simmer this for about 6-8 minutes
  • The kulith saaru is now ready to serve
    horse gram


In the instant pot it takes 35 minutes on high pressure to get the beans cooked. Wait for natural pressure release to ensure they are cooked well. 


Calories: 113kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 11mgPotassium: 219mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 168IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 2mg
Keyword curry recipes, horsegram recipes, Indian vegetarian dinner
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Serving the horsegram curry

 Replace the sambhar on the south Indian thali for this Kulith saaru recipe and enjoy a great Sunday lunch at home. If making a very simple recipe, I love to pair this kulith saaru with cooked quinoa or millets with some avalakki sandige or sago papad and pickled citron. The horsegram curry is fantastic with upma kozhukattai or pongal too. 


This recipe is added to The A-Z recipe challenge where the fellow bloggers have progressively made their way up to letter “H”. 
My legume love affair event
The Recipe is also added to the My legume love affair Series hosted by Kalyani
The event begun by Lisa is currently taken care of by Susan.
It was a pleasant experience to host this event earlier, here is the collection from that event –#125 MLLA Event Roundup.  Check it out this collection.

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Kulith saaru

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The Girl Next Door
3 years ago

I love horsegram rasam too, though we make it slightly differently from your version. This looks super flavourful and hearty. Will try out your method the next time around. 🙂

Superduper Kitchen
3 years ago

I always love the flavour of horsegram. I make kollu rasam in a slightly different method. Will try yours too next time.

Rafeeda - The Big Sweet Tooth
3 years ago

The saaru sounds very flavorful and super delicious… Uppa would make fun saying that this is what horses eat, but I always tell him why are we depriving ourselves of such a delicious lentil!

Sujata Roy
3 years ago

Horsegram curry sounds spicy tangy and super yummy. Adding horsegram made the curry healthy too. Loved it. Saving it to try sometime.

3 years ago

Kulith is something I have learnt about recently. Yet to introduce it in my family’s diet. (The task is bound to be uphill) but will definitely try it. Love the pics bookmarking

Mayuri Patel
3 years ago

I’m truly surprised why this power packed nutritious bean has not been brought to the limelight. I’ve not used horse gram and didn’t know about its value till I read your post. Definitely going to try and include it in my diet more often. Thanks for sharing the info and an easy dal recipe using horse gram.

Geetha Priyanka
3 years ago

This saaru looks absolutely delicious and flavourful with so many spices in it. I’m sure the spices mask the horsegram flavour so that my family members who doesn’t like horsegram may not know what is being used in the saaru. Bookmarking this recipe to try sometime.

3 years ago

Horse gram curry sounds interesting. The curry looks delicious. Bookmarking it for future use as my family loves spicy food (specially southindian food)

3 years ago

I love horsegram rasam. Your recipe is different from how we make it in Andhra and I plan to try your version soon.

Poonam Bachhav
3 years ago

I am happy that my family has readily accepted this super grain and I can’t wait to try your saru recipe. This horsegram saru sounds like a wholesome soup which is perfect for the weather here right now.

3 years ago

This horsegram curry looks absolutely delicious and flavourful with so many flavours and medium spices in it., which I loved it most. This looks super comfort and hearty soup. Will try out your method.

3 years ago

Horse gram curry looks so flavorful. Perfect with hot steaming rice and lunch is sorted.

3 years ago

Very nutritious and rich in flavours!! Never tried horsegram but after reading the health benefits it, will love to try this for sure

Anshu Agrawal
3 years ago

This sounds super delicious. Along with all the goodness of horse gram ,a lip smacking curry, what more anybody can want. Loved the recipe!!

sasmita sahoo
3 years ago

Awesome !!! curry using horse gram sounds interesting   it must taste great with some steamed rice ..

3 years ago

Kulith as I know this horsegram as is what I have tried once n never enjoyed. I believe there is a Zunka made too mu friends swear by but frankly the color puts me off. So I am glad I am not the only person turned off.
Since you say it tastes good I am going to try it out as the rasam. Fingers crossed n toes too.

Elizabeth Bird
Elizabeth Bird
2 years ago

My mother in law used to make this saaru. And it was so delicious . She made rice roti to go with it or ragi balls.

Preethicuisine Preethicuisine
11 months ago
Rating :

Kulith Saaru is so delicious and tempting . Perfect to enjoy in the cold wet weather. One of the best Saaru variety.

Priya Srinivasan
11 months ago
Rating :

Wow seema kulith saaru sounds delish, i was expecting a rasam here, but this is almost similar to our milagu kuzhambu style. I m definitely try this kollu saaru soon. Steaming hot rice and ladles of this saaru is bliss on plate.

Mayuri Patel
11 months ago
Rating :

I have some horse gram and have soaked them to make kulith saaru. Such a flavourful and healthy curry. This will give an opportunity to try cooking horse gram in a different way to what I usually make.

Jayashree T.Rao
11 months ago
Rating :

I am yet to start using it in my kitchen. Will make this rasam for my son who was asking about it. Looks flavoursome.

11 months ago
Rating :

a different, delicious take on Kollu Rasam.. I love the arichuvitta masala paste in this saaru. a must try during winters

mina joshi
11 months ago
Rating :

This kulith saaru looks delicious. It reminds me of a sweet and sour rasam. I love the way you have combined all the flavours in this dish.

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