Kollu Kuzhambu is a traditional gravy from my home state in India, Tamilnadu. Kollu or horse gram (in english) is a bean variety and is widely used in the cuisine of south Indian states. In Tamilnadu, kollu is widely used in a variety of chutneys, poriyals, rasam etc. In Siddha medicine, kollu is considered to be a bean with medicinal qualities.
I came across this kollu kuzhambu recipe online and as soon as I saw it, I decided to give it a try. I have never had kollu (in any form) in my life and was curious the moment I saw it. And it was worth the try because kollu kuzhambu is the best gravy variety that I have ever had in my life, hands down! The recipe that I have given here requires some ground work. You need to grow sprouts out of kollu before you use it in your recipe. Back to the medicinal properties of kollu, I recently learnt that kollu has anti-glycemic properties and prevents insulin resistence, hence an apt food for diabetic patients. I also learnt from my MIL that it increases your body heat and hence having it in moderation is advisable – as with any other food items.
Without any further delay, below is the recipe to my most favorite gravy of all time, the one and only Kollu Kuzhambu. Try it in your kitchen and let me know if it had become your favorite dish as well 😉
Soak the bean with enough water and leave it overnight or atleast 8 hours.
Transfer the sprouts to a muslin or cheese cloth, drain the water completely, and tie the cloth with a knot holding the beans inside.
Let it hang overnight leaving the excess water to drain.
The next day you will notice tiny sprouts grown out of the beans.
Let the sprouts grow more for another day which adds taste to the food.
To make gravy:
Half boil the sprouted horsegram along with little salt (for 1 whistle). Keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add shallots. Sauté well. Add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Give a quick stir. Add grated coconut. Sauté well and add all the above given powders and switch off the flame. Allow them to cool and blend to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a pan and add shallots. Sauté well and add tomato. When they turn mushy, add half cooked sprouted horsegram and give it a stir. When the horsegram is half done, add the ground paste and enough water. Add enough salt. Bring the gravy to boil for 15 minutes. Cook until all the raw smell disappears. Garnish with cilantro.
Mochai is a type of bean also known as field beans in English. You will find this as Val beans in Indian grocery stores across the US. Mochai Kuzhambu is a gravy dish made with Mochai beans. The search for these beans in the US must have been the longest one that I have ever undertaken to find a food item (ingredient or cooked dish). Mochai Kuzhambu tastes somewhat similar to Puzhi Kuzhambu only that it has Mochai beans in it. An interesting fact about Mochai is that every part of the plant is edible, i.e., can be cooked and eaten. However, Indian recipes are predominantly made using the beans only. Also, Mochai is used to make Tofu and Tempeh (attention vegan lovers!). Mochai Kuzhambu is one of the easiest dishes to make. It goes well with hot white rice and normally you don’t need a side dish since the Mochai beans serves as one. Mochai Kuzhambu also tastes good when had with Chappati or Dosa. Here is the recipe to Mochai Kuzhambu. Do try it in your home and let me know your thoughts.
Tamarind – a big gooseberry sized ball (when diluted comes to ¼ cup)
Small Onion – 8 nos
Tomato - ½
Garlic - 4 cloves
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
To saute and grind:
Oil - 1 tsp
Shallots - 6 to 7 nos
Tomato – 1 no
Garlic - 4 cloves
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds – ½ tsp
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - ½ tsp
Fenugreek seeds - ¼ tsp
Hing - a generous pinch
Curry leaves – a sprig
Soak the beans in water overnight or at least 8 hours and pressure cook for 6 whistles.
Soak the tamarind in water for 15 minutes and extract the juice.
Sauté and grind the ingredients mentioned above to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a sauce pan and add the items given under tempering. When they start to sizzle, add in chopped shallots. Sauté until they turn translucent.
Now add in garlic cloves and sauté until the raw smell leaves. Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté till they become mushy.
Add in the cooked beans along with tamarind juice and water and bring it to boil- it should take couple of minutes.
Now add in the ground paste followed by red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well and bring it to boil- add water if needed.
Simmer it in a low flame for 10 minutes until the gravy thickens.
Switch off the flame and close the lid. Serve it after 30 minutes. Enjoy!
You could also dry roast the Mochai or field beans before soaking in water. Always try adding coconut just while blending, without roasting it. As coconut has high cholesterol when roasted. Whenever you make any type of beans gravy, try to serve it at least after 15 minutes so that the beans absorb the masalas from the gravy.