31 March, 2017

Sprouted HuruLi Saaru And Usli Recipe | Sprouted Horse Gram Curry and Stir Fry

Learn how to make HuruLi Saaru and Usli ~ Horse gram sprouts cooked in spicy coconut gravy and garlic and Sprouted horse gram stir fry garnished with grated coconut

“Ajji, can I go out and play?” asked little girl pulling her grandma’s soft cotton saree pallu which was carefully tucked around her slim waist.
“Not today, my princess! It’s too hot outside and we don’t want the fever monster to return”, said grandma as she pressed her cool hand against little girl’s forehead to check her temperature.
“But I will play in the shade, Ajji”, said little voice laced with impatience as she longingly looked at her sister and cousins running around, screaming loudly as they chased one another in a large garden in front of ancestral home.
“I know, my darling! But who will help me with cooking then? Who will help me to open the dabba of bella (jaggery)?”, asked grandma smiling showing her trademark enchanting smile with twinkling eyes and red lips stained with the juice from ele-adike (betel leaf and supari).
“Bella?”, asked little girl with excitement oozing from her voice and eyes. “I will help you Ajji”, quickly came the reply.
“Don’t tell this to anyone, but you are my favourite grandchild”, whispered grandma who must have shared the same secret to every other 2 dozen grandchildren of hers! :)



The soft wrinkled hands lead the small chubby hands to the courtyard outside the kitchen door that connected to open kitchen at the end of the house. The family cook was grinding spices and coconut paste in a large stone grinder that made rhythmic music almost like a lullaby that would put the little girl to sleep as she lay down on her grandma’s lap on hot summer afternoons. But she was wide awake at that moment as the excitement of helping her grandma with cooking overpowered any other feeling! The grandma picked one of large brass container that was stacked neatly on the wooden shelf and placed it on the cool red-oxide floor. She then went and picked a large winnowing tray made of bamboo strands woven tightly onto a rattan frame and sat down on the floor stretching her legs in front. She looked up and smiled at the little girl and patted the space next to her suggesting lil girl to sit.



Little girl watched in fascination as her grandma opened the brass container and grabbed couple of handfuls of brown grains from it and placed it on two winnowing trays; one quite large and another small one.

"What is that?", asked lil girl.
"This one? It is huruLi kaaLu and you know what? This will make you as strong as the horse", ssaid grandma.
"But I don't want to be a horse", whined lil girl.
"Then how about unicorn?", smiled grandma knowing how much her grand daughter liked the magical creature.

Lil girl smiled back and looked at what her grandma was doing. She noticed that her grandma didn’t carefully measure the grains as her mother did, and wondered if her grandma knew to count! Little did she know about her grandma at that time who not only self-taught to read and write, but managed the whole house and large estate single handed, despite being married off at a tender age before she could finish her schooling! And it would take another two decades before she understood the concept of ‘pinch of this and handful of that’ or andaaju/andaaz (guess/rough estimate/eyeballing) that her mother and grandmothers would bombard her with when she began her cooking experiments!

Grandma passed the small winnowing tray with a small handful of grains to little girl which fit well into her small chubby hands that still showed the signs of baby fat. Grandma picked the stones and discarded them before winnowing the grains, tossing them high into the air expertly as the husks and dust blew away in the wind leaving behind the clean grains to fall back onto the tray, ready for cooking. The little girl who watched this whole exercise with fascination mimicked the action only to find all the grain fall on to her lap, on the ground and on her hair! It didn’t take long for her to understand that it’s not as easy as it looked and it will take years of practice to master this skill which so long looked effortless in the expert hands of her granny.



Hiding her smile, grandma lead the little girl to kitchen where she made her sit on the floor on a wooden plank, at a safe distance from a wood burner where a large pot of water was bubbling. After carefully washing the grains, grandma added them to boiling water. She opened some wooden spice container, took out a spoonful of yellow coloured powder and added it to the pot. Then opened container and took out a large ball of tamarind which was cured with a sea salt. She gave a very small piece of pulp to the little girl which she licked slowly tasting the tongue tickling sour pulp which slowly began to taste sweet! Then she opened a box that made lil girl’s eye pop with anticipation, the box containing her most favourite ingredient in the kitchen, a box of sweet jaggery! Grandma gave her a small piece of jaggery and then proceeded to grate some more and mixed it with freshly grated coconut. She added a pinch of her magic ingredient, (cardamom powder, which after couple of years lil girl learnt) and handed a bowl to lil girl.

As she slowly ate small spoonful of this magic sweet treat, lil girl watched her grandma move around the kitchen, gathering spices and other ingredients for the food she was cooking. It was like watching a graceful ballerina twirling on the stage, as her grandma’s every move was as graceful as any beautiful dancer. In the next hour, the vegetables spices were roasted, the coconuts were grated, the masala paste was ground on a manual stone grinder, pots of curries very bubbling on a wood burners, and the irresistible aroma of food wafted around the house and beyond attracting every child and adults, like bees to flowers, to peep inside the kitchen for one too many times!



Finally, it was a time for lunch, where everyone sat on a woven grass mat on the floor, sitting cross legged in front of a banana leaf which served as an organic, disposable plate. The ladies of the house served food one by one, as though they were decorating the spree of big banana leaf in front of yu like an artist’s colour palette. First a pinch of salt on top left corner and then some pickle next to that. Then came a spicy red coconut chutney powder and wet coconut chutney tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves, which needs to be mixed with curd/yogurt rice in order to withstand the spice. Then came the Kosambari (soaked moong/split chickpeas and cucumber salad), Sasame or Sasve (a light uncooked curry made of grated cucumber or beetroot mixed with freshly ground mustard and coconut) and 2-3 types of palya (simple stir fry of vegetables in tempered coconut oil). A mound of rice was placed in the center of the banana leaf which was parted to two parts; small one on the right for the Saaru or Rasam that would follow next and the large mound for the curries to follow later.

A dollop of pure desi ghee was poured on the small mound of rice and then the hot saaru or rasam was poured into a small hole made in the centre to stop the curry from running over, and mixed quickly with crispy papads to relish every morsel of this spicy goodness! Then came kodhel (a simple vegetable-coconut curry with ground spices) followed by majjige huLi (coconut and buttermilk based veg curry) and finally cool yogurt from an earthen pot! If we were in luck, we would have a payasa (sweet milk or coconut pudding) or some Indian sweets served before the yogurt was served. There was nothing fancy about the food that was homely, earthy and rustic cooked with the ingredients that mostly grew in my grandma’s large vegetable garden and in my grandparent’s farm. It was as simple and organic as it could get and it was that the kind of food I grew up eating. Food that nurtured and nourished my body and soul…



I am sharing with you one such food that I adore and cook when my soul yearns for a warm hug from my grand ma who is no longer with us… There is not just one, but two recipes today; HuruLi Saaru and HuruLi Usli. HuruLi Saaru is a very rustic curry made using sprouted horse gram cooked in a spicy coconut gravy and tempered with spices and generous amount of garlic! Usli is a simple stir fry of cooked horse gram sprouts with handful of spices and garnished with freshly grated coconut. It is one of the most flavourful and satisfying dish which tastes amazing when served with rice, dollop of ghee and few papads may be!

Cooking this Huruli Saaru and Usli is always a bitter-sweet moment for me. It is one of those dishes that makes you smile and brings tears to eyes! I feel her presence, guiding me and scolding me with her fake angry voice, as I carefully measure and roast the spices a little longer that she used to! :) I feel her presence, as I grind the roasted spices with coconut in my electric mixer, knowing it will not taste half as good as the one she made in her manual stone grinder! I feel her presence when the curry is simmering, blending all the flavours harmoniously and I feel her presence the strongest when I feed my lil boy, as she showers us with her love, blessing and her trademark smile with red lips stained with ele-adike…




HuruLi Saaru (Spicy horse gram sprouts soup with freshly roasted spices and coconut paste flavoured with garlic tempering)
Prep Time: 10 mins (And 1-2 days for sprouting the horse gram)
Cooking Time: 35-40 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Medium
Serves: 5-6 People
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for 2-3 days
Serving Suggestion: With rice, ghee, papad and HuruLi usli

Ingredients:
1 cup HuruLi/Horsegram
1 large gooseberry size Tamarind Pulp
2 tsp Jaggery
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
Salt to taste

For spicy coconut paste:
½ tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
½ tbsp. Dhania/Coriander Seeds
3 Kashmiri Chillies or Byadagi Chillies (Adjust as per taste)
10-12 Black Peppercorns (Adjust as per taste)
1 inch Cinnamon
3 Cloves
¼ cup grated Coconut, fresh or frozen
2 Shallots or ½ small Onion, roughly chopped
2 medium Tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 large cloves of Garlic, peeled
½ tbsp. Oil (Preferably Coconut Oil)

For Tadka/Tempering:
5-6 large cloves of Garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
2 Dry Red Chillies, halved
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
A spring of Curry Leaves
1 tbsp. Oil (Preferably Coconut Oil)



Method:
Preparation:
  1. Wash the horse gram beans thoroughly. Soak them in about 4 cups of water overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain all the water and transfer the horse gram into a colander lined with wet muslin cloth and cover it. Keep it in a dry and dark place for it to sprout. It took me two days to sprout. You can simply use the soaked horse gram beans, but sprouting them makes them more nutritious and adds more flavour to the saaru and usli.

Proceed to cook:
  1. Take sprouted horse gram beans in a pressure cooker and add turmeric powder, tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt to taste. Add about 4-5 cups of water and cover the lid. Let it cook on medium flame for about 3 whistles or around 15-16 minutes. Let the pressure release completely before opening the lid.
  2. While the horse gram is cooking, prepare the coconut and spice paste for the saaru. Heat ½ tbsp. of oil in a pan and cinnamon stick, cloves and black peppercorns and fry them for about 30 seconds on a medium flame. Next add cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and dry red chillies and fry them until the colour of spices deepens and the spices are roasted, about 1-1½ mins.
  3. Drain the water from the cooked horse gram and preserve it. Keep the cooked horse gram beans aside.
  4. Take the preserved horse gram stock in a pan and to this add about 4-5 cups of water. Add about ½ cup of cooked horse gram sprouts to it. Check for the salt and add little more as per taste and bring it to boil on a medium flame.
  5. While the stock is boiling, transfer the roasted spices to a mixer or food processor jar and add grated fresh coconut, sliced onion or shallots, garlic cloves and tomatoes. To this add about Add about 2 tbsp. of cooked horse gram and about ¼ cup of water and grind them to smooth paste.
  6. When the saaru comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add ground paste to it and mix them well. Let it simmer for about 6-8 minutes or until small bubbles start to appear on the surface.
  7. While the saaru is simmering, prepare the tadka by heating oil in a pan. Once hot, add sliced garlic and fry them until they turn light golden brown. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, halved dried red chillies, hing and curry leaves and fry until the mustard seeds begin to pop and splutter.
  8. Transfer the tadka to saaru and mix them well. Turn off the flame and cover the pan with lid and let it rest for at least 15 minutes for the flavours to blend. Serve this delicious Huruli Saaru with rice, a dollop of ghee and Huruli Usli (recipe below) and enjoy!


Sia’s Notes:
  • You can simply use the soaked horse gram beans, but sprouting them makes them more nutritious and adds more flavour to the saaru and usli. 
  • Here is another version of HuruLi Saaru with Bimbli.




HuruLi Usli (Sprouted horse gram stir fry)
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 8-10 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Low
Shelf Life: Best served fresh or can be refrigerated for a day or two
Serving Suggestion: With HuruLi Saaru, rice, ghee and papad (read notes for other serving suggestion)

Ingredients:
Cooked sprouted HuruLi/Horse gram
1 small Onion or 3-4 Shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1-2 Green Chillies, sliced (Optional)
2-3 tbsp grated Coconut, fresh or frozen
Salt to Taste
Fresh Lime Juice to Taste

For Tadka/Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
½ tbsp Urad Dal/Split Black Gram
1 Dry Red Chilli, halved
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida
A spring of Curry Leaves
½ tbsp. Oil (Preferably Coconut Oil)



Method:
Preparation:
  1. Peel and thinly slice the onions. Remove the stalk from green chillies and slit them.
  2. Grate the fresh coconut and keep it aside. Keep them aside until needed.

Proceed to cook:
  1. Heat oil in a pan on medium flame and when hot, urad dal, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dry red chilli, hing and curry leaves.
  2. When the mustard seeds start to pop and splutter, add sliced onions and slit green chillies and sauté until onions turn golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add cooked horse gram sprouts and mix them well. Taste for salt and add more if required or as per taste. Sauté for 3-4 minutes before turning off the flame.
  4. Add freshly squeezed lime juice as per taste (remember that the horse gram is cooked with tamarind) and grated fresh coconut and toss them well.
  5. Serve them with Huruli Saaru and rice and enjoy! They make a wonderful meal on itself as a warm salad or as a filling for veggie wraps or pitta bread with few salad leaves, sliced onion, tomato, cucumber and any sauce or mint-yogurt raita.


Sia’s Notes:
  • Since the horse gram is cooked with tamarind, lemon juice is optional or add as per taste.
  • Be generous with grated coconut as it just elevates the flavour of the HuruLi Usli.
  • You can serve this with HuruLi Saaru, rice, ghee and papad as it is served traditionally or eat it on its own as a light meal. It also makes a wonderful filling for veg wraps or in pitta bread with few sliced onions, tomato, cucumber and lettuce.

20 comments :

  1. Your photos are gorgeous! This looks tasty!

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    1. Thank you! 😊🙏🏼

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  2. That looks ever so tasty! A gorgeous dish pictured beautifully.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Your photos are absolutely stunning! Indian food is so fabulous and it's hard to find a good purveyor here. I think the challenge is finding the ingredients you list -- I've never heard of half of them. Jaggery? Horse gram? Kashmiri Chillies?

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! Some recipes are quite traditional and dates back to centuries and this is one such recipe. The restaurants don't feature these regional recipes. The ingredients are quite easily available in any good Indian/Srilankan grocery stores or online. Once you have some basic ingredients, it's quite easy to make this.

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  4. What a beautiful post, you are such a talented writer, cook, and photographer! I love Indian food and I've never had anything like this dish, I'm looking forward to trying it.

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    1. Thank you, Sue 😊🙏🏼 This is a regional speciality and usually not found in restaurant menus. This one is from a coastal South Indian city called Mangalore. There are quite a lot of such recipes which is hard to find anywhere other than cooked by home cooks who are passionate to preserve them.

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  5. What a lovely story!! It's so nice to have such sweet memories, isn't it? This recipe looks so intriguing and delicious. I look forward to trying it.

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    1. Thank you, Elaine! 😊🙏🏼 Food is such a integral part of our life as it connects our past to present and also creates beautiful memories for future generations.

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  6. These pictures are so gorgeous, you have really created a beautiful atmosphere with them. And this sounds absolutely delicious!

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    1. Much thanks, Elizabeth! 😊🙏🏼

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  7. Sia you write so beautifully.I so much cherish the times spent with both my grandmothers and this post made me relive those memories!! You should think about writing a cookbook , you are so talented :))
    Horse gram kodel and stir fry are my favorite comfort foods, lots of memories associated with them,yours look absolutely delicious 😋

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    1. Thanks a lot, Shilpa :) You are too kind. There's no plan of writing a cookbook in near future as there are so many talented writers out there and mine will look quite amateurish to say the least :)

      I too am a big fan of huruLi saaru and palya. It's such a comforting food with big flavours that knocks me off every time I taste it. And all that garlic in this recipe just elevates the flavours, isn't it? Would love to try your recipe. So do share it when time permits.

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  8. It’s awesome dish! Thanks Sia for sharing such a healthy sprouted recipe with add spicy recipe.

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    1. You are most welcome, Megha :) It's one of my most tried and tested recipe. Please do leave a feedback when you try it.

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  9. I have everything to make this except for the whole coconut... You might've convinced me to try buying one lol. (They look intimidating!!!)

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    1. LOL... As long as you have got a hammer, cracking the fresh coconut should be easy-peasy! :) Jokes apart, you should be able to find frozen grated coconut in any good Indian grocery stores.

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  10. Sia i prepare two versions one with a tempering made with garlic which is kodel and the other is with mustard and curry leaves which is ghashi. For both we first boil the horsegram with cut raw jackfruit in the pressure cooker, once done to this we add a finely ground paste made out of coconut, fried byadgi red chilies and tamarind and give it a gentle boil for 5 minutes and then add the tadka of choice.
    With the sprouted horsegram we make ambat, for that we boil the sprouts along with chopped shallots, then add the same coconut masala paste and finally give a tadka of finely chopped shallots , the shallots should be fried till golden brown. In ambat we generally increase the amount of red chillies to balance the sweetness of the shallots. Do try out these versions they are a slight variations from the the kodel you have in your archives.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Shilpa! Yes, we make kodhel and ghassi with raw jackfruit (gujje)like you said. I make ambat quite often with spinach and also with black eyed peas, but not with horse gram. I am going to make it soon as suggested by you :)

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