Ulava Charu Recipe | Horse Gram Soup

Ulava Charu Recipe | Horse Gram Soup

I constantly discover myself to be addicted to soups and rasams, which I regularly make myself and consume frequently. Having soup every day is not boring for me because there are so many different kinds. Sometimes just a basic cup of hot soup suffices is a complete meal for me.

To prepare soups and rasams, you don’t need a lot of ingredients, equipment, or spices. Any available vegetable can be used to make them. Apart from being appetizing, they typically provide a lot of advantages. It makes our bodies feel lovely in the greatest way possible, whether you have it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner or even if you are sick.

A warm bowl of homemade rasam or soup is always superior to the instant soup options available at your grocery store. That’s why I keep experimenting with various soups and rasams. Till date I have tried chicken rasam, southekayi sambar, and spicy pepper soup.

And Continuing my experiment of soups today I’ll talking about the most traditionally enjoyed food along the banks of the Krishna River “Ulavacharu”. Ulavacharu is a hearty lentil soup made from horse gram that falls between a rasam and a regular soup. Food tastes alter due to generational, cultural, and lifestyle changes. Yet, ulavacharu continues to be a favorite dish not just among Telugu people in the Krishna district but also around the world.

What Is Ulavalu?

What Is Ulavalu?

A native of the southeast Asian subcontinent and tropical Africa, horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum) has been widely grown and consumed in India since ancient times. The lentil that is found to be the highest in protein on Earth is the horse gram.

Very powerful, in fact. For this reason, this gram—known in the marketplace as horse gram—is fed to race horses. Largely on dry agricultural lands, this significant and underutilized tropical crop is grown.

Health Benefits

Because it is so packed full of essential nutrients, this tiny natural seed provides some wonderful benefits for overall well-being. Along with having a naturally high carbohydrate and protein content, horse gram is also rich in trace minerals like iron, molybdenum, and calcium.

These guarantee optimum energy, muscle strength, controlled red blood cell synthesis, and strengthened bones. Additionally, it provides ample amounts of B vitamins, which ensure that cells function normally in terms of metabolism.

Ulava Charu Recipe (Pressure cooker)

5 from 1 vote
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: horse gram soup, ulava charu,
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Advika Menon


  • 1 Pressure cooker


  • 1 cup horse gram
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 green chilly
  • 3 dry red chillies
  • 1/3 cup fresh coconut grated
  • 1/4 turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Some curry leaves

Ingredients For Tadka

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 1 dry red chili


  • Wash the horse gram and soak it overnight before starting the Ulava Charu recipe.
  • Transfer the soaked and drained horse gram into a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water, and cook for 4-5 whistles the following morning. Make sure to thoroughly boil the horse gram.
  • Allow the pressure to naturally dissipate after turning off the heat. Open the pressure cooker, then remove the cooked horse gram and make a paste out of it.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pan add the horse gram water along with coconut, onion, tomatoes, curry leaves, red and green chilies, salt, and turmeric powder.
  • Give it a nice boil for 6 to 8 minutes with steady stirring.
  • The horse gram paste should be added when the oil starts to rise to the surface. Give the ulava charu 5 to 6 minutes to boil. Analyze the seasonings and salt.
  • Put Ulava Charu aside.The mustard seeds are added to an oil-filled tadka pan and heated over medium heat until they begin to sputter. The urad dal is then added and heated until it turns a light brown color.
  • Add the dry red chili and curry leaves to the mixture when the curry leaves begin to crackle. After that, turn off the heat and pour the mixture over the ulava charu.
  • Serve the ulavacharu with hot steamed rice.


  • Horse grams are tough, despite their tiny appearance. Less cooking time will be required if they are soaked for eight hours or overnight.
  • Tamarind paste can be used if fresh tamarind is unavailable.
  • Long-term simmering on a wood-burning stove improves the flavor of this robust stew, Ulava charu.

Ulava Charu Recipe (Instant Pot)

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: horse gram soup, ulava charu,
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Author: Advika Menon


  • 1 Instant pot


  • ½ cup horse gram raw
  • ½  tbsp tamarind paste  if using fresh, use gooseberry-sized tamarind
  • 1 red chilly
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ cumin powder
  • ¼ fenugreek powder

Ingredients For Tadka

  • ½ tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ cumin seeds
  • 2 red chili
  • Pinch of hing
  • Few curry leaves


  • Horse gram should be soaked in 3–4 glasses of water for 8 hours. The horse gram should then be drained and washed twice to remove any dirt.
  • Now fill the inner pot of the instant pot with a cleaned horse gram.
  • At this point, add water, then cover the Instant Pot. lock the vent
  • Start the Instant Pot in manual or pressure cook mode, and then cook it for 15 minutes at high pressure.
  • When the instant pot beeps, turn it off and either wait 10 minutes before doing a rapid pressure release or let the pressure release naturally.
  • Horse gram will cook well while maintaining its structure.
  • Now drain the water from the cooked horse gram and set aside both the water and the cooked gram separately.
  • Add 3/4 cup of the cooked horse gram to a mixer grinder at this point.
  • Add red chili, minced onion, garlic, and tamarind to this, then use water to process everything into a smooth paste.
  • Restart the instant pot in sautee mode after once cleaning the inner pot.
  • Add oil, curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and hing to the heated pot.
  • Add the saved water to the inner pot of the instant pot once they start to sizzle.
  • Salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and blended horse gram paste should all be added to the instant pot at this step.
  • Stir everything thoroughly. The rasam should have a thick, foamy top after 8 to 10 minutes of boiling.
  • Serve the ulavacharu with hot rice after turning off the Instant Pot.

Final Thoughts

The horse gram is cooked in a beautiful coconut red chili gravy that is incredibly mouthwatering in the Ulava Charu Recipe, which is a very healthful South Indian Horse Gram Soup. It is best accompanied by some ragi mudde or even steaming hot rice.

This horse gram soup may be prepared with an Instant Pot and a burner pressure cooker. The earthiness of Horsegram is celebrated in every aspect of this dish. The tang from tamarind and tomatoes and the spiciness from garlic, peppercorns, and dry ginger balances the earthy flavor of Horsegram. Additionally, the flavor of this hearty stew, Ulava charu, is enhanced by lengthy cooking on a wood-burning stove.

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