Experience the rich and wholesome flavors of hurali sambar with this authentic recipe. Made with sprouted horse gram and infused with a coconut-spice masala base, this unique and rustic dish is a true culinary delight.
Perfectly paired with plain steamed rice or roti/chapati, this horse gram sambar is a wholesome and satisfying meal that brings the warmth and comfort of homemade cooking to your table.
Horse gram sambar is a popular dish in South Indian cuisine, particularly in the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Sambar is a lentil stew or curry that is typically made with pigeon peas (toor dal), but in this recipe, horse gram is used as an alternative legume.
Hurali sambar is known for its unique earthy taste and is often considered a comfort food in South India. We enjoy this South Indian-style kulthi dal as a hearty and satisfying meal, particularly on rainy days.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Gluten-free and vegan: This sambar recipe is naturally gluten-free and vegan.
- Unique and rustic: Horse gram sambar is not commonly found in restaurants, making it a unique and rustic home-style dish.
- Authentic flavors: This recipe uses traditional South Indian flavors, resulting in a delicious and authentic taste that captures the essence of this cuisine.
Horse gram: Also called kulthi or hurali, this is the main ingredient.
Moong dal: I use a small amount of moong dal (yellow lentils). It can be replaced with toor dal (pigeon pea lentils) or can be skipped.
Masala paste: The masala paste is made using coriander stem, coconut, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and sambar powder.
Sambar powder: I use homemade sambar powder to make this dish. You can easily buy sambar powder from any Indian grocery store.
Tamarind: Tamarind is soaked in water, and tamarind juice is extracted.
Making the sprouts:
Step 1: Wash the horse gram thoroughly and soak it in water for 6-8 hours (image 1).
Step 2: Drain the water completely and transfer it to a muslin or cheesecloth. Tie the cloth and place it in a warm and dark spot for 12-18 hours (images 2 and 3). The next day, the horse gram will germinate and have sprouted (image 4).
This is an optional step and can be skipped. If you are not sprouting them, just soak the horse gram for 5-6 hours before making the sambar.
Making the sambar:
Step 3: Grind together coconut, coriander stem, 1 small onion, garlic, 1 small tomato, and sambar powder using some water. Set it aside (images 5 and 6).
Step 4: Heat oil in a kadhai or heavy bottom pan and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, and hing (image 7). Add one small onion and saute until it is translucent (image 8).
Step 5: Next, add sprouted horse gram. Saute for 3-4 minutes (images 9 and 10).
Step 6: Add the ground masala, moong dal, one small tomato, green chilli, salt, and tamarind extract (images 11 and 12).
Step 7: Add 5 cups water and mix well. Bring to a boil (images 13 and 14).
Step 8: Cover and cook until the horse gram is fully done. Alternatively, pressure cook for 4 whistles (image 15). Turn off the heat and add coriander leaves (image 16).
Horse gram germinates pretty quickly and sprouts within a day. So, if you are planning ahead, it is best to sprout them.
Since I use sprouted horse gram, it cooks relatively quickly when compared to unsprouted ones. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
This dish can be made either by simmering directly in a kadhai or using a pressure cooker. If you cook it in a kadhai, it will take 40-45 minutes. If using a pressure cooker, follow this recipe and cook for 4 whistles.
Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. It also freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
Horse gram is available in most grocery stores in India. Outside of India, you can buy them in Indian or Sri Lankan grocery stores. They are also available in some supermarkets and online stores.
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Horse Gram Sambar (Hurali Sambar)
Making horse gram sprouts (optional step):
- Wash the horse gram thoroughly and soak it in water for 6-8 hours.
- Drain the water completely and transfer it to a muslin or cheesecloth. Tie the cloth and place it in a warm and dark spot for 12-18 hours.
- The next day, the horse gram will germinate and have sprouted.
- This is an optional step and can be skipped. If you are not sprouting them, just soak the horse gram for 5-6 hours before making the sambar.
Making horse gram saaru:
- Soak the tamarind in water for 15 minutes. Extract the tamarind juice and discard the fibrous pulp. Set it aside.
- Grind together coconut, coriander stem, one small onion, garlic, one small tomato, and sambar powder using ½ cup of water. Set the masala paste aside.
- Take a heavy bottom pan or kadhai and add oil. Once it heats, add the mustard seeds.
- Once they crackle, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, and hing.
- Add one small onion and saute for 3-4 minutes or until they are translucent.
- Add sprouted horse gram and saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the ground masala, moong dal, salt, tamarind extract, and one small tomato.
- Add 5 cups water and mix well. Bring to a rolling boil.
- Cover and let it cook on medium heat. This can take 40-45 minutes.
- Cook until the horse gram is fully cooked. Alternatively, pressure cook for 4 whistles
- Turn off the heat and add cilantro. Serve hot with rice or roti.