There is something like enjoying food that gives satisfaction. But there are food items which take you to another gobsmacking, finger licking level. The horse gram rasam made by the Telugu people is one such dish that will really make you want to lick your fingers. The Andhra people will be sure to say no to anything if they get their hands on Ulava Charu with hot rice and cream.

Soaked Horse Gram is boiled to a soft consistency and the liquid is boiled along with tamarind juice, Chilli powder and salt till it gets thick. This is a great favourite of all across the Telugu land. Perhaps that is why you cannot imagine a menu at any Telugu wedding without this item figuring on it.

Ulava Charu is seemingly a simple dish to prepare, but it is time consuming.

Ulava Charu powder is easily available in ready to cook packets in any Sweetmeatsor namkeens shop or even in Supermarkets. Let me warn you however that the ready made packs may be good to eat, but may not agree with the stomach at all. It may lead to stomach upsets or form gas in the stomach. This is so because excess Tamarind is used to enhance the taste;and more Chilli and salt is added to balance the sourness of Tamarind.

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In this recipe I shall give you detailed tips for preparing Ulava Charu easily at home. I suggest that you should read through the tips before you get down to prepare the dish. I assure you that you will make the most perfect Ulava Charu after following my Tips.

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Horse Gram (Ulavalu):

• You may use any variety of Horse Gram. I have used rage red Horse Gram

• Clean the Horse Gram for any stones and wash well at least 8 to 10 times.Remember we’re going to be using the water in which the Horse Gram is soaked for the Rasam

Soaking the Horse Gram:

• The Horse Gram needs to be soaked for at least 16 to 18 hours. Only then will the Gram become soaked to the core

Cooking the Horse Gram:

• Usually the Horse Gram is boiled overnight on open furnaces and is constantly stirred. Such a process is impractical in households. So the gram can be cooked in the Pressure Cooker. Eight cups of water to one cup of Horse Gram is put up for boiling and the cooker is kept on low fire until it gives out 20 whistles.

• The long and slow cooking ensures that the water will absorb all the essence of the Gram. The thick and tasteful rasam is obtained by this method.

Horse Gram Paste:

• Actually people who make Horse Gram Rasam on a commercial basis do not add any paste. The method of night long cooking of Horse Gram on an open fire and the constant stirring will help in mashing up some of the gram into a paste and naturally the rasam will turn thick. Since this is not possible in home cooking, it is better to make a paste of a small quantity of boiled Horse Gram and use it to thicken the Ulavacharu or Horse Gram Rasam..

Ulava charu | Horsegram Rasam Recipe - Recipe Video

Ulava charu | Horsegram Rasam Recipe

Sambar - Rasam Recipes | vegetarian
  • Prep Time 1 min
  • Soaking Time 18 hrs
  • Cook Time 1 hr
  • Total Time 19 hrs 1 min
  • Serves 4


  • 1 Cup Horse Gram
  • 2 Litres Water
  • Rasam Powder:
  • 1/2 tbsp Fenugreek seeds (Methi Dana)
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin (Zeera)
  • For cooking teh Chaaru (Rasam):
  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tbsp Mustard Seeds (Rai)
  • 2 Dry chillies
  • 2 Sprigs Curry Leaves
  • 1/8 tbsp Asafoetida
  • 2 tbsp Garlic (Chopped)
  • 1 Onion (Chopped)
  • 1 Green Chilli (slit)
  • 3/4 Cup Thick Tamarind Pulp (Extracted from 75 gms of tamarind)
  • 35 gms Jaggery
  • 1/2 tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Turmeric
  • For seasoning:
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tbsp Mustard Seeds (Rai)
  • 1 Dry Chilli
  • 2 Sprigs Curry Leaves


  1. Clean the Horse Gram, wash it about ten times and soak in 2 Litres of water for at least 16 hours.
  2. The next day, place the Horse Gram in a Pressure Cooker with the same water in which it was soaked. Add more water to make all in all 2 Litres of Water. Cook on low flame till the cooker gives 20 whistles
  3. Strain the water from the boiled Horse Gram after 20 whistles. There should be about a Litre and a half of Gram extract. Keep this aside.
  4. Take about ½ cup of boiled Horse gram and make a paste with a little water.
  5. Roast the Methi and Zeera till they change colour. When cooled, make a fine powder of the two.
  6. Fry Rai, Dry Chilli,Garlic and Curry Leaves and Asafoetida in oil.
  7. To the seasoning mixture add chopped onion, slit green chilli and salt, and fry till onion changes colour
  8. Once the onions are fried, add the thick Tamarind pulp and cook till oil floats on top.
  9. At this point add red chilli powder and Turmeric.
  10. Now add the Horse Gram extract and the paste of the Horse Gram. Cook till the Rasam thickens.
  11. While the rasam is boiling, add 1 tsp of the methi -Zeera powder. Keep aside the rest. Then add jaggery and let the Rasam thicken further.
  12. To test if the thickness is perfect, dip a ladle in the Rasam and run a finger along its back. The line made by your finger should come clean.
  13. Strain the thick Rasam and keep aside
  14. Fry the ingredients of seasoning and mix it in the Ulavachaaru.
  15. Ulavachaaru is best eaten with hot rice and a good dollop of cream.

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