Ulava Charu Biryani | Kollu Biryani | Horse Gram Biryani

Ulava Charu is a winter favourite in Andhra Pradesh and I absolutely love it. And then I saw the movie Ulava Charu Biryani (nothing to do with the biryani per se) and since then this idea of making this dish has been on my mind.

Ulava Charu Biryani | Kollu Biryani
Ulava Charu Biryani | Kollu Biryani

Horse gram (called Ulavalu in Telugu, Kulith in Marathi, Kollu in Tamil, and Muthira in Malayalam) is nutritious and very warming in nature. As a result, it is eaten only when the weather is cold. Horse gram is largely savoured as a rasam (Ulava Charu or Kollu Rasam) or as a dry curry (Kollu Sundal, Muthira Upperi).

You can also make Ulava Charu Biryani by cooking vegetables and rice in Ulava Charu. The result is a tangy, spicy biryani that is quite a treat.

How to Make Ulava Charu Biryani

Ulava Charu Biryani
Prep Time
6 hrs
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
6 hrs 40 mins
 

This is the recipe for Ulava Charu Biryani, which is made by cooking rice and vegetables in the extract of horsegram (called Kollu in Tamil, Kulith in Marathi, and Muthira in Malayalam).

Course: Main Course, Mains
Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh, Andhra Recipes, Indian Food, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Ulava, Kollu, Horse Gram
  • 1 Cup Basmati Rice
The Vegetables
  • 1/4 Cup Potato Cubes
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Onions
  • 1/4 Cup Cauliflower Florets
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped French Beans
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Carrots
The Spices and Other Ingredients
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 6 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 tbsp Thick Tamarind Pulp
  • 2" Cinnamon
  • 6 to 8 Cloves
  • 4 to 6 Pods Green Cardamom
  • 1 or 2 Petals Javitri
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • Salt to Taste
Instructions
Preparing the Horse Gram Extract
  1. Wash and soak the horse gram in 2 cups water for at least 6 hours.

  2. Pressure cook the horse gram for 6 to 8 whistles till it is mashable.

  3. Drain and reserve the water in which it was cooked.

  4. Grind the cooked horse gram to a paste.

  5. Mix the ground paste into the reserved water and boil for 5 minutes.

  6. Strain out all the horse gram pulp. Discard the pulp and reserve the water. Our biryani will be cooked in this water.

Preparing the Rice
  1. Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes in 2 cups water.

  2. Drain all the water from the rice.

  3. Set aside.

Making the Ulava Charu Biryani | Kollu Biryani
  1. Over medium flame, heat the oil.

  2. Add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, javitri, and green cardamom.

  3. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

  4. Add sliced onions and crushed garlic.

  5. Stir-fry till the onion is translucent.

  6. Add all the vegetables and stir-fry for 5 minutes.

  7. Add turmeric, red chilli powder, and salt. Mix well.

  8. Add the rice and mix well.

  9. Add 2 cups of the horsegram extract. If you have less than that, add some water to make up the volume.

  10. Add the tamarind pulp and mix well.

  11. Cover and cook till the Ulava Charu Biryani is done. Mix with a gentle hand at regular intervals.

  12. Serve with cold dahi and papad on the side.

 

Ulava Charu Biryani | Kulith Biryani
Ulava Charu Biryani | Kulith Biryani

Step-by-Step Recipe for Ulava Charu Biryani

  1. Making the Ulava Charu
    1. Wash the horse gram under running water and soak it in 2 cups water for a minimum of 6 hours. I soaked for 10 hours.

    2. Pressure cook the horse gram till it is well-cooked. I cooked mine for 6 whistles.
    3. Let the pressure cooker cool.
    4. Check that the horse gram is cooked.
    5. Drain the water from the horse gram and save the water. We will use this water for cooking the horse gram paste in a few minutes.

    6. If the horse gram is hot, let it cool a bit and then grind it to a paste.
    7. Combine the horse gram paste and the reserved water.
    8. Boil this mix, while stirring continuously, for 5 minutes. You need to stir because the horse gram paste has a tendency to settle to the bottom and burn.

    9. Strain this boiled horse gram mix. Reserve the horse gram extract.
    10. Discard the horse gram residue.
  2. Getting the Rice Ready
    1. Wash the rice under running water till the water runs clear.
    2. Soak the washed rice in 2 cups water for 15 minutes.
    3. Using a colander, drain all the water from the rice. Let the rice remain in the colander so that residual water drains from it.
    4. Set aside.
  3. Cooking the Ulava Charu Biryani | Kollu Biryani
    1. In a large enough kadhai, over medium flame, heat the oil.
    2. To the oil, add all the whole spices (cloves, cinnamon, mace, and whole green cardamom) and bay leaves.
    3. Fry for 1 minute till the spices are fragrant.
    4. To the fried spices, add the sliced onions and crushed garlic.
    5. Saute till the garlic is fragrant and the onion is translucent.
    6. Next, add all the vegetables and mix well.
    7. Stir-fry the vegetables for about 2 minutes.
    8. To the vegetables, add the haldi, red chilli powder, and salt.
    9. Add the soaked and drained rice.
    10. Mix well.
    11. To the spiced vegetables, add 2.25 cups of the horse gram extract and the tamarind paste. If the horse gram extract you have is not sufficient, add some water.

    12. Mix well.
    13. Cover and cook till the rice and vegetables are done. Because Ulava Charu tends to be sticky it forms a crust at the bottom very quickly. So, every few minutes, using a gentle touch, mix the biryani.
    14. Take off the Ulava Charu Biryani off the heat. At this stage, the biryani may look just a bit wet and sticky but will dry out quickly.
    15. Let the Horse Gram Biryani rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Serve Ulava Charu Biryani with cold dahi and papad on the side.
Ulava Charu Biryani | Muthira Biryani | Kulith Biryani
Ulava Charu Biryani | Muthira Biryani | Kulith Biryani

 

 

6 thoughts on “Ulava Charu Biryani | Kollu Biryani | Horse Gram Biryani

  1. Hi Aruna. I heard of this biryani but never tried it. Thanks for sharing. Your sponge dosa recipe has become a staple in my house. Every one likes it. I think of you every single time I make it. Ana?

Hey! I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.