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

 

 

Andhra Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura | Yam & Malabar Spinach with Mustard

Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura is a classic Andhra dish that you will find on many a festive occasion (and otherwise too). It is a curry made with Elephant Foot Yam and Malabar Spinach, and flavoured with ground mustard.

Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Koora from Andhra Pradesh
Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Koora

Ava Pettadam is a flavouring technique in Andhra that literally means to add mustard to whatever we are cooking. Since I love the flavour of mustard, you will find me using this technique quite often.

Coming back to Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura,  a well-made version can send people in raptures. I guess it is also popular at weddings and other such social occasions because you can make it in large quantities very easily; apart from the fact that it is quite delicious, of course.

How to Make Andhra Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura

Andhra Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This is the recipe for a traditional Andhra dish called Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura. It is a curry made with Elephant Foot Yam and Malabar Spinach, and flavoured with mustard paste.

Course: Accompaniment, Mains
Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh, Andhra Recipes, Indian Food
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 250 gms Kanda, Elephant Foot Yam, Suran, Jimikand
  • 150 gms Bachali Kura, Mayalu, Malabar Spinach
  • Salt to Taste
For Mustard Paste
  • 2 tsp Avalu, Mustard Seeds, Rai
  • 1/2 tsp Rice
  • 1-2 Red Chillies
For Tempering
  • 1 tsp Avalu, Mustard Seeds, Rai
  • 2 tsp Minapa Pappu, Black Gram, Udad Dal
  • 2 tsp Senaga Pappu, Bengal Gram, Chana Dal
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 Red Chillies
  • 1 tbsp Oil Sesame Oil preferred
Instructions
To Make the Mustard Paste
  1. Soak the mustard seeds, rice, and chillies in about 2-3 tbsp of water for 15 minutes.

  2. Grind to a smooth paste.

Cooking the Yam and Malabar Spinach
  1. Peel and chop the yam into large chunks. Wash thoroughly.

  2. Wash and chop the Malabar Spinach leaves and tender part of the stalks to small pieces (about 1").

  3. In a vessel, add the yam and malabar spinach, and add enough water to just cover them. I put yam first, add leaves on top, and then water.

  4. Pressure cook for 3 whistles.

  5. Drain and reserve the excess water in which the vegetables have been cooked. 

  6. Mash the cooked yam till it breaks apart completely. The leaves and stalks will remain as is. 

Making the Kanda Bachali Kura
  1. In a kadhai, heat the oil.

  2. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they crackle.

  3. Add the udad and chana dals.

  4. Stir-fry till the dals are light golden brown.

  5. Add the spilt red chillies and stir-fry for a few seconds till they start to change colour.

  6. Lower the heat, add the cooked kanda-bachali, salt, turmeric, and mix well.

  7. If the curry is too thick, add some of the reserved water, and mix well. The consistency should like idli batter.

  8. Turn off the heat.

  9. Add the ground mustard paste and mix well.

  10. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes so that the flavour of the mustard intensifies.

  11. Serve hot with steam rice topped with gingelly oil, and Avakai on the side.

 

Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura
Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura

Recipe for Andhra Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura with Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. To Make the Ava Pindi
    1. Combine mustard seeds, rice, and chillies in a small cup.
    2. Add just enough water to cover the rice and mustard; about 2 to 3 tbsp. If you add too much water the mustard seeds will not be easy to grind.

    3. Soak for 15 minutes.
    4. Grind all the ingredients with the water they were soaked in to a smooth paste. If you have excess water, remove it. We need the paste to be of dropping consistency or thicker.
    5. Set aside.
  2. Boiling the Kanda (Elephant Foot Yam) and Bachali (Malabar Spinach)
    1. Cut away the thick outer skin of the yam.
    2. Chop the yam into large chunks.
    3. Wash the yam pieces thoroughly under running water.
    4. Wash the Malabar Spinach thoroughly.
    5. Pluck the leaves from the stems.
    6. Chop the leaves and the tender part of the stalks to 1″ pieces.
    7. In a large enough vessel, combine the yam pieces and malabar spinach.
    8. Now add just enough water to just cover the vegetables.
    9. Pressure cook the yam and malabar spinach for 3 whistles. We need the yam to be completely cooked and mashable.
    10. Let the cooker cool. Open and remove the vessel with the cooked vegetables.
    11. Drain and reserve the excess water in which the yam and spinach is cooked. We may need some of it later to adjust the consistency of the curry.
    12. Using a heavy ladle, mash the cooked yam pieces. Do not mash the spinach leaves and stalks.
  3. Making the Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura
    1. In a kadhai, over medium flame, heat the oil.
    2. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they crackle.
    3. Next, add the dals to the oil and stir-fry till the dals turn light brown in colour.
    4. Split the red chillies and add to the oil.
    5. Stir-fry till the chilli pieces darken.
    6. Lower the heat.
    7. Add the cooked kanda-bachali, turmeric, and salt. Mix well.
    8. If the Kanda Bachali Kura is thick, add some of the reserved water, and mix well. The consistency should be such that the curry slides off a spoon, but not liquidy either.
    9. Cook for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
    10. Now add the ground ava/mustard paste and mix well.
    11. Cover and let the curry rest for 10 minutes. This will help the curry to gain the mustard flavour.
  4. Serve the hot Kanda Bachali Kura with steam rice topped with gingelly oil, and Avakai on the side.
Andhra Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura
Andhra Ava Pettina Kanda Bachali Kura

Hyderabadi Khichdi with Masoor Dal

Khichdi has always been a comfort food for me, especially so in winter. I have a number of Khichdi recipes on the blog and today I am back with another one, Hyderabadi Khichdi; this one is a lightly spiced one made with rice and masoor dal. Serve it with some Til ka Khatta and you will be in heaven!

Hyderabadi Khichdi with Tik ka Khatta
Hyderabadi Khichdi with Tik ka Khatta

Every state has its own version of khichdi, and most are a combination of grain and a lentil (most popularly rice and moong/green gram). In Western Indian states like Rajasthan, Bajra or Pearl Millet is used as a substitute for rice.

Coming back to Hyderabadi Khichdi, what intrigued me was the use of masoor dal. As a South Indian, I rarely used masoor dal in my cooking before I started blogging. Ever since, I have been trying out recipes with both whole masoor and masoor dal. 🙂

The Hyderbadi Khichdi uses rice and masoor dal, with some onions and mild spices. The result was a fragrant, mellow Khichdi that was quite unlike others of its ilk. I paired it with a nutty, tangy sesame-peanut-tamarind gravy called Til ka Khatta, which turned out to be the perfect accompaniment.

Do also try my recipes for Bajra Khichdi, Balaee (Himachali Khichdi with Kala Chana), and Palak Moong Khichdi Cooked in Buttermilk.

Recipe SourceKhichdi with Masoor Dal

How to Make Hyderabadi Khichdi with Masoor Dal

Hyderabadi Khichdi with Masoor Dal
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

This is the recipe for a mildly spiced, mellow Hyderabadi Khichdi made with Masoor Dal. Pair it with some Til ka Khatta and you have a perfect meal.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabadi, Indian
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 3/4 Cup Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Masoor Dal
  • 1 Cup Finely Chopped Onions
  • 3 Spicy Green Chillies (Slit)
  • 1 Handful Chopped Mint Leaves
  • 6 Cloves
  • 2" Piece of Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Shah Jeera
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Ghee or Oil Vegans can use oil
  • Salt to Taste
Instructions
Preparing the Rice and Lentils
  1. Mix the rice and masoor dal.

  2. Wash and soak in 3 cups of water for 15 to 30 minutes.

  3. Drain and set aside.

Making the Hyderabadi Khichdi
  1. In a kadhai, over medium heat, melt the ghee.

  2. Add the cloves, cinnamon and shah jeera.

  3. Stir-fry till the aromas are released.

  4. Add the onions and ginger garlic paste.

  5. Stir-fry till the onions are translucent.

  6. Add turmeric, slit green chillies and salt. Mix well.

  7. Add mint leaves and mix well. 

  8. Add the soaked and drained rice and masoor dal.

  9. Mix well.

  10. Add 2 cups of water and salt.

  11. Mix well.

  12. Cover and cook till the rice and lentils are done.

  13. With a gentle hand, mix the Hyderabadi Khichdi to separate the grains.  

  14. Serve hot with Til ka Khatta or Mirchi ka Salan.

 

A Spoonful of Hyderabadi Khichdi
A Spoonful of Hyderabadi Khichdi

How to Make Hyderabadi Khichdi with Masoor Dal

  1. Presoaking the Rice and Masoor Dal
    1. Add the rice and masoor dal to a large bowl or colander.
    2. Wash under running water till the water runs clear.
    3. Soak the rice and dal in 3 cups of water for 15 to 30 minutes.
    4. After the rice and dal are soaked, drain them and set aside.
  2. Making the Hyderabadi Khichdi
    1. Using medium flame, heat a large kadhai and add the ghee to it. Vegans can use oil.
    2. When the ghee is melted, add the cloves, cinnamon and shah jeera, and stir-fry till aromatic.
    3. Now add the sliced onions and ginger-garlic paste.
    4. Stir-fry the onions till they turn are translucent. Be careful not to brown the onion. 
    5. Now add the turmeric powder, slit green chillies and salt. Mix well.
    6. Add the chopped mint leaves and stir-fry for a few seconds.
    7. Now add the soaked and drained rice and masoor dal and mix well.
    8. Add 2 cups of water.
    9. Mix well, cover and cook over medium heat till the rice and masoor dal are done. You do not have to stir this often.

    10. When the Hyderabadi Khichdi is cooked, mix with a gentle hand to separate the grains.
    11. Garnish with fresh coriander.
      Hyderabadi Masoor Dal Ki Khichdi
  3. Serve hot with Papad and Til ka Khatta or Mirchi ka Salan.

 

I am taking this hearty winter khichdi to the 118th Foodie Monday Blog Hop event where the theme is Khichdi! To see what my fellow bloggers are cooking, click on the logo!

Recipes for Nagula Chavithi Naivedyam

Nagula Chavithi is the day people in Andhra Pradesh worship Nagas or snakes. This festival falls on the fifth day after Naraka Chaturdashi (This year Nagula Chavithi is on October 27, 2014 November 15, 2015 November 3, 2016, October 23, 2017). On this day, in my home, we fast through the day; worship nagas; offer naivedyam of Vada Pappu, Chalimidi, Chimmili, Panakam, bananas, and milk; and eat at night after the Mangala Aarathi. The only food we eat is that offered as naivedyam.

Traditionally, women visit the nearest pamula putta or snake pit to pray to the snake god. If a pammula putta is not accessible (as is the case in Mumbai), we make an idol of the snake god with wheat flour and offer prayers to this idol. On the next day, this idol of the snake god is either immersed in a water body or left on a tree as a symbolic way of returning him to nature.

Read more about Nagula Chavithi at http://theancientindia.blogspot.in/2012/11/nagula-chavithi-festival-for-snake-god.html

Here are the recipes for Nagula Chavithi Naivedyam.

Chimmili
Chimmili | Nuvvula Undalu | Sesame and Jaggery Laddoos

Pachi Chalimidi - Naivedyam for Rama Navami, Navaratri, Varalakshmi Pooja, Seemantham
Pachi Chalimidi | Akki Thambittu

Vada Pappu
Vada Pappu

Panakam
Panakam

Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu

Call it Kobbari Louz (as we do in Andhra Pradesh) or Narkel Naru (as they do in Bengal and Bangaldesh), this delicious, two-ingredient, easy-to-make, and healthy Coconut Jaggery Laddu ticks so many boxes.

Andhra Kobbari Louz | Coconut Jaggery Laddu
Andhra Kobbari Louz | Coconut Jaggery Laddu

Diwali is a time when, try as one may to control), there is some degree of over indulgence. 🙂 And why not? It is  time to have fun and celebrate with family and friends. Over the past year, however, I have tried to switch to healthy eating habits and am trying to see how I can make Diwali traditional yet watch the calories.

So this year I made Low-oil Poha Chivda and Low-oil Murmura Chivda as savouries (as of now), and was thinking of what to make as a sweet when I remembered this simple Coconut Jaggery Laddu that my mother used to make. Called Kobbari Louz in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it is so very easy to make and delicious to boot. It also does not use any ghee and has jaggery as the sweetener.

I have discovered that this sweet is quite popular in Bengal as well where it is called Narkel Naru.

Kobbari Louz | Narkel Naru
Kobbari Louz | Narkel Naru

How to Make Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu

Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

This Diwali try this wonderful Coconut Jaggery Laddu that is super easy to make, delicious, and healthy. It is called Kobbari Louz  in Andhra Pradesh, and Bengali Narkel Naru in Bengal and Bangladesh.

Course: Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine: Andhra Pradesh, Andhra Recipes, Bengali Recipes, Diwali Recipes
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 2 Packed Cups Grated Coconut
  • 1 Packed Cup Grated Jaggery I used 2/3 Cup
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • Ghee for Rolling Laddus Vegans can use oil
Instructions
Making the Coconut Jaggery Mix
  1. Over medium flame, heat a large heavy-bottomed kadhai for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Turn the heat to low and wait for 1-2 minutes for it to cool a bit.

  3. Add the grated coconut and continuously stir-fry till it starts to dry out a bit. Takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Ensure that the  colour of the grated coconut does not change.

  4. Add the grated jaggery and mix well.

  5. Turn up the heat to medium, and constantly stir-fry the mix till it dries out a bit and starts to come together as a mass. How long you cook will decide how hard the  Coconut Jaggery Laddu will be; I kept it relatively soft and chewy. 

  6. Add the cardamom powder and mix well.

  7. Turn off the heat and let the kadhai cool a bit. I let it cool completely to room temperature.

Forming the Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu
  1. Grease your palms with 1-2 drop of ghee. 

  2. Take 1 to 1.5 tbsp of the mix and shape into a laddu.

  3. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes
  • When measuring the grated coconut and jaggery, ensure that you pack the cup well. 
  • When you dry roast the grated coconut, be careful not to dry it out too much.
  • Constant mixing is the key to ensuring the coconut-jaggery mix does not burn.

Step-by-Step Recipe for Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu

  1. Cooking the Coconut Jaggery Mix
    1. First measure out the ingredients. Ensure that you have packed cups as grated coconut tends to be rather airy and so if you just take a loose cup, your coconut-to-jaggery proportion will not be correct.
    2. Next, we need to dry our the fresh grated coconut a bit.
    3. So over medium flame, heat a large heavy-bottomed kadhai for 2-3 minutes.
    4. Now turn the heat to low  and wait for a couple of minutes for the kadhai to cool a bit. This step is important because we need the kadhai hot but not so hot that the coconut will burn.
    5. Now, add the grated coconut to the heated kadhai and continuously stir-fry so that it does not stick to the kadhai as it starts to dry. You know you are done when the coconut is fresh but not wet to touch. The process takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Be careful as you do this to ensure that the colour of the grated coconut remains white and does not change to brown.
    6. Now add the grated jaggery to the roasted coconut and mix well.
    7. Turn up the heat to medium, and constantly stir-fry the coconut-jaggery mix till it the jaggery melts and the mix dries out. If you want a soft and chewy laddu, take a small portion and try to make a small laddu. If it retains shape, you are ready. If you want a slightly harder laddu, cook till the mix dries out more.  The longer you cook, the harder the Coconut Jaggery Laddu will be.
    8. Now to this cooked mix, add the cardamom powder and mix well.
    9. Take the Kadhai off the heat and let it cool.
  2. Forming the Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu
    1. Since I was making soft laddus, I let the cooked mixture cool completely to room temperature. If you are making hard laddus you should start forming the laddus while the mixture is still warm as it will harden afterwards.
    2. Grease your palms with 1-2 drop of ghee.
    3. Take 1 to 1.5 tbsp of the mix and shape into a laddu.
    4. Store the Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru | Easy Coconut Jaggery Laddu in an air-tight container.
Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru
Andhra Kobbari Louz | Bengali Narkel Naru

I am taking the wonderful sweet to the 114th Foodie Monday Blog Hop where the theme is Diwali! See what my fellow bloggers have posted for this theme at the FoodieMonday Pinterest page.