Horse gram is one of the lesser known beans. The whole seeds of horse gram are generally utilized as cattle feed. However, it is consumed as a whole seed, as sprouts, or as whole meal in India, popular especially in southern Indian states.
Like other legumes, these are deficient in methionine and tryptophan, though horse gram is an excellent source of iron and molybdenum. Comparatively, horse gram seeds have higher trypsin inhibitor and hemagglutinin activities and natural phenols than most bean seeds. Natural phenols are mostly phenolic acids, namely, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic, 4-hydroxybenzoic, vanillic, caffeic, p-coumaric, ferulic, syringic and sinapic acids. Dehusking, germination, cooking, and roasting have been shown to produce beneficial effects on nutritional quality of both the legumes. Though both require prolonged cooking, a soak solution has been shown to reduce cooking time and improve protein quality. Moth bean is mostly consumed as dhal or sprouts.
In Andhra Pradesh, horse gram is prescribed for persons suffering from jaundice or water retention, and as part of a weight loss diet. It is considered helpful for iron deficiencies, and is considered helpful for maintaining body temperature in the winter season. Ulavacharu is popular dish in Andhra Pradesh, it is served in most of the Telugu speaking people's weddings and ceremonies and tastes wonderful with boiled rice.
In Kerala, horse gram is called Muthira in Malayalam which almost sounds like kuthira, Malayalam word for horse, is used in special kinds of dishes.
In Tamil Nadu, horse gram is called Kollu, in the southern districts it is called Kaanam is commonly used in Tamil dishes, including kollu chutney, kollu porial, kollu avial, kollu sambar, and kollu rasam. In traditional siddha cuisine, horse gram is considered a food with medicinal qualities.
In Maharashtra, and specifically the coastal Konkan region and Goa, horse gram (Kulith) is often used to make Kulith Usual, pithla and laddu.
In India, it is also known as Gahat, Muthira, Kulath or Kulthi.
It is used to make popular dishes like Kulitan Saaru, Kulitan Upkari, Kulitan Ghassi(coconut curry preparation) and idli like preparation called Kulitan Sannan.
In Karnataka cuisine, (huraLi saaru) is a main ingredient.Hurali is also used in preparation like usali,chutney and Basaaru
In South Canara region of Karnataka, in Tulu it is also called as Kudu.
Gahat or Kulath is a major ingredient in the Pahari region of northern India. In Himachal Pradesh, Kulath is used to make Khichdi. In Uttarakhand, it is cooked in a round iron saute pan to prepare Ras, a favorite of most Kumaonis. In Gharwal region, another more elaborate dish is "phanu" which is made in a kadhai with roughly ground gahat boiled over several hours. Towards the end, some finely chopped greens (like palak or spinach, rai, tender radish leaves, or dhania (coriander leaves) if nothing else is available) are added to complete the dish. Served with boiled rice, jhangora (a millet-like grain, used as a staple by poorer Garhwalis only a decade ago and now a prized health-food) or just roti, phanu is a wholesome and nutritious meal.
Health Benefits of Horse Gram:
1. It is known for its excellent diuretic and astringent.
2. Ayurveda uses horse gram to treat a variety of conditions ranging from rheumatism to worm removal, treating Conjuctivitis and piles.
3. Another great benefit of horse gram is its use in extracting phlegm. When suffering with cough, phlegm is a hard thing to get rid of. Taking horse gram water can eliminate the phlegm and give relief.
4. Taking horse gram powder in a little bit of water regularly, helps in treating and controlling skin rashesand boils.
5. Horse gram liquid is also used to regulate fever.
6. It has phenols which helps in reducing weight.
7. Horse gram also helps in lowering cholesterol levels.
8. Lipids extracted from horse gram have shown to help with peptic ulcer in an study related rats.
9. It also helps in reducing flatulence.