Bhagya’s Horsegram Bassaru

Bhagya is a person who loves food, maybe as much as I do and maybe that is why we are good friends. When I think of her, I remember the first time I really interacted with her. We were colleagues working as teachers in the same school but really did not interact with each other in the first year. Another colleague, Eavie, invited a few people home. This was almost 10 years ago. I think I made spinach raita. Bhagya was there and she decided to make a chutney, I think. I remember her using a handful of spicy green chilies. I was stunned; I would use that many for a week, maybe longer. This is my memory of Bhagya. As the years went by, we started working together and I learned that Bhagya was not just a good cook but was an amazing artist. Anytime, I needed something to be drawn for the bulletin board or an aesthetically done title for the board, I would go to her. She was always in demand as many of us went to her for help. Over the years I have gotten to know Bhagya better and am happy to call her my friend! Here is a recipe of hers and hoping to post more of her recipes.

I had earlier posted another recipe of horsegram. As I mentioned earlier it is a healthy legume and in the time of quarantines and shutdowns, and when vegetables may be scarce, this is a healthy alternative. I had posted a bassaru made by Pushpa, with spinach; this one is with horse gram. Horse gram is called huralikaalu in kannada and kollu in tamil.

Indian food is so varied. In most restaurants in India and around the world you do not find most dishes made at home. There is more to indian cooking than chicken tikka masala and naan. You may find basaaru in small hole in the wall restaurants if you are lucky but very rarely anywhere else. Bassaru is popular in Karnataka homes. It is two dishes in one; so it makes life easy for the home cook. Serve with steamed rice and maybe a dollop of ghee!

You will find these ingredients in an indian or international store.

Horsegram Bassaru

Soak one cup of horsegram overnight or atleast for 8 -10 hours.

To the horsegram, add salt, four cups water and pressure cook for 8-10 whistles (or in an instantpot for 4-5 minutes)

Strain the horsegram, saving the liquid (we shall call this the first liquid)

Add 1 cup cup hot water into it and again strain it separately (second liquid)

Grind together:

  • 1 tbsp of boiled horsegram
  • 1/2 cup of first strained liquid
  • Half a cup of grated coconut
  • 1 ½ tsp of rasam powder (can be bought at indian and international stores)
  • 1 ½ tbsp of tamarind paste extracted from tamarind or 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • garlic optional (2 pods)

Add the above ground paste to the first liquid.

To this add the 2nd liquid; add salt; ½ cup coconut milk; bring it to boil and check consistency. It has to be the consistency of a tomato soup.

Add a dollop of ghee and turn off heat.

Season this gravy

In a pan take 2 tsp of oil, heat oil and add 1/2 tsp of mustard, 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds), 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder (hing), 1 tbsp curry leaves and 2 dry red chillies. When they splutter, add this to the gravy.

Saaru (gravy) is ready to serve with rice.

For the remaining Boiled Horse Gram:

In a pan take 2 tsps of oil, add one large or two small finely chopped onions, 10 small (or 5 large) garlic cloves, 1 tbsp curry leaves, 1 or two dry chillies, and 1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida powder)

When the onion turn translucent add the boiled horse gram and fry well for 3-5 minutes.

Take off heat, add a handful of freshly grated coconut and mix well.

It is now ready to serve as a side dish for the rice and saaru.

Earlier recipes posted of bassaru and horsegram:


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