Last Updated : Dec 04,2020

What is kulith (horse gram)? Glossary | Uses, benefits + Recipes
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Also Known As
Horsegram, galath, kulath, kulthi, gahat.

What is kulith, horse gram, gahat, kulath?

Kulith is a type of legume, generally grown in dry agricultural areas. It is used as a staple food for horses in India, which explains its name. It is a small and oval, somewhat kidney shaped, green brown to reddish brown coloured bean, with about ½-inch diameter. Its aroma is similar to freshly-cut hay. Horse gram is very hard in texture and requires prolonged cooking to obtain palatable value. It is consumed as whole seed, sprouts or as whole meal largely by the rural areas of southern India.

Boiled sprouted kulith
This refers to kulith sprouts that are boiled in water until they turn very soft and can be easily crushed with a little pressure. It may be used in soups, dals or subzis.
Soaked and boiled kulith
Clean, wash and soak the kulith in plenty of water for 6 to 8 hours. Drain and cook in a vessel full of water till it is just done and use as per the recipe.
Soaked kulith
Kulith is very hard in texture and requires to be soaked in water for at least 7-8 hours to minimize the cooking time. You can prepare soaked kulith by heating water and placing the cleaned and washed horse gram lentils in it. Cover the lid and let it stand for 8 hours. The colour becomes lighter and texture becomes softer. But, the soaked kulith is not palatable until cooked further.
Sprouted kulith
Sprouted Kulith, also called as germinated horse gram, is prepared by soaking the kulith overnight for 8- 10 hours and draining out the water. The drained swollen kulith beans are then wrapped in a damp cloth and allowed to stay for a day. Small roots with start shooting out of the beans. Kulith sprouts are used in the preparation of soups, in salads, as a vegetable curry and in raitas. It is rich in protein, iron and vitamin C.

How to Select kulith, horse gram, gahat, kulath
• Horse gram is a common lentil and available in most grocery stores.
• Select whole beans, which are greenish to brown coloured with a hard texture.
• Check the quality to avoid any insect infestation.

Culinary Uses of kulith, horse gram, gahat, kulath

kulith, horse gram used in making chutney

1. Horsegram Chutney or Kollu Chutney : Here, horsegram is combined with other delicious ingredients like coconut, red chillies, onions and coriander to make a mouth-watering chutney, which is perfect to serve with idlis and dosas . You can also enjoy the Horsegram Chutney or Kollu Chutney mixed with hot rice and a little til oil.

kulith, horse gram used in making salads

1. Kulith salad, the nutrient content and digestibility of pulses increase manifold when sprouted. It is not surprising then, that the protein-rich horse gram is used in the sprouted form in this recipe. 

kulith, horse gram used in making dal

1. Kulith Saar is a lip-smacking liquid gravy, which is of a consistency somewhat between dal and rasam. Well-soaked and cooked horsegram is tempered with everyday ingredients like red chillies and curry leaves to make an aromatic and flavourful dish. 

• A simple horse gram dal can be made as part of the main course.
• Kulith can used to make Maharashtrian Usal, when mixed with the other ingredients for making it.
• You can try making horse gram soup, known as Kulith Saar, or a mixed vegetable soup to enhance its nutritive value. This is usually made with kulith water, which is the water used to simmer the horse gram until cooked. This is the main ingredient for the soup along with a pinch of garlic and kokum for taste.
• Kulith can also be cooked and mixed in salads to make Kulith Koshimbir.
• You can germinate and sprout it like other whole pulses to improve its nutritive value. Kulith sprouts can be used in many recipes.
• A curry can be prepared using the kulith water along with kulith.
• It can also be mixed in a biryani, a mixed pulao or any other rice preparation.
• Try making Kulith Khichdi as a variation of the regular khichdi.

How to Store kulith, horse gram, gahat, kulath
• Being a hard legume, it has a good shelf life as compared to others.
• Store it in an airtight bottle in a cool and dry place, which is free of moisture.
• It stays well for around a year.

Health Benefits of kulith, horse gram, gahat, kulath
• The nutritive value of horse gram is almost similar to other pulses.
• Its regular consumption relieves the pain of dry piles.
• In women, it helps purify menstruation.
• It is said to cure arthritis.
• It is a good source of proteins. When combined with any cereal such as rice, it improves its protein biological value.
• It is also a good source of dietary fibre and helps regulate blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
• Horse gram sprouts are rich in proteins, vitamin C and iron.

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