The story of Ulava Charu
Ulava charu is a thick bean curry from the Indian states of Telangana and Andra Pradesh. Ulava charu is made with Horse gram, and although Ulavacharu is considered a rare treat, most well-to-do people in India dont seem to have a great opinion about Horsegram itself, as it wasnt considered as tasty as the other beans. Horse gram was most often fed to horses and other farm animals.
Yet from its humble origins, Ulava charu now seems to have become something of a delicacy that NRI’s cant help but recall, with a sense of nostalgia and wonder. Making Ulavacharu on the stovetop is a labor intensive and time consuming process.The Instant Pot goes a long way in saving a lot of time while retaining the taste.
Mustard seeds -1 tsp
Cumin seeds -1 tsp
Urad dal — 1 tsp
Dry red chili – 4
Half an onion, diced
Red chili powder -1 tbsp
Salt, as per taste
Coriander powder-1 tbsp
Dry ginger powder/Sonti -1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste -1/2 tbsp
Garam masala -1/2 tbsp
Crushed garlic -3
Horse gram/Ulavalu -1 cup
Tamarind juice – 1 cup (To make juice, use either a ball of raw tamarind soaked in water OR 3 tbsp of tamarind pulp)
Step 1:Pressure cook the Horse gram.
Put the IP in Manual mode and pour a few cups of water into the liner.Place the horsegram in a oven safe bowl,put a lid on the bowl and place it on a trivet, inside the IP.Set the timer to 6 minutes and make sure the whistle is in ‘sealing’ mode.
Step 2: Blend the Horsegram
Do a QR, and take out the horsegram.Check if its completely boiled.Pressure cooker for a few more minutes till its completely soft.
Either use a stand alone blender or a hand blender to blend the horsegram to a fine paste like consistency.
Step 3 :Prepare the onion base
Clean out the IP liner, and switch IP to saute mode.Once the liner is hot, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, urad dal and cumin seeds.
Once they start to splutter, add curry leaves, garlic and red chillies.Saute them for a minute.
Add onions and ginger garlic paste and saute them for two minutes or till they turn translucent and lose the raw smell.
Add the tamarind water and simmer for a five minutes.
Add chili powder, ginger powder and salt.
Step 4: Next add the horsegram mixture.
Close the lid, and turn on manual and set it to 3 minutes.Make sure the whistle is in sealing mode.
Do a QR and open the lid.
Step 5: Cook them together.
Turn on saute mode.
Add garam masala powder and coriander powder.
Let it simmer for around 2 minutes, till it reaches the desired consistency.
Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Turn off the IP.
Serves 4 adults.