Sunday, December 19, 2010

A cure for common cold ?

It is an absolute bummer when friends and family are visiting and you are struck down with an annoying cold. Winter, Holidays and Cold - unfortunately all seem to go hand in hand. The cold does a number on your well made holiday plans and besides you being miserable makes everybody around you miserable too.

Well it does not have to be that way. A few years ago DD got a nasty cold and having found the perfect host it just wouldn't go away. As I was talking to DH's sister, she asked me why I had not tried the kollu paruppu (horsegram) treatment? How could I have forgotten that? Well... But that amazing lentil my friends is the surefire treatment for common cold.

Last week, started sneezing on Friday, head ache and body ache by Saturday with nose watering like a tap. While sleeping under the blanket felt great I dragged myself out of bed and made some kollu paruppu and what do you know by Monday morning I was well on the mend. It also fixed DD2 who had a severe chest congestion along with a bad cold.

You don't have to take my word for it when you come down with a cold, give it a go and see for yourself.

Don't forget to drink plenty of water. Water cleans out those germs. Don't forget to throw in a grape fruit into the mix now and then.

Where can you get Horse gram in the US?
1. A few of the Indian grocery stores carry them.
2. I have also seen a few online stores carry them.
3. Bring them along when you visit India, which is what I do.

The recipes for the Kollu Paruppu and Rasam are here. I also make a slightly watery chutney and skip the rasam. The recipe for which follows.

Kollu Paruppu is one of those recipes which is not going to make you want to taste it by its looks. It is a rustic and down to earth lentil with an earthiness that makes you feel warm all over.

Kollu Paruppu Chutney - II
1. 2 Cups of horsegram picked through and washed
2. 2 -3 tbsp of shallots or red onions chopped
3. 3 garlic cloves chopped
4. 4-5 red chilies (or to taste)
5. 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
6. 1 tsp cumin seeds
7. 1/4 tbsp pepper corns
8. a sprig of curry leaves
9. 1/4 cup of tamarind pulp for a small grape sized piece of tamarind
10. salt to taste
11. coriander leaves for garnish

1. Cook the horsegram in 4-5 times the water in a pressure cooker for 10 whistles and let cool. (Horsegram takes a while to get soft. If not using a pressure cooker soak them for 3-4 hours before cooking)
2. In a pan heat a tsp of oil, saute the onions, garlic and when the onions are brown add the red chilies, coriander, cumin and curry leaves and let them turn color
3. Cool and blend to a slightly coarse paste
4. Mash the lentils coarsely (I use a hand blender) with a masher roughly using a blender
5. Add in the tamarind juice and let it boil for 5 minutes
6. Add salt, the ground paste and let cook for another 4-5 minutes
7. Add in chopped cilantro. (The consistency depends on your liking)

Taste best with rice and some ghee. Goes well with idlis or dosais too.


  1. Hey, that sounds like a great and delicious cure for common cold :)

  2. ISG, your original kollu rasam is still my go-to food when I'm sick, and often when I am not! :)

  3. Yes.. cold season is upon us. Have to look for horsegram here. Thanks for the recipe, Indo!

  4. given the fluctuating weather of Bangalore this going to be very handy for me. the baby often suffers from running nose and we dont like putting him on medicines all the time. a little soup-y consistency would be great for him I guess. thanks for sharing Indo.

  5. Anything with garlic and peppercorns to fight a bad bad cold. Hope you are feeling better Indo. Go for some lemon tea ... the vit C helsp fighting the sniffles. :-)

  6. Nehal is suffering from a severe cold and this is the right antidote. Been a while since I visited your space. Hope things are good with you. Merry Christmas. :)

  7. Indu,
    I am always looking for good alternatives to allopathic medicines and this looks so delicious..If I could get some from Indian groceries here, I am going to make it soon..thanks for sharing ..hugs and smiles

  8. I love kollu rasam, beautiful recipe..

  9. Never knew about horsegram as a cold remedy. Though It looks delish to be eaten just without any reason

    Isn't it amazing how in one country each region has it's own set of home remedies. My Mom always makes us drink a concoction of tulsi leaves, palm candy, elaichi, cloves, peppercorn. I try my best to grow a tulsi even in winter for that sole purpose !!!

  10. I bought a packet of Kollu while in India but the customs head in my house ( my dear husband ) did not let me bring it. Anyway, will try to find them online....Amma made rasa podi with kollu, had I known earlier I would have asked her to make the podi.

  11. I love kollu!! It's a comfort food for me!

    I think I'll soak some and make some yummy food today. :)

  12. lovely ! looks very inviting !


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