Sunday, January 6, 2013

Revisiting Kollu Paruppu ( Horsegram Dal) Cure for common cold?

Cure for common cold? Probably not proven through scientific methods but for me this is the best remedy for cold. Last winter DD2 had a severe cold, not the debilitating kind but the nagging kind which feels like there is a blockage stuck in the chest. Anyway when I was talking to my SIL I mentioned this stubborn cold to her and she immediately suggested kollu paruppu. I had completely forgotten about this amazing dal's healing properties.

I made it the very next day and by then the whole house was having a case of the sniffles. This was the remedy all of us needed. True to it's reputation the cold loosened and all of us were on the mend.

This is one of those dals which are very popular in the Kongu region and each family has their own special way of cooking them.

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uncooked and cooked horsegram dal

This is also one of the more popular recipes on this blog. I always get asked where this dal is available. I see them in most Indian Grocery stores in our area. They are called Kulith in Hindi. If you have access to this dal you should cook it more of it during the winter.

Update: After reading the comments I realize I need to explain a bit more about cooking horsegram. Unlike other dals that we are used to horsegram will not cook to mush. You have to use the hand blender, food processor or the regular blender to mush the cooked dal once the seasonings are added. Link to other recipes with horsegram - Other recipes with Horsegram.

Kollu Paruppu
  1. 1 cup of horse gram dal picked over and kept soaked for 1/2 - 1 hour
  2. 2 tsp of red onions chopped
  3. 1 tsp coriander seeds
  4. 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds
  5. a few pepper corns
  6. 4 red chilies
  7. a sprig of curry leaves
  8. 1 tsp of oil
  9. salt to taste
  1. Pressure cook the horse gram with 3 times the water for 6-8 whistles.
  2. While the dal is cooking heat the oil in the saute pan and when hot add the coriander seeds, pepper corn and cumin seeds. Saute till the seeds turn color.
  3. Add in the red chilies and let it saute for a minute. Drop in the curry leaves and give a good mix. Set aside.
  4. Saute the onions till they become translucent and start to obtain brown on the sides.
  5. When the dal is cooked pour the sauted spices on top, add salt and with a hand blender coarsely break up the dal.
Best with rice and some ghee.


  1. I have not had this for at least some 23 years, mom used to make dishes with this dal she used to say very healthy too. Lot os time we had this in our munch box.
    Happy new year Indu to you and family.

  2. Hi Indosungod,
    I do check your blog occassionaly but I guess leaving comment for the first time. thanks for this info, specially with cold season going on it's helpful to know that dal can also help ease that congestion. It's not whole masoor(sabut masoor) right ? How about posting a picture of this in raw form. Thanks.


    1. No it is not whole masoor, same color maybe but a different shape.

      Here is the link that shows the dal link

      I will update the post with the picture and other links.

    2. Thanks dear,

      and good thing is now that I beleive it's the same dal I have in my pantry, I guess got it long time back for making dosa or idli after inspired by a post on RedChillies and after that kinda forgot about it. Will def. try to make it this week. Also a big thanks for the link of all the related posts on your blog, will def. go thru those in free time.

  3. Awesomely helpful with a kid in the house!!

  4. I bought kollu after reading how great it is for curing colds but I can't seem to cook them to a mush even after soaking them overnight :( I made rasam using the water the dhal it cooks in and used the kollu to make thovayal. Not sure if it's just the ones i bought. I will try 8 whistles next time and see if they cook well.
    Hope you all feel better soon.

    1. Laavanya, kollu will not cook to mush however long you cook. Once you have added all the seasonings use a hand blender or regular blender to break it.

    2. Thanks Indo... i was driving myself and the pressure cooker crazy the last few times. I will use the blender in the future :)

  5. hi indo, do you think flax seed & horsegram could be same? Have you ever tried to use flax seeds instead of kollu? Have never had kollu before. quite impossible to get it here. wikipedia lets me think that they could be related..

    thanks in advance for your response.


    1. hi Mathy,
      As far as I know flax seeds and Kollu are not the same. Horse gram is a lentil (oru paruppu vagai) whereas flax seeds has more oil and can used to make oil I think. You cannot cook flax seed just like you would kollu or any other dal. I have used a small quantity in making paruppu podi roasting and powdering it along with the other dals.

      In short kollu and flax are different things. They are not the same.

      I get them in my local Indian grocery store. Let me know perhaps I can mail a packet to you.

    2. Thanks a lot Indo. I am going to go around Toronto looking. Thanks for the offer. I am sure, I would be able to get it somewhere. I had so much doubt because how they look similar.

      Thanks Indo. :)

  6. Oh yummy!! Your kollu rasam and chutney is now a standard for me. I have a quart of rasam in my fridge (newly reorganized, I might add!) as I type. When I cleaned out the freezer I found not one but *two* jars of your kollu rasam powd. ;) Happy to know how to prepare this as paruppu.

    PS while journeying into the past, I left a comment for your dd on her lovely bird photos (as well as answer to her q, although by now she has likely figured it out for herself) :)


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