Updated: Jun 1
Variety is the spice of life. This quote is very much actual for your health. Your gut bacteria flourish on various prebiotics you provide to your body. A study says that per week, you should include at least fifty varieties of food, i.e., grains, lentils, vegetables, fruits, and seeds, to keep running your gut super smooth (3). The more, the merrier. Sometimes, we see some unique grain or lentils in our local grocery store and do not buy them despite being nutritious and wholesome because we don’t know how to cook or use them. The horse gram lentil is one such lentil. (2) (7) Horse Gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum) is an underutilized legume crop with nutritional and nutraceutical benefits. It is a rich source of protein, complex carbohydrates, fibers, and micronutrients. Besides vitamins like A, B-complex, and vitamin C, horse grams contain flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, and antioxidants(2) (10).
Horse gram lentil seeds contain phenolic acids that act as antioxidants, scavenging free radicals. The most important phenolic compounds in horse gram seed include quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin, as well as vanillic, hydroxybenzoic, and ferulic acids. In Indian traditional medicine, horse gram seeds treat urinary stones (4),(5),(9)piles (Hemorrhoids), and urinary diseases and regulate women's abnormal menstrual cycles. In addition, its soup is a potential remedy for the common cold, throat infection, fever, and constipation.
I cook horse gram lentils in various ways. Cooking as a daal or soup is one easy way to relish it. Horse gram lentils are tiny but tough guys; they must soak in for over 8 hours or overnight. I cook it in an instant pot, but it can be cooked in a pressure cooker. My daal is a little spicier but tastes great with plain rice. You can reduce or increase the spice level according to your palette.
Why include Horse gram lentils in your diet:
Improves Heart Health (1)
Controls blood sugar level (2)
Relieves Constipation (1)
Lowers bad cholesterol (6)
Protects against urinary tract disorder (2)
Horse Gram Lentil nutrients: (13)
100 gm serving
Protein 22 g
Carbohydrate, 57 g
Fiber, total dietary 5 g
Calcium, Ca 287 mg
Iron, Fe 7 mg
Phosphorus, P311 mg
Some people may be allergic to horse gram lentils. (11)
Overeating horse gram lentils may cause gastrointestinal discomfort. It can happen to any fiber-rich food. Getting accustomed to fiber-rich foods may take some time if you need to get used to them. Therefore, you should start slowly if you are not used to doing so. (12)
Preparation time- 10 mins
Cooking time – 10 mins
Total time – 20 mins + soaking time
Horse gram lentil- ½ cup (dry)
Ginger- 3/4 inch
Garlic – 3 pods
Green chili- 2 (optional)
Bay leaf- 1
Asafetida -1/4th tsp
Tomato – 1
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder- ½ tsp
Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
Cilantro/Green coriander – 1 bunch
Oil -1 Tbsp (I am using cold-pressed mustard oil . You can use the oil you choose.)
Salt- as per taste
Soak Horse gram lentils for 8 hours or overnight.
With the help of a mortal pestle, pound ginger, garlic chilies, and cumin seeds.
3. Switch on the instant pot and put it into the sauté mode. Add oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add bay leaf, asafetida, and pounded ginger garlic chilly paste. Stir the mixture for 2 mins.
4. Add chopped tomatoes and the spice mixture. Cook it for 5 mins, stirring it often in between.
5. Add soaked lentils. Add 1 cup of water and put it on pressure cooker mode. Keep the knob on airtight mode. Add the timer for 10 mins.
6. Open the lid of the pressure cooker once the pressure is released.
7. Add chopped cilantro to the cooked lentil. Stir it nicely and enjoy it with rice. Then, add a few drops of lemon juice to enhance its taste and nutritional value.
Antihypercholesterolemic Effect of Macrotyloma uniflorum (Lam.) Verdc (Fabaceae) Extract on High-Fat Diet-Induced Hypercholesterolemia in Sprague-Dawley Rats: Journal of Dietary Supplements: Vol 10, No 2 (tandfonline.com)
IJMS | Free Full-Text | Dietary Plants for the Prevention and Management of Kidney Stones: Preclinical Anticalcifying properties of Dolichos biflorus (horse gram) seeds. - Abstract - Europe PMCand Clinical Evidence and Molecular Mechanisms (mdpi.com)