Horsegram Dal or Kulthi Dal is a healthy and delicious recipe that will keep you full for a long time. Serve this vegan dal with rice and your favorite vegetable side for a filling weeknight dinner.

Horsegram dal (Kulthi dal) in a large bowl garnished with cilantro

Dal chawal, which means lentils and rice, are a great comforting meal for busy days. We love to add a veggie side to the meal, or a salad which can be put together quickly

Horsegram dal is not as widely made as some of the other dals such as dal fry, green moong dal, and dal makhani. But it is just as delicious and very nutritious.

What is Kulthi Dal?

According to the USDA, horsegram dal, scientifically known as Macrotyloma uniflorum, is a dark brown lentil that is flat and round in shape.

Horsegram dal is a relatively unknown and undervalued pulse that is beneficial to human health. It’s also known as kulthi dal in Hindi and is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. It is also known as gahat dal.

The name comes from the fact that horse gram dal is mostly fed to horses. It is native to Asia’s south-east subcontinent and tropical Africa, and is widely grown and used in southern India.

Kulthi ki dal is a good source of protein, iron and calcium. It’s a poor man’s food because it is energy-dense. It is a drought-tolerant crop that can be grown in low-rainfall areas and dry climates.

To learn more about other Indian pulses and dals, you can check out this detailed post.

Horse Gram (Kulthi: Kuleeth: Kollu) in a white bowl

Curious about pulses used in Indian cooking? Check out my detailed guide about Indian Pulses.

Benefits of Kulthi Dal:

  • Menstrual problems: Because it is high in iron, kulthi dal helps keep your haemoglobin levels in check. This, in turn, resolves the issue of both high and low menstrual flow. It also alleviates the associated pains.
  • Kidney stones: Kulthi dal, which is high in iron and polyphenols, aids in the breakdown of kidney stones and the prevention of future occurrences.
  • Seasonal Colds and Fevers: colds and fevers are effectively treated with kulthi dal or horse gram soup. It acts as a bronchodilator, which aids in detoxification and nasal passage clearance. Overall, it boosts your immune system.
  • Weight loss: Kulthi dal is a complex carbohydrate that completely energizes your body. It aids in the reduction of hunger pangs, which could otherwise lead to overeating. Also, because kulthi dal is high in fiber, it helps you lose weight.
  • Diabetes: Horse gram is a good source of complex carbohydrates and aids in the prevention of diabetes. It also contains nutrients that can help you control your blood sugar levels.
Kulthi ki dal (Gahat Dal) served in a bowl with cilantro and rice on the side

Side Effects of Kulthi Dal

  • When suffering from gout, avoid eating horse gram and other pulses because uric acid levels around the joints are already dangerously high, and legumes may contribute to further acidity.
  • Horse gram dal should be consumed in moderation during pregnancy because they are known to significantly increase body heat if consumed in large quantities.
  • If eaten in large quantities, horsegram dal contains a carbohydrate called raffinose oligosaccharide, which can cause bloating and gas.
  • Kulthi dal contains phytic acid that inhibit protein digestion and reduce the bioavailability of minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium.

Source: For more information on benefits and side effects refer here.

How to use Kulthi Dal

This dal is popular in southern India, where they are eaten whole (boiled), as sprouts, and in curry.

Methods like dehusking, germination, heating and roasting can be used to improve the nutritional quality of horsegram dal.

Ingredients

The ingredients for this dal are very basic and easy to find.

  • Horsegram lentils – You can get this at the Indian grocery store or on Amazon
  • Salt as per taste
  • Oil
  • Cumin seeds
  • Asafoetida (Hing)
  • Green chilli, Onion, Ginger and Tomato give this dish an incredibly unique and spicy flavor.
  • Spices : Kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder. These enhance the lentils’ nutty flavor and texture.

How To Make Horsegram Lentils?

This is a very easy recipe and perfect for your weeknight meal.

  • In a pressure cooker or instant pot, add the lentils, water and salt. Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles for stovetop pressure cooker or 20 minutes on high pressure for instant pot. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Heat a pan on a medium-high flame, and add the oil. Then add cumin seeds and asafoetida (hing). Saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the green chilli, onions and ginger. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are golden while stirring frequently.
  • Add the tomatoes, and spices, and cook for another 4 minutes.
  • Now add the cooked lentils with all the liquid. Mix well.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes so that the tempering mixes well with the dal.
  • Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with rice!
Horsegram dal (kulthi ki dal) in a pot garnished with coriander leaves

Make it a One-Pot Recipe

Cook the tempering directly in the instant pot or pressure cooker, and add the rinsed dal and water.

Instant Pot: Pressure cook for 30 minutes on high pressure, then let the pressure release naturally.

Stovetop Pressure Cooker: Pressure cook for 8-10 whistles on medium heat. Then let the pressure release naturally.

Pro Tips

  • This kulthi dal does not have the same thickness as some of the other lentils. If you want your dal to be thicker consistency, blend 2-3 tablespoons cooked dal into a paste and add it to your dal. It will thicken the dal.
  • Adjust spices as you want. Always season and taste.
  • If desired, serve with lime juice as a garnish.
  • Enjoy with rice and spiced onions for a delicious meal.
Horsegram dal served with rice in a bowl along with spiced onions

Storage

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 2 days. You can warm it up in the microwave or on the stovetop. Add a little water if the dal thickens on keeping.

Other Dal Recipes You Can Enjoy

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
5 from 3 votes

Horsegram Dal (Kulthi Dal)

Horsegram Dal is a healthy and delicious recipe that will keep you full for a long time. Serve this dal with rice and your favourite vegetable side for a filling weeknight dinner.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup Horse gram lentils, soaked for 30 mins in 4 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon Salt , for cooking
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida (Hing)
  • 1 Green chilli , diced
  • 1 cup Yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger, grated
  • 1 cup Tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder, adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder

Instructions 

  • In a pressure cooker or instant pot, add the lentils, water and salt. Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles for stovetop pressure cooker or 20 minutes on high pressure for instant pot. Let the pressure release naturally.
  • Heat a pan on a medium-high flame, and add the oil. Then add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the green chilli, onions and ginger. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are golden while stirring frequently.
  • Add the tomatoes, and spices, and cook for another 4 minutes.
  • Now add the cooked lentils with all the liquid. Mix well.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes so that the tempering mixes well with the dal.
  • Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with rice!

Notes

Make it a one-pot recipe: You can also cook this as a one-pot recipe. Make the tempering, and add the rinsed dal and water to the instant pot. Pressure cook for 30 minutes on high pressure, then let the pressure release naturally.
Thickeness: This kulthi dal does not have the same thickness as some of the other lentils. If you want your dal to be thicker consistency, blend 2-3 tablespoons cooked dal into a paste and add it to your dal. It will thicken the dal.

Nutrition

Calories: 214kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 8gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 632mgPotassium: 182mgFiber: 13gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 466IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 105mgIron: 3mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Dairy-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

You May Also Like

Get new recipes sent to your inbox!
Don't miss out! Subscribe and get all the new recipes first.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




5 Comments

    1. Hello – You can cook the dal in a large pot with four times the water. Bring to a boil. Then partly cover and cook for 35-45 minutes on low-medium flame.

    1. I do not like to use pressure cookers and have time to cook things for longer.
      How long should I cook horse gram to make your above recipe if I just boil the horse gram in water?

      1. Hello – You can cook the dal in a large pot with four times the water. Add some salt. Bring to a boil. Then partly cover and cook for 35-45 minutes on low-medium flame.