Horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum)

Horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum)
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Horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum, Fabaceae) is one of the lesser known beans. It is also known as Gahat, Kulath or Kulthi in India and is grown here to be used as food and fodder.

Horse gram and moth bean are the unexploited legumes of the tropics and subtropics grown mostly under dry-land agriculture. The chemical composition is comparable with commonly cultivated legumes. Like other legumes, these are deficient in methionine and tryptophan. Horse gram is an excellent source of iron and molybdenum. Comparatively, horse gram seeds have higher trypsin inhibitor and hemagglutinin activities and polyphenols than moth bean seeds. Dehusking, germination, cooking, and roasting have been shown to produce beneficial effects on nutritional quality of both the legumes. Both the legumes require prolonged cooking to obtain product of acceptable nature. A soak solution (1.5% NaHCO3 + 0.5% Na2CO3 + 0.75% citric acid) treatment has been shown to reduce cooking time and improve protein quality. Moth bean is mostly consumed as dhal or sprouts. The whole seeds of horse gram are generally utilized as cattle feed. However, it is consumed as a whole seed, sprouts, or whole meal by a large population in rural areas of southern India. Medical uses of these legumes have been discussed.

Gahat or Kulath is a major ingredient in the Pahadi cuisine of Himalayan North India. In Uttarakhand, it is cooked in a round iron saute-pan (“kadhai”) to prepare Ras, a favorite of most Kumaonis. In the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, horse gram is used in the preparation of Vulava Charu, a regional delicacy.

Karnataka Cuisine : In huraLi saaru, this is the main ingredient.

Tamil Cuisine : In Kollu Rasam Horse gram (Kollu) is the primary ingredient.