Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ulava Charu

As per some friends’ requests I am posting the recipe for the whole some Ulava charu. Most people would have tasted this atleast once, it could be at home as mom’s yet another delicious dish, or at a wedding. So is it that delicious that it is considered worth preparing at a wedding? Definitely a big YES. And boy it tastes great, spicy, sour, a bit sweet and………….do you still want me to continue?? Let’s get to business ye all!
Ulava charu is made from Ulavalu/horsegram, a bean less known to most of us. The beans were basically used as fodder for cattle, and also by poor farmers as food. But the food was as nutritious as any legume ( think horse gram belongs to the family Fabaceae, just like any other pappu or dal) They can be boiled and seasoned and can even be eaten as an evening snack (both as a paste ground with jaggery or just whole ones seasoned.....beleive me very yummy) or Charu can be made from the bean paste as well. Although the process is a bit tedious and time consuming, the final results will make it all worthwhile. My dinner for the night was Ulava charu with rice, chama dumpa fry and Pachhi tomato Dosakaya pachhadi. Since the charu is good for 3-4 days (even without refrigeration), I had a feast with several combinations. For non vegetarians the best bet would be Kheema balls with Ulava charu and hot rice, or chicken fry with ulava charu, for veggie lovers there is always a variety of fries like bendakaya, dondakaya and so on.
Ulavalu 1 ½ cups
Redonions ½ of a medium sized one chopped into big pieces

For the Charu POdi (Powder)
9-10 Curryleaves,
2 tspdhaniyalu
1 tsp jeera,
10 no miriyalu ,
½ tspmenthulu,
Dry fried Coconut fried 3tb spns,
2 garlic cloves,
4 dried mirchi,
Rathi puvvu – 2
Jaggery - can be added in the powder or separately while boiling

Chintapandu (tamarind) – lime sized soaked in water
For the seasoning:
2-3 garlic cloves, mustard seeds, curry leaves, 2 tb spns oil

You can soak the gram over night, or even if you do not you can always wait for an extra whistle while pressure cooking. Boil the horse gram in enough water in a pressure cooker, let’s say until you hear 7-8 whistles or 10 whistles when not soaked over night. Mean while you can grind the dry ingredients for the charu podi. Now drain the water and keep aside. Grind the boiled gram in to a fine paste. Add the paste into the tamarind water ( pulp removed) and add some more water, say 2 cups, salt, and boil for 10 minutes in a thick bottomed vessel. Now add the charu podi, and boil for another 30 minutes (If you want to add jaggery at this point you can instead of in the podi). By this time you should see a thick charu, not a liquidy one. Finally add the chopped onions and boil for another 10 minutes. Adjust salt accordingly. Finally in a separate pan, add oil followed by crushed garlic (wait for a few seconds), mustard seeds( wait till they splutter), and curryleaves respectively. Add the seasoning to the boiling charu, and boil for another 5 minutes before turning off the heat. Cover with a lid so that all the falvors are trapped inside.
Ulava charu is good when eaten fresh, but best when eaten the day after!! Some things are best when eaten stale like the delicious chepala pulusu which I hope to make soon.
Will post the recipes for chama dumpa fry and dosa kaya pachadi tomorrow!! And I am just hoping that my still struggling to be potty trained little one gives me some ME time to write and post those up.


  1. Hi suni,
    going through this post of ulavacharu.. my mouth already started watering n i cant keep myself away from preparing this immediately..thanks for reminding me this delicious recipe. needless to mention the 1st one was also too good.. infact we have been having the same brunch every sunday since the time i started cooking..(ragi mudda n oorimindi)its really a wholesome n very healthy food..but we add equal quantities of rice n ragipindi so that the intake of ragipindi is increased.

  2. Hi Sandhya
    Thanks..Do you prepare ulavacharu often? Yeah actually amma valla oorlo antha ekkuva ragipindi vestharu. But amma mudda tellaga undala ani konchem takkuvesthundi. Anyways ilane naa posts ki comments peduthoondu opika chesukuni..

  3. this one is good, how to make ulavala podi