Horsegram Idli

Horsegram crops are usually grown in drought-hit parts of India particularly in South India, and both the beans & hay are used as fodder mainly for horses. Since horse gram is considered a nutritional powerhouse, it is normally recommended for workmen or sportsmen who involve themselves in physically challenging activities, but for others it may be consumed in small quantity. So I used to make horse gram dosa specially when my son participates in sports activities, and I also like to include horse gram into our diet during winter or monsoon as it is useful to keep our body warm in this season.

horse-gram-idli-scaled Horsegram Idli

Generally we use horsegram to prepare condiments like idli powder or chutney (dip) that we take in small quantities. Besides we use horsegram to make soup (kollu rasam), idli, or dosa that are easily digestible.

kollu-idli-dosa Horsegram Idli

Horse gram idli/ dosa goes well with spicy onion chutney with enticing flavors of locally grown herbs like curry leaves, coriander leaves, or mint leaves. Here I have prepared chutney using onion & curry leaves and served along with coconut chutney and shallot sambar. You can click on the image below to check out the recipe.

chutney-for-kollu-idli-scaled Horsegram Idli

Normally we prepare idli batter using rice & black gram, but due to the high foaming properties of horse gram we may either replace black gram with horse gram, or use both in equal portions. Here I have used both in equal portions so that I could make fluffy idli as well as crispy dosa. If we don’t add black gram then the batter turns out to be too foamy that it does not rise up when steamed and hence these idli turn flat & unpalatable. But if we prefer to make dosa alone with this batter, then there is no need to add black gram.

horse-gram-scaled Horsegram Idli

Now let’s prepare the batter for making horse gram idli and dosa:


Idli rice5 cups (approx. 1000 g)*
Horse gram (kollu/ kaanam paruppu)1/2 cup (approx. 100 g)
Black gram (muzhu ulundhu)1/2 cup (approx. 100 g)
Fenugreek seeds (vendhayam)**2 tbsp (optional)
Salt2 tbsp
Water required for rice batter4 cups (800 ml)
Water required for lentil batter2 and 1/2 cups (500 ml)

*Generally lentils & rice are used in the ratio of 1:4 for making idli, but for horse gram idli I used them at 1:5 and grind them using wet grinder, and we may have to reduce the same to 1:3 while using mixer grinder.

** Since horse gram generates heat inside our body, we can add fenugreek seeds to reduce the body heat particularly during summer. But during winter/ monsoon it is not required to add fenugreek seeds in here.

kollu-idli-ingredients-scaled Horsegram Idli

Horse gram idli/ dosa batter:

1Wash rice and soak for 4 hours.
Add black gram, horse gram & fenugreek seeds into another bowl
Wash & soak them for 4 hours.
2Grind the lentil mixture using wet grinder until smooth & foamy (takes about 25-30 minutes).
Transfer the batter to a mixing vessel and keep it covered.
3Grind rice until smooth approximately for 20 minutes .
Pour into the lentil batter, add salt & mix well.
4Keep the vessel covered for 8 hours for fermentation.
Mix the fermented batter well using a ladle.
Store the batter in a canister and refrigerate for a week.
kollu-idli-dosai-maavu Horsegram Idli

Idli/ dosa making:

We can just pour the batter into the cavities of idli plate and steam them for 7-8 minutes. Also we can make soft fluffy uthappam or thin crispy dosa as shown below. Here I have made tomato uthappam and masala dosa (using savory potato filling).

kollu-idli-dosa-making Horsegram Idli

You may check out my earlier posts for some useful tips for making perfect idli, dosa, and the batter.


While grinding horse gram it tends to spill over the wet grinder drum as the batter turns foamy. My wet grinder has the capacity to grind 300 grams of black gram, but even when I used 100 g of blcak gram & 100 g of horse gram, the batter reaches the maximum capacity of the drum as shown below.

kollu-maavu Horsegram Idli

70 comments on “Horsegram IdliAdd yours →

  1. I tried this today and it was awesome.. Good that you informed about foaming. My naughty boy need this energetic food.. we like idli and dosa more and I search for different flavour. Thanks Megala..

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