CHENNAI: Horsegram is an underutilised crop. It is normally used to feed horses. In Ayurvedic medicines, it is used to treat jaundice, weight loss and water retention. It is an excellent source of protein, dietary fibre, a variety of micro- nutrients like calcium, iron, B vitamins and anti-oxidants.
For constipation: Horsegram contains a good amount of dietary fibre, which helps in clearing the gut and relieves constipation. It also helps in reducing acidity and intestinal worms. Soak the seeds overnight and consume early morning or add them to salads. For skin health: Because of the anti-microbial and antibacterial nature, it can be used to treat rashes and boils as external application. For weight loss, obesity and diabetes:
Horsegram is rich in protein, fibre, and less in fat; hence, it is good to include in your diet. It helps removing the excess fat from fat tissues. It controls the cholesterol levels in the body. It keeps you satiated for a long time and can be easily added to food in any form. Its low lipid and sodium content makes it easily digestible. For menstrual disturbances: Horsegram contains iron in high levels, which helps to cure irregular menses and excessive bleeding.
It also boosts haemoglobin levels. As a medicine: It is also beneficial for extracting phlegm, and controlling fever, diarrhoea and piles. For sperm count: Calcium, phosphorus and iron in horsegram boost sperm count. These minerals act on the male reproductive system by increasing the blood flow to the organs. Risk or side-effects: Avoid consuming horsegram and other pulses when suffering from gout, as uric acid levels are already high when you have this condition.
Legumes will only increase the levels. Avoid consumption during pregnancy, as it will increase body heat. As long as it is consumed cautiously and in minimal quantities, horsegram will provide excellent benefits for complete health care. It can be added to salads, sundal, chutneys, soups, rasam, gravies or be consumed in powder form. (The writer is nutritionist, Sano Holistic Nutrition Clinic)
RECIPE FOR HORSEGRAM CHUTNEY
Horsegram: ¼ cup
Grated coconut: 2 tbsp
Onion: 1, small
Garlic: 2-3 cloves
Tamarind: small lemon size
Urad dal: 1 tbsp
Chana dal: 1 tbsp
Dry chillies: 3-4 nos
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: a few
- Dry roast horsegram. Heat oil in a pan and saute all other ingredients.
- Once they cool down, blend well in mixer. Temper with curry leaves and mustard seeds.