5 Top Benefits & Side Effects Of Horse Gram (Kollu | Kulthi Dal)

horse gram for weight loss

Horse gram also popularly called Kollu, Kulthi Dal and Ulavalu in India is a regular part of Indian diet. It is rich in nutrients and has wonderful health benefits. We include kollu at least weekly twice in our diet, we regularly make kollu paruppu, kollu sundal and kollu rasam at home. Kollu paruppu mixed with rice and little bit of ghee is one my favourite meals.

What Is Horse Gram?

Horse gram is a type of legume and here in India, we can get kollu very cheaply everywhere. Horse gram is grown in many states of India and apart from India, it is widely used in countries like Malaysia and Sri Lanka too. We grow horse gram regularly in our farm as a manure crop. It is a perennial climbing plant, the seeds are brown in color and are found in pods.

In our village, we consume horse gram regularly during winters as it is considered a warming food. We also regularly keep consume it during rainy season too. Kollu rasam which is nothing but a soup made with horse gram is a popular home remedy for cold and cough and nothing is more comforting than a warm cup of kollu rasam when we are suffering from cold and cough.

Horse Gram Botanical & Common Names:

Kollu’s botanical name is Macrotyloma Uniflorum and horse gram is the English name (boiled kollu is one of the ingredients that is regularly fed to horses and that is why it is called as horse gram). It is called Kollu in Tamil, Kulthi Dal in Hindi and Bengali, Ulavalu in Telugu, Muthira in Kerala, Kulith in Konkan and Hurali in Kannada.

Horse Gram Nutrition:

Horse gram is an excellent source of protein and minerals like phosphorus, iron and vitamins such as vitamin C, thiamine, carotene, riboflavin and niacin. 100 grams of uncooked horse gram contains around 330 calories, 21 grams of protein, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 0.6 grams fat and 7.9 grams of fiber.

Horse Gram NutritionHorse Gram Health Benefits & Medicinal Uses

1. Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels:

Horse gram has always been suggested as one of the best foods diabetic patients can take, that is because it helps regulate the blood sugar levels very very effectively. Since it keeps the blood sugar levels stable, it greatly control hunger pangs between meals. You can read the study that proves this claim here.

2. For Reducing Cholesterol:

Kollu has been repeatedly proven to reduce high cholesterol induced by high fat diets and also it greatly aids in weight loss. Here in our place, kollu boiled water is given to people who are suffering from high cholesterol and it greatly helps normalise blood cholesterol levels and this traditional use has been backed by research now. You can read the study that proves this use here.

3. As a Cardio Protective Agent:

Kollu has wonderful antioxidant and cardio protective properties and it greatly protects one from getting heart attack. You can read the study that proves it here. Contrary to what many people think, dishes made with kollu is very very tasty. I would chose kollu paruppu with hot steaming rice for lunch than attractive fast foods any day, I don’t know how to express it but I feel very very satisfied after eating it. I would also suggest encouraging kids to eat kollu from young age to prevent obesity which is increasing day by day.

4. Horse Gram And Weight Loss:

Nowadays traditional foods like kollu paruppu is slowly fading and sadly many don’t know how to cook kollu at all. Kollu has multiple health benefits and especially it is well known for its weight loss abilities. It has been used as a weight loss aid from ancient times.

Here in our village, if any one is over weight, they will be always encouraged to include kollu in their diet regularly. There is a famous saying in Tamil that goes like this “இளைத்தவனுக்கு எள்ளு, கொழுத்தவனுக்கு கொள்ளு” meaning for people who want to put on weight, sesame seeds will be beneficial and for people who want to lose weight, kollu will greatly help.

5. Rich In Antioxidants:

Horse gram contains phenolic compounds which are powerful antioxidants. The main phenolic compounds present in horse gram are quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin and vanillic. Antioxidants helps reduce oxidative stress by fighting off free radicals which causes premature ageing and they also have a protective effect.

Horse Gram Side EffectsHorse Gram Side Effects

Like with all legumes and pulses it contains antinutrients like phytic acid which can prevent our body from absorbing nutrients but it can be greatly prevented by sprouting the seeds and also soaking before cooking them. If we don’t cook the horse gram well it can cause bloating and stomach discomfort so to avoid any side effects have it in moderation and soak them or sprout them before cooking to reduce bloating and gas.

 5 Amazing Horse Gram (Kollu) Recipes:

I was given kollu regularly when I was young. Now I make it a point that my son has it too and I am happy to say, like me he also enjoys eating it. If you are looking for ways to lose weight naturally, I would strongly suggest including kollu in your diet at least weekly twice or thrice. I have given recipes using kollu that we make regularly at home, choose and try the ones that you like.

1. Horse Gram | Kollu Water For Weight Loss:

horse gram water for weight loss

To make horse gram water, take horse gram in a bowl, add water and boil till done. Strain the water, add salt and your horse gram water is ready. You can use the boiled horse gram for making kollu paruppu.

2.  Horse Gram | Kollu Podi Recipe:

kollu podi for weight loss

To make kollu podi, take 1/2 cup of horse gram and fry in an empty pan till it changes colour and set aside. Fry 2 dry red chillies in empty pan till it changes color and set aside. Now powder horse gram, red chilli along with required amount of salt to a fine powder. Once ground, add 3 pounded raw garlic cloves along with the skin and pulse for a few seconds.

3. Horse Gram | Kollu Sundal :

kollu sundal recipe for weight loss

For kollu sundal, boil kollu, strain the water and take the boiled kollu alone. Now heat a pan with coconut oil, season with mustard. Once it starts spluttering, add asafoetida, channa dal and urad dal. Now add broken red chilli, curry leaves and saute well. Add boiled kollu along with grated coconut (I sometimes skip coconut). Finally add few drops of lemon juice and coriander leaves and switch off.

4. Kollu Rasam

kollu soup recipe for weight loss

To make kollu soup or rasam, boil horse gram with plenty of water and strain the water. Add broken red chillies, tamarind paste, enough salt, tiny pinch of sugar and mix well. Now in a kadai, heat oil, season with mustard and cumin seeds, add pounded small onions and fresh curry leaves and fry for a few seconds. Add the kollu water mixture and let it boil in low flame till it starts foaming and then switch off.

5.  Horse Gram | Kollu Paruppu:

ulavalu for weight loss

To make kollu paruppu, boil kollu and strain the water and take the kollu alone. To season, heat oil in a pan. Fry finely cut shallots and red chillies, add coriander powder and cumin powder and fry well. Add the sauteed ingredients to boiled kollu along with salt and little amount of boiled kollu water and grind to a coarse paste.

Ulavalu Health Benefits


  1. Senchu Punyamurthula
    January 5, 2017 / 4:58 pm

    Very interesting read, useful recipes. Kudos Ramya!Adding garlic to horse gram podi is a good idea.

  2. Anonymous
    March 30, 2017 / 3:04 pm

    Helo mam!I hav heard tat kollu is very hot.Since i already hv heat body,can u suggest any alternative to include kollu in my diet?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 5, 2017 / 4:31 pm

      Kollu is very hot but it does not have any side effects if we include it in moderation in our diet. Try to include it weekly twice to get all the benefits….

  3. Anonymous
    August 1, 2017 / 12:14 am

    How do I take this kollu that is powder form.need adivse.every day empty stomach.is it good for diabetes n cholesteros also.kindly advise.Thanks

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 5, 2017 / 4:39 pm

      Take the kollu powder and add it to 1/2 cup of water and boil for a few seconds and strain. Take this kollu drink in between meals as a soup weekly twice. It is good for diabetics and will reduce cholesterol levels too…

    • Elyse
      December 13, 2017 / 2:44 pm

      Thank you Ramya,For an insulin dependent diabetic, how much carbs is in the horse gram water?My husband is type 1Thanks again!

  4. Anonymous
    August 10, 2017 / 4:38 am

    Hi Ramya,I've Kollu Rasam total of 22 herbals powder in it.can I just put 1 tablespoon with boiling water n kept for next morning to drink empty stomach.will it help in lowering cholestrol ,diabetes n high blood ?Seek your kind advise.Thanks

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 10, 2017 / 3:23 pm

      Kollu will help lower cholesterol and is good for diabetes too. But it is best not to have kollu everyday straight away. Start consuming it weekly twice and then slowly increase the dosage and the days. It will help your body to adjust to the intake of kollu…

  5. Anonymous
    August 10, 2017 / 11:58 pm

    Hi Ramya,so sorry,peratining the above mentioned is it alright to drink every morning.also will it help to maintain High blood also.

  6. Anonymous
    August 11, 2017 / 12:11 am

    Hi Ramya,thanks for your advise.but Ive been taking it every morning for almost 1 weeks is it ok or Ive to stop taking.is there any side effect if I do it.or I should stop it.Or is it alright in continuning taking it at least 2 cups one empty stomach morning and one afternoon.appreciated your advise.many many thanks

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 12, 2017 / 2:44 pm

      Suddenly taking an ingredient in large amounts has it's side effects. For instance my cousin experienced heavy menstrual flow after she took large amounts of kollu boiled water. I would suggest taking one cup weekly thrice for 2 to 3 weeks and then slowly increase with time for weight loss…

    • Anonymous
      August 14, 2017 / 4:07 am

      Thanks for your kind advise.anyway it's meant for my wife who have diabete n purpose to help her reduce her and also mine weight. we are over 60yrs.so hope not much pblm yah.

  7. Unknown
    October 25, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    Hi Mam Taking raw kollu is good or bad.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      October 26, 2017 / 3:02 pm

      I would suggest not taking raw kollu, it will lead to indigestion…

    • Samson Jerry
      October 26, 2017 / 3:43 pm

      Thank you

  8. saritha deshagani
    December 10, 2017 / 6:35 am

    mam having a horse grams is really reduces the wait… since 3months i was taking sabja seeds, barley seeds to reduce the weight but no result at all… how to reduce the weight madam i am suffering a lot.. actually before i was 45 kgs now i had become 60 kgs… plz reply

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 13, 2017 / 6:06 am

      Horse gram (kollu) does help reduce weight if we consume it weekly thrice at least. But overall calorie consumption is important, so be in a mild calorie deficit along with exercising regularly and you will see results very soon….

  9. Shilpa
    May 21, 2023 / 10:15 am

    Does sprouting horsegram reduce the heat? I want to include this but because it causes heat I am reluctant

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