Hesarukalu Bassaru

Hesarukalu Bassaru

Hesarukalu bassaru essentially means a stew made from the stock of cooked green gram or moong or hesarukalu(as it’s called in Kannada). It’s a Karnataka-specialty, commonly prepared in households. 

One could call bassaru a 2-in-1 dish as you would be preparing two dishes using pulses/lentils/leafy greens – bassaru and palya. In this recipe, using hesarukalu or green gram, you would be preparing –  hesarukalu bassaru and hesarukalu palya. First, green gram has to be pressure cooked then separated from its stock. For hesarukalu bassaru, we would use the stock and combine it with a freshly-made masala paste using onion, tomato, garlic, cumin, black peppercorns, dried red chili, coconut, and tamarind extract. For hesarukalu palya, the cooked green gram is combined with a tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, hing, onion, and salt.

Instead of green gram, you could use other types of whole lentils such as horse gram, black chana, red kidney beans, black-eyed peas and follow the same recipe to make bassaru and palya. Continue reading if you want to know how to make hesarukalu bassaru and palya.

Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


For Pressure Cooking:
1 cup of green gram, rinsed, soaked for 2 hours, and drained
4 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon of salt

For the bassaru masala:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4-5 dried red chilies(Byadagi)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 medium tomato, roughly chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of tamarind extract
3 tablespoons of grated coconut

For tempering bassaru:
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
One sprig of curry leaves
Salt to taste

For tempering hesarukalu (green gram) palya:
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 green chilies, split into halves
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of grated coconut, for garnish
Salt to taste


Pressure Cooking:

  1. Into a pressure cooker, add – rinsed,soaked and drained green gram or moong dal. Pour water four times as much as the dal, add salt and pressure cook until green gram is cooked and soft. Make sure not to overcook it. Mushy green gram is not want we want for this recipe.
  2. Once the pressure releases, separate cooked green gram and the stock and store them in different bowls until used.

Making bassaru:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a pan on medium heat. Add dried red chilies, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, and garlic cloves and saute them for 30 seconds. Add onions and saute them until translucent. Then add chopped tomatoes and cook until soft. Turn off heat, add grated coconut, tamarind extract into the pan and mix well. Allow the ingredients to cool completely, then blend them, adding a little water into a smooth paste. Add some water if required while blending.
  2. Add and heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil into the same pan.
  3. Add mustard seeds. Once they pop, add a sprig of curry leaves and allow them to splutter.
  4. Transfer freshly ground masala paste into the pan and saute for about a minute. Then pour the collected green gram stock stage by stage and mix well.
  5. Stir in salt and allow bassaru(stew) to come to a boil.
  6. Taste for salt, spice, and tanginess and adjust if necessary.

Making hesarukalu(green gram) palya:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a separate pan on medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  3. Then add green chilies and onion. Saute them for a minute and transfer the cooked green gram into the pan.
  4. Add salt to taste, followed by grated coconut, and combine gently. (Do not over combine as green gram would become mushy)
  1. Enjoy hesarukalu bassaru and palya with steamed rice or mudde.
Rice, Hesarukalu Bassaru, Hesarukalu Palya
  • You can tweak the quantity of each ingredient as per your taste and preference.
  • Instead of green gram, you could use other types of whole lentils such as horse gram, black chana, red kidney beans, black-eyed peas and follow the same recipe for making bassaru.
  • You could store Hesarukalu bassaru in the refrigerator for up to a day. 

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Happy cooking and happy eating <3

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