The season for “Avarekai” has started in Bangalore much to the delight of hubby who adores these “Flat Beans”. So the purchase and an order to make something out of them followed. Avarekai are similar to beans, but very big in size. The skin is normally not eaten but discarded. You would find road side vendors removing the skins and selling the beans. I had preserved a cut out from “The Times Of India” that had different Avarekai recipes. The idea was to make “Avarekai saaru” which a standard preparation in Karnataka.
I had never really tasted it and didn’t know how it was supposed to turn out. The original recipe called for coriander seeds, curry powder, coconut and jeera to be ground and added to boiled avarekai. I was a little skeptical about how it would turn out to be. A phone call to a friend and some brain-storming later, I decided to add my own twist to the recipe, adding a few extra ingredients and skipping other. A little skeptically, I served it to hubby. Turns out he really liked it. So here I am with the modified Karnataka style Avarakai saaru.
Before I actually start, here is how Avarekai seeds look:
Avarekai seeds: 1 cup.
Tamarind pulp of a small lemon sized tamarind piece.
Salt : to taste
Curry leaves and Chopped coriander: for garnish.
To be made into a paste:
Coriander seeds/dhania : 2 tsps.
Cumin seeds/jeera : 2 tsp.
Dry red chillies : 3 to 4 (or as per taste)
Cinnamon stick – small piece
Star anise seed – small piece.
Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp. (optional)
Sambar powder/ rasam powder – 2 tsp.
Boil the avarekai seeds in water to which some salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder are added for around 15-20 mins or till half boiled. Keep aside.
Dry roast the dhania seeds, jeera seeds, red mirchi, cinnamon stick and star anise separately without oil in a small kadhai on heat till they start releasing their aromas.
Grind all the ingredients needed to make the paste along with some water in a food processor/mixie till you get a paste of the required consistency.
To extract the tamarind pulp, boil the tamarind ball with 1/2 cup of water. Let it come to boil. Cool it down a bit. Now you should be able to extract the pulp by mixing well with your hand and squeezing out the juice.
Now place the avarekai seeds in a vessel/pan, add more water to it. Add in the paste and mix well. Add the tamarind juice and bring to boil. Add salt mix and check seasoning. The quantity of water can be adjusted depending on the consistency of your liking.
Add some curry leaves and chopped coriander allow to cook for a couple of more minutes.
Serve with rice and papad or rotis.
- Spicy Rasam-andhra style (tummykhush.wordpress.com)