Today i have for you all “ Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru ( Huli ) ” – one of the famous gravy from Karnataka Cuisine . Fresh aromatic spices ,fresh beans makes this gravy taste awesome….
Remember my last post about my visit to Avarekalu mela @ Food street,Bangalore ? There many cooks dish out an array of dishes in which avarekalu is the hero. This festival is also a market for many farmers to sell their produce of avarekalu directly to us.. Being a kannadiga these dishes were not new to me but still i wanted to taste it there. Few were good and few OK but the absolute let down dish among all was Hitikbele saaru . They had served this gravy with set dosa and it nowhere was close to the authentic taste. The very moment , i decided i have to post its recipe soon in my space before Avarekayi season ends.
For people who are wondering what is Avarekalu , let me tell its ” Hyacinth beans / field beans / flatbeans / lima beans “in English, in tamil ” Mochai ” , In Gujarati ” Surti Papdi Lilva ” , in MarathiVaal ” . So avarekalu saaru means a gravy / curry made of Field beans .Hitikida avarekalu /Chilkavare means ‘squeezed Field beans’. Beans are soaked in water for few hours and then de-skinned one by one by hand. Though its very time consuming , people here enjoy doing it . That’s because the end result is all worth the effort .They are creamy and give the curry a very unique taste. Do try them once n i’m damn sure.. you would love it. In Karnataka,hitikbele saru and Ragi Mudde (Balls) is a famous and delicious combo. However , i like it with dosa,chapathi and rice too.
For this gravy , you have to deskin the field beans. Deskinned beans is more tasty and gets cooked in minutes.However if you are feeling lazy to de skin , you can use it as such .
Deskining the hyacinth beans ( Hitikavare / Chilkavare )
Separate the seeds from the fresh hyacinth beans.
Soak peeled beans in water for 3-5 hours.
Discard water from the beans and hold each bean between two fingers and press gently . The outer skin will slip off leaving behind only the inner seed. Continue the process for all the seeds.These deskinned field beans are known as " Hitikida Avarekalu / Chilkavre "
Time to make curry
Heat oil/ ghee in a small cooker/ pan .Temper with 1/4 tsp mustard seeds .When they splutter add curry leaves and haldi.Add finely chopped onion .Fry till translucent.Add chopped tomatoes and saute a bit.
Later add hitikida avarekalu. Saute for 1-2 mins. Add little water and salt and cook in pressure cooker / microwave or direct cook . I cook in cooker for just 1 whistle as these beans gets coooked really fast.Ensure that they are cooked just right - neither crunchy nor too mushy.
Meanwhile prepare the masala to grind for the gravy. Take a small kadai , add a few drops of oil and fry diced onions,ginger and garlic . Let the raw smell go .Keep aside.
In the same kadai , add few more drops of oil .Add dhania,jeera ,cloves,cinnamon ,kapok buds and red chilli.Fry till they are crispy and done. Add poppy seeds and switch off. Toss the masala so that poppy seeds becomes crisp.
Transfer all the roasted masala, onion+ginger+garlic,coconut ,tamarind and 1-2 tbsp of cooked avarekalu. Addition of cooked avarekalu to the masala gives nice flavor and texture to the gravy . Add some water and grind to a smooth paste.
Add the ground masala to the cooked avarekalu , add water to get desired consistency.Mix well and bring to boil .Allow it to boil for some time. If you are serving with rice make it a bit watery else make it medium consistency.
Finally garnish with coriander leaves and a tempering of mustard seeds.
Hitikida Avarekalu Saru is ready to relish . Serve it hot with Ragi Mudde (Balls)/ Dosa / Idli / chapathi / Rice etc.
Don't forget to add 1-2 tbsp of cooked avarekalu while grinding masala. That will give the gravy nice texture and flavor .
If you don't like garlic yo can omit it but authenitic way of making it calls for addition of garlic.
Don't overcook the beans . That will make it mushy .
For people who don't get field beans, you can still do this gravy with some other beans .