I love avarekalu -the Indian beans. I hail from a place that is famous for Avarekalu recipes and for eating ludicrous amounts of the beans. When I was younger and lived with my parents we usually brought like 5 to 7.5 kilos (strangely produce there is sold in the multiples of 2.5 kilo called 'tooka') of this beans and ate it every which way possible Huli, Usli, Hisidabele, Uppitu and invariably the beans would find it's way into everything coming out of my mother' kitchen. Well guess what! we were the poorest of eaters in the whole neighborhood. Avarekayi vendors would give me a 'look' when I ask them for 'bari( just) 5 kilo kodappa' .My neighbors would be buying 10 or 12.5 kilos and they would giggle at me saying we were not actually a 'local'. We were not locals in a sense. We were nomads who thought had finally settled down. Wrong again, we still are nomads. But nomads who miss their beloved Avarekayi.

When my maternal grandfather was alive, he did plant these beans in his patch next to the mango groves. Me Amma and Appaji (as we called our grandfather fondly), we would go to the Avarekayi patch early in the morning and harvest baskets full of these goodies. Then my Ajji (grandmother) would make the ultimate 'Akki tari avarekalu uppittu' for breakfast. For lunch we would have something like Huli or Hitikidabele. I remember my grandmother soaking these beans in a huge bucket and making a cauldron full of curry. We would all sit and deskin the Avarekayi. It was quite tough back then, we would smear our fingers with lime and then try deskinning the beans. But these days they just  give way. Anyway, there would be mounds of skin and mounds of Hisikidabele in the living room. Eventually a big cauldron of curry in the making.  I would be so happy looking at the cauldron thinking that the curry will last for at least two days, but inevitable would always happen and I did be lucky if it lasted for another meal. For a good reason, everybody in the family ate like the end of the world that day. That is probably when I understood the meaning of our stomachs being a distensible sack. After the meal we would go and dump the discarded skin right in the middle of the road. Appaji always told me that if we did that all the Hisikidabele in our tummy will not bother us. Wonder what it was all about? feeding the stray cattle? I do not know. That was the practice.To this day I am sure it  is being practiced in my part of the world.

 We will need,
Avarekalu/ Indian beans/Papdi lilva  5 cups
Butter  3 tbsp
Fenegreek greens 1 big bunch
Curry leaves a handful
Juice of a Lemon

for the masala paste
Peanut oil 1 tsp
Onion 1 medium
Garlic  8 cloves
Ginger 1"
Cloves  8
Cinnamon 1" piece
Dhania seeds 2 tbsp
Dried red chillies 10-15 (preferably Byadagi, adjust according to taste)
Coconut grated 3/4 cup
Tomato 1 medium

  • Wash and clean the Avarekalu and soak it in water for 3-6 hours. Drain and sqeeze the beans between your thumb and forefinger to remove the skin of the beans. Discard the skin and save the endosperm which is referred to as the Hisakidabele or Hitakidabele. 
  • Clean and trim the fenugreek greens, retaining only the leaves and discarding the stems and woody portions.
  • For the masala paste, heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Toast in the hot pan, one at a time, all the vegetables except tomato and all spices listed under the masala paste.
  • Once the toasting is done, throw them all into a blender along with tomato and grind it into a very smooth paste.
  • Heat butter in a thick bottomed pot. Throw in the Hisakidabele and toss around gently in the melted butter. Saute for 10-15 minutes till the raw smell disappears.
  • Throw in the fenugreek greens and  curry leaves into the pot. Once the greens start wilting, pour in the ground masala. Add about 2-3 cups of water, even more if necessary to bring the curry to a desired consistency.  Bring the curry to a boil and simmer covered till the beans are tender and the curry fragrant.
  • Adjust salt and lemon juice. Enjoy with rice, Ragi Mudde, Roti,Dosa or Poori.


R said...

this is a very new dish for me. looks yummy!

Spicy-Aroma said...

looks delicious!!

Nisha said...

Very nice post , bookmarked the recipe. Never tried this beans ever your post has tempted me to try it

Suparna said...

nice recipe with avrekalu, will try it sometime, thanks

Kannada Cuisine said...

Thanks people..

Lakshmi said...

monne oorige hodaga sakkath agi tindu bande nodi idanna..slurrp it looks :)

Kannada Cuisine said...

@ LG,
Gosh! I miss it like crazy, illi bari frozen stuff yenu ruchi ne iralla :(

Sudhir R said...

OH! OH! Oh! here it comes, the favorite of you family or rather Bangalore and Tumkur, somehow I could never develop my palate for this.