Few days back, I posted Avarekalu Akki Thari Uppittu using the Hyacinth/Indian Lilva beans. Well, this recipe is a continuation of my experiments with the said beans. While in other parts of South India, the dried version of Lilva beans (Mochai Kottai in Tamil, Chikkudu Ginjalu in Telugu) are used frequently, I have never seen the fresh beans being used in curries. As I had fresh supply of Avarekalu in abundance, I decided to try out another classic from Karnataka cuisine. When I started searching for this recipe, I landed on several blogs. One of the recipes just seemed very appealing and decided to go ahead with it. The base recipe is from here and I have customized it to suit our taste palates.
Though the name of the dish says Saaru (as in watery gravy), the consistency of this curry is quite thick. Moreover, I felt that it was close to the Kurma kuzhambu/curries that my MIL makes to go with rice. The flavor combinations were quite unique and we enjoyed it immensely with hot rice and appadam (padam/fryums).
To prepare Avarekalu Saaru
What I used –
- Fresh Avarekalu/Lilva Beans, 1 cup
- Onion, 1 +1 large (one for making paste and the other for curry)
- Tomato, 1 large
- Garlic Pods, 3-4
- Ginger, 1” piece
- Coriander, ½ cup
- Dried Red Chillies, 3-4
- Turmeric Powder, ½ tsp
- Coriander Seeds, 1 tbsp
- Coconut Grated, 2 tbsp
- Cinnamon, 1” stick
- Cloves, 2
- Curry Leaves, a few
- Oil, 2 tsp + 1 tsp
- MustardSeeds, 1 tsp
- Salt, as required
- Water, as needed
How I made –
- In pressure cooker, cook the Avarekalu in some water for 4-5 whistles. Let the pressure drop before opening.
- In a pan, add a tsp of oil. Add dried red chillies and coriander seeds. Fry for thirty secs. Add roughly chopped onion, garlic pods, ginger and fry for 2-3 mins. Add roughly chopped coriander leaves. Fry until the leaves are wilted. As the onions are cooked, remove from flame and let it cool.
- In a blender, make this mixture as a paste with little or no water. Set aside.
- In the same pan, heat 2 tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add washed curry leaves, fry for 10secs. Add finely chopped onion and fry until translucent. Add finely chopped tomato and cook until mushy. Now add the prepared onion coriander paste and fry for 2 mins.
- Add the cooked Avarekalu along with water. Add turmeric powder and the salt required. Reduce the flame to low and let it boil for 4-5 mins.
- Meanwhile, make a paste of grated coconut, cinnamon and cloves with some water.
- Add the prepared paste to the boiling saaru/curry. Add some water if required. Mix well. Check for salt and spiciness.
- Let the Avarekalu Saaru boil for 2-3 mins or until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat.
- Serve hot with rice and fryums or papad.
- If the fresh avarekalu are soaked beforehand, the cooking time would be lesser.
- The actual recipe calls for removing the skin of the beans, I did not do that and used the full beans without removing the skin.
- If you prefer spicier version, add additional red chilli powder.
- Add water as and when required if the curry is going too dry.
- After adding coconut, if you keep boiling for long, the curry might look curdled. Let it just come to a boil and remove from flame.