Monday, March 3, 2014

Avarekalu Saaru / Hyacinth Beans Curry

This recipe comes very late in the season, but I thought better late than never. During the last couple of weeks in December, the food street of Bangalore near VV Puram, erupts into a avarekalu jaatre ( Hyancinth Beans fete). You get avarekalu dose with avarekalu saaru, avarekalu masala vada, avarekalu akki rotti and avarebele holige are just a few items on the menu. We make it a point to go to there every year to enjoy the yummy avarekalu treats they have to offer. Below is one dedication to the famous avarekalu...
My best friend at office got this for lunch whenever her ajji made it for her. It was the tastiest avarekalu saaru I have ever had. I don't have her recipe, but the following recipe which I use makes a really good avarekalu saaru too...

Avarekalu saaru

(Clockwise from top left) Whole avarekai, Shelled avarekalu, peeled avarekalu, peeled and unpeeled avarekalu

Avarekalu saaru

Avarekalu Saaru / Hyacinth Beans Curry

Sambar/ Curry made by cooking avarekaalu or hyacinth beans with spices and fresh coconut

Recipe Type:  Main Course
Cuisine:          South Indian / Karnataka
Prep Time:     30 minutes
Cook time:     30 minutes
Yield:              2-4 Servings


1.5 - 2 cups Avarekalu / Hyacinth beans
3 Tbsp Coconut
1 Tbsp Poppy seeds/ Gasgase/ Khus khus
1 small Onion
3-4 cloves Garlic
A pinch Hing/ Asafoetida
1 - 2 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1.5 Tbsp Coriander seeds
1/2" piece Cinnamon
1-2 Cloves/ Lawanga
1 tsp Tamarind
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
8-10 Curry leaves
2 tsp Oil


  • Shelling and peeling the beans out can be pretty tiring. To make life easier, we can buy already shelled ones but we still need to squeeze out the beans.
  • Shelling the beans is similar to shelling the green peas from the pods.
  • To peel each individual bean, we need to soak the beans in water for around half an hour and then squeeze them out gently from their skins.
  • See the photo for more clarity on how to do it.
  • If you are really bored, then you can skip the peeling step and just go ahead with the cooking the beans directly.
  • Boil the beans in salted water until they are soft and done. I generally pressure cook it for 2-3 whistles.
  • Grind the coconut, garlic, onion, hing, turmeric powder, coriander seeds, poppy seeds, red chilli powder, cloves, tamarind, cinnamon with a little water until fine.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add the mustard seeds to the pan. Once they splutter, add the curry leaves.
  • Add the boiled beans and the masala paste.
  • Add salt and water as desired.
  • Boil and simmer the saaru/ curry for another 5 mins.
  • Serve hot with rice.