Avarekalu Saaru Recipe | How to make Hitikida Avarekaalu Sambar (Huli) [Video]

Avarekalu Saaru or Avarekaalu Huli is a winter special curry made in Bangalore, with seasonal hyacinth beans by double peeling them and cooking them in a coconut and spice based masala. This Avarekalu Sambar is vegan.

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avarekalu huli sambar

Avarekalu, is a delicious bean that is very local to the region around Bangalore-Mysore. It is very similar in profile with edamame beans, just much smaller in size. They flood the markets in Bangalore around this time of the year aka winter. They are either sold whole, with the beans still in their pods or sometimes, loose beans removed from the pods. There is even an entire fest dedicated to these beans at the Food Street near V.V. Puram in Bangalore. The entire food street gets obsessed with these avarekalu and you will see them being used so creatively in so many recipes. There are dosa, thalipettu, curries, sweets, and what not. If you are in Bangalore, this is one traditional fest you should not miss. 

I first ate avarekalu when I moved to Bangalore. The first time I ate in this avatar of Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru was when my friend got it for lunch at work. It was her grandma's specialty and it was super delicious. I managed to get the recipe from her and after several confusions about the quantities of the ingredients, I finally got it right to suit my palate. Since then, come winter, I make this curry multiple times.

When I first posted this recipe back in 2014, I never imagined it would be my most popular recipe on the blog. Come winter and the popularity of this Avarekaalu Saaru recipe starts rising. After 5 years, I decided it was time I reposted this recipe along with a video that gives you step by step instructions on how to make this Hitikida Avarekaalu Saaru.

avarekalu huli sambar

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

Hitikida Avarekaalu Saaru is a South Indian vegan curry made from double peeled avarekaalu or hyacinth beans. You can make this curry with any fresh beans you have available - edamame, fava, double beans, toovar or even avarebele (lentils of hyacinth beans). Hitikida refers to the process of squeezing out the beans from their cover. The beans are double peeled to make the curry, first the beans are removed from the pods and next from their really thin cover. If you are bored to do the second step, you can cook it with the cover on, only they will take a tad longer to cook. While soaking the beans in water before squeezing them out is the traditional way to peel them, I found that freezing them overnight in a bag works wonders. It is much easier to squeeze them out when frozen and thawed. 

The curry is actually a sambar or huli which is made with freshly ground sambar masala. The masala is simple and contains coconut, aromatics, whole spices and ground spices. The curry can be enjoyed as a side with akki rotti or chapati when it is thicker in consistency and with rice when it is thinner in consistency. 


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Video Recipe


Avarekalu Saaru | Hitikida Avarekaalu Sambar

avarekalu huli sambarAvarekalu Saaru or Avarekaalu Huli is a winter special curry made in Bangalore, with seasonal hyacinth beans by double peeling them and cooking them in a coconut and spice based masala. This Avarekalu Sambar is vegan.

Recipe Type:  Curry
Cuisine:          South Indian 
Prep Time:     30 minutes
Cook time:     40 minutes
Yield:              2-4 Servings


2 cups Avarekalu or Hyacinth Beans
0.75 cups grated Coconut
1 Tbsp Poppy seeds
1 small Onion
1 Tbsp chopped Garlic
A pinch Asafoetida
1 - 2 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1.5 Tbsp Coriander seeds
1/2" piece Cinnamon
1-2 Cloves/
1 tsp Tamarind
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
8-10 Curry leaves
2 tsp Oil


1. To double peel the avarekalu or hyacinth beans, remove the beans from their pods.
2. Soak the beans in water for 30-45 minutes or freeze them ovenight in a ziploc bag or a box.
3. Pat the beans dry on a kitchen towel.
4. Gently squeeze out the bean from its peel.
5. Boil the beans in mildly salted water until soft.
6. While the beans cook, make the sambar masala by grinding together coconut, onion, garlic, poppy seeds, coriander seeds, asafoetida or hing, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and tamarind along with a little water.
7. Once the beans are cooked, add the sambar masala along with 1-2 cups of water and allow it to reach a boil.
8. If you are planning to eat it with rice, add more water, and if with chapati or rotti, add less water.
9. Add salt as required. Remember the water was salted while cooking the beans.
10. Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds.
11. Once they splutter, add the curry leaves.
12. Pour this tempering into the curry and remove from heat.
13. Serve hot with rice, rotti or chapati.

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