Avarekai aka Hyacinth Bean Rasam: A Seasonal Favourite

avarekai

Come winter and the markets in Bangalore and the Mysore region are bustling with what is arguably the region’s favourite vegetable, Avarekai.  Known as hyacinth beans in English, this one finds its way in a wide variety of dishes ranging from idlis, dosas and even halwa!  During the season, people do not hesitate to eat it for all meals of the day.  From adding the boiled beans to the dosa batter to having avarekai sambhar for lunch and avarekai akki rotis for dinner, hyacinth beans are amenable to use in a plethora of preparations.  With homemakers unleashing their creativity each season, there is avarekai icecream and even avarekai jalebi! It is not an understatement to say that avarekai is not just a vegetable in Bangalore but is an emotion.

Rich Nutritious Profile

Like most beans, avarekai is nutrient dense and offers a number of health benefits.  Rich in protein, minerals and vitamins, it is known to be good for people suffering from diabetes.  It is rich in fibre and hence good for digestive health.  Known to have positive effects in curing headaches, avarekai is also good for skin health.

Avarekai or Hyacinth Bean Rasam

A delicious recipe, avarekai rasam is an exclusive preparation that is a winter delicacy.  A highly popular dish this one has a host of healthy and wholesome ingredients like fresh coconut and freshly ground spices.  Here is an easy recipe that makes the best avarekai rasam.

avarekai

Ingredients

  • 1 cup boiled Avarekai beans
  • 2 tsp thick tamarind juice
  • 1 -2 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp ghee

For grinding

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2-3 ripened green chillies
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • ½ cup freshly grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp boiled avarekai

For tempering

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds

Method:

  • Dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, green chillies and asafoetida until aromatic.  Cool and grind to a smooth paste along with freshly grated coconut and 2 tbsp boiled avarekai.  Add water as required.
  • Take a thick bottomed vessel, add boiled avarekai along with 2 cups water.
  • Add the ground paste prepared in the first step as well as the tamarind juice.
  • Allow the mixture to boil.
  • Add salt and turmeric; lower the flame and boil for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add curry leaves just before you switch off the flame.
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee, add mustard seeds.  Once it splutters, pour tempering over the hot rasam.
  • Serve with hot rice

Notes:

  • Adjust salt and tamarind as per your taste.
  • Avoid overcooking the avarekai beans else it will become too mushy.
  • Ripened green chillies which are almost red in colour work best for the recipe.

All images courtesy of Rashmi Gopal Rao

This is part of a continuing series on the world of rasam, be sure to check out the last one, Betel Leaf Rasam: A Unique Spin on the Conventional Rasam