Thursday, June 4, 2009

Avrekai Masala

After my little one was born, I was at my mom's place for about 2-3 months and I really value all the help I got from my mom during that time...
Its just so overwhelming when you have a baby- you are suddenly responsible for this tiny little being who is incapable of doing anything other that the pee-poop-cry-sleep routine.
My mom was like the super woman, handling me, the baby, home and cooking. It did really get too much, so we arranged for a cook in a few days..

Mrs D made the most awesome 'bisi bele bhath' (rice, dal and lot of veggies in a spicy masala, for those who don't know - a speciality from Karnataka), avrekai masala and a super duper mysore style rasam.
It was a bit spicier than the regular food I was used to, but after months of eating bland food, I seemed to really relish it. These three recipes have been noted down in my recipe book, and made many times over at home...

Avrekai is a big favorite in Bangalore and during the winters, which is the season for avrekai, you will find it in akki rotti, uppitu, sambar, huli, rava idli...
There is this interesting thing that happens in some homes in the older areas on Bangalore - the skin of the avrekai is kept outside the house and apparently the more the number of people stamp over it, the tastier the dish gets !!

This is made best with fresh avrekai. If you cant find that, try it with fresh peas or any other bean soaked overnight and cooked. I tried this in Ahmedabad with what they called 'daano', which i conveniently decided is avrekai.

What you need -

2 cups peeled avrekai (I am guessing this is navy beans)
3 onions
3 green chillies
5 pepper corns
1 tomato
1 tsp coriander seed/ dhania powder
4 cloves of garlic
1" piece ginger
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/2 coconut grated
salt to taste

What you do with it -

Cook the avrekai in a pot of or water or the cooker(2 whistles) or in the microwave for about 7-8 mins
Cut the onions, green chillies, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, coriander leaves
Heat 2 tsps of oil in a kadai and fry the onions, green chillies, ginger, garlic and pepper corns till the onions turn translucent
Then add the remaining ingredients except tomatoes and fry for 3-4 mins
Grind this to a coarse paste
Add the avrekai to this paste, add salt and bring to a boil


SJ said...

Arch, sweet heart, my dost, jaan ki gijar, my jamun THANK YOU so much for this recipe!!! I have been hunting for this one for such a long time. My mom gave a recipe with no proper measurements and I am lazy as hell to try un-measured recipes!

I just want people to know that - if you are using frozen avrekai pls do not pressure cook, they turn to mush. Use the microwave or cook onstove top.

Arch I am trying this today will let you know how it turned out. I can't wait to get out of this stupid lab and make this.
Thanks again!!

Asha said...

Thanks Arch, loved there in India even though it was blazing hot Summer. Next time I should go in December, lesson learned! ;D

Avarekalu palya! Slurp! I didn't get to eat that when I was there but ate Padavalkai, Maddur vade a lot!

Have fun, see you in the Fall!:)

Superchef said...

mmm...never had this kind of a dish with avrekai.Looks awesome! will try as soon as i get hold of some.

Vani said...

Avarekai masala sounds delicious, Arch! Will try this out sometime for sure!
Oh, moms are rocks pre and post delivery, aren't they?! I don't know how I'd have managed without mine! How old is your kid now?

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow looks yum....

DEESHA said...

I never make averekai this way . nice recipe

Mangala Bhat said...

wow! good one .. I amm palning to post avarekayi masala next ..hey urs pic looks awesome


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