The Avarekalu or Field Beans is much loved in Karnataka, is quite common during winter season here in Bangalore. This is perhaps the best time for someone to go for recipes involving Avarekalu. We add boiled and cooked Avarekalu to Rice Rotti, to Rice Dumplings or Gidde. Field Beans can be used to prepare varieties of rice items (you can even add them to a dish like Khara Pongal), a few Curries, Dal, Sambar including the one that goes with Idli/Vada.
According to Foodelicious, Avarekalu in Kannada is known by names – Mochai in Tamil, Lima/Hyacinth beans in English, Surati Papdi in Gujarati and Popati/Vaal in Maharashtra. And I hear that in Telugu, it is known by the name Anapakaya. Actually I was not aware of Avarekalu before I came down to Bangalore and till recently had not used them. The idea of using Avarekalu to prepare mixture was given my cousin’s wife Girija who provided the recipe posted here. She also told me about frying the Poha/Avalakki the easy way using stainless steel sieve dipped in oil as described in instructions below.
Note that you can make the Avarekalu Mixture described here even more tastier by adding additional ingredients like Almonds or varying the quantities of ingredients like Poha, Cashews, Raisins to suit your taste.
Savor Avarekalu Mixture in the evenings with a cup of Coffee/Tea.
Avarekalu Mixture Ingredients:
- Flat Beans or Field Beans or Avarekalu – 1 Cup
- Thick Flattened Rice Flakes or Beaten Rice or Avalakki or Poha- 1/2 Cup
- Groundnut or Peanut – 1-2 Tbsp
- Thinly Sliced Dry Coconut or Copra – 7-8 pieces
- Roasted Bengal Gram – 2 Tbsp
- Cashew Nuts – 7-8
- Raisins – 10-12
- Curry Leaves – 7-8
- Sugar Powder – 1 Tbsp or as per taste
- Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
- Cooking Soda – 2 Pinch
- Oil – Deep frying
Time to Prepare: 30 min
How to Make Avarekalu Mixture :
1. Soak the Field Beans or Avarekalu in water for 2-3 hrs. Then remove the outer skin by pressing with the help of hand. One can also get already pressed and peeled Field Beans (Hidakavare) in market especially here in Bangalore.
2. Remove the Flat Beans or Field Beans from soaked water and spread it on a muslin cloth, leave it on the cloth for 10-15 min. Do not drain the water content from the Field beans. Remove the Field Beans from cloth and put them in a vessel and slightly sprinkle Cooking Soda and little salt on Field Beans. Gently mix once, so that the Salt and Soda mix well with the beans.
3. Heat Oil in a frying pan. Once the Oil turns to boiling point, take some of Field Beans or Avarekalu in hand and carefully drop them into the Oil and deep fry (the water content in the Field Bean may make the hot oil to splutter, so be careful while dropping the Field Beans into the Oil). You may observe that at first, the Field Beans or Avarekalu will place themselves at the bottom of the frying pan, and then slowly the Beans bubble upto the top. This is the stage to remove the Avarekalu slowly from the Oil. Remove and place them on a paper towel to remove the excess Oil. Follow the same procedure for frying rest of the Field Beans in batches.
4. Once done with frying the Field Beans, next deep fry the other ingredients one by one at a time in the same oil. Fry the Groundnut or Peanuts until they turn to golden brown in color. Next fry the sliced Dry Coconut – just drop the dry Coconut or Copra in hot oil and remove immediately from oil, because the Copra can turn black if placed in heated oil for a longer time. Then fry the Cashews, Raisins and Curry Leaves seperately and keep everything on paper towel to remove the excess Oil. Do NOT deep fry in oil the roasted Bengal Gram. It will not give the good taste to the mixture.
5. Fry the Avalakki/Poha or Thick Flattened Rice Flakes or Beaten Rice in 2-3 batches. Take a stainless steel sieving filter with handle, keep 2-3 Tbsp of Thick Flattened Rice Flakes in sieving filter and dip the sieving filter with Rice Flakes into the hot Oil for few min till the Rice Flakes turn crispy and bubbled in shape. Make sure they do not turn brown in color. If you do not have the stainless steel sieving filter, just deep fry the Rice Flakes normally as we do for other ingredients above. The sieve filter method helps quite a bit to fry the Poha or Rice flakes; with second method, it can be slightly difficult to remove the fried Avalakki or Poha from the Oil, specially if you are not used to it. Once removed from the Oil, keep the Poha/Aval on the paper towel. Repeat this process for multiple batches of frying.
6. Transfer all the fried ingredients from the paper towel and also the roasted Bengal Gram to a mixing bowl. Add Chilli Powder, Salt and Sugar Powder and mix well with hand. The fried Curry leaves may crumble, but do not worry – it gives good taste to the Mixture. Adjust the Salt, Sugar and Chilli Powder as per your taste.
Now the Avarekalu Mixture is ready to serve. Serve it with Tea, Coffee as evening snacks.