Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru: A Winter Recipe from Karnataka

Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru: A Curry Made with Surti Papdi/Lilva Beans
Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru

One of the many blessings of blogging is that I get to deep dive into the cuisines of our beautiful country. Karnataka is one of those Indian states whose cuisine is not widely known (apart from what is available in those ubiquitous Udupi eateries). Today, I am presenting the recipe for Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru, a traditional winter favourite in Karnataka.

Avarekalu or Surti Papdi (Lilva Beans) are available in plenty in winter and are a treasured ingredient in Karnataka Cuisine. In fact, in recent times, there are Avarekalu festivals held in many parts of Karnataka. Kannadigas use these beans in very many ways including in Avarekalu Bisi Bele Bath and Akki Roti.

Using some creative license, I can describe Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru as Sambar with Surti Papdi. It has a very rich flavour from the spices in which the Avarekalu are cooked and tastes absolutely great with rice or Ragi Mudde. I eat this wonderful dish with rotis as well.

Peeling the Avarekalu does take some time, but the rest of the recipe is quite easy. Do give it a try.

We are using only the seeds (Avarekai) and not the outer pod to make this curry.

How to Make Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru

 

Hitikavare Hisukida Avarekalu Saaru | Sambar made with Surti Papdi
Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru
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Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru is a delicious winter recipe from Karnataka. It is essentially Surti Papdi (Avarekalu or Lilva Beans) cooked in a spicy gravy. This is an excellent accompaniment to Ragi Mudde.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Mins
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Mins 30 Mins
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Mins
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Mins 30 Mins
Hitikavare Hisukida Avarekalu Saaru | Sambar made with Surti Papdi
Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru
Yum
Print Recipe
Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru is a delicious winter recipe from Karnataka. It is essentially Surti Papdi (Avarekalu or Lilva Beans) cooked in a spicy gravy. This is an excellent accompaniment to Ragi Mudde.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Mins
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Mins 30 Mins
Servings Prep Time
4 People 30 Mins
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Mins 30 Mins
Ingredients
For the Masala
Servings: People
Instructions
Preparing the Poppy Seeds
  1. Over medium flame, dry roast the poppy seeds till they start to change colour.
  2. For 30 minutes, soak the roasted poppy seeds in just enough water to cover them.
  3. Set aside.
Preparing the Avarekalu
  1. Soak the Avarekalu in lukewarm water for 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Press each Avarekai gently to take off the outer skin.
  3. Set aside.
Making the Masala
  1. In a kadai, heat 1 tbsp oil.
  2. Add the onions and sautee till they become translucent.
  3. Add the garlic.
  4. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
  5. Add the cinnamon, cloves, marathi moggu, and red chillies.
  6. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
  7. Add the cumin and coriander seeds.
  8. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
  9. Add the grated coconut and mix well.
  10. Turn off the heat.
  11. Set aside and let the ingredients cool a bit.
  12. Grind the fried ingredients along with the soaked poppy seeds and the water the seeds are soaked in.
  13. Ensure you have a smooth paste.
  14. Set aside.
Making the Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru
  1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the ghee or oil.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Add the finely chopped onions and sti-fry till translucent.
  4. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and stir-fry till the tomato pieces are stewed.
  5. Add turmeric and salt.
  6. Add the ground masala and tamarind paste.
  7. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Add 1/2 cup water and mix well.
  9. Add the Avarekalu and mix well.
  10. Bring the gravy to a gentle simmer.
  11. Let the Avarekalu cook in the gravy for 7 to 10 minutes. Add more water, if required.
  12. When the Avarekalu are just cooked (take some avarekalu and press between your index finger and thumb. The Avarekai should just be soft and break. It should not be mushy.)
  13. Turn off the heat.
  14. Serve hot with steamed rice, Ragi Mudde, or even Phulka.
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Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru: Surti Papdi in a spicy gravy
Hitikida Avarekalu Saaru

Makar Sankranti Recipes | Pongal Recipes

Collection Makar Sankranti Recipes from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra
Collection Makar Sankranti Recipes from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra

Makara Sankranti is one of those festivals that is celebrated across the length and breadth of India, albeit under various names. Typically, celebrated over 2 to 4 days, it marks the start of Uttarayanam or  the 6-month period which marks the the passage of the Sun northwards towards the Tropic of Cancer.

Hindus believe that the 6 months of Uttarayanam corresponds to 1 day for the Gods while the 6 months of Dakshinayanam, when the Sun moves southwards towards the Tropic of Capricorn corresponds to 1 night for the Gods. 🙂

Makara Sankranti is also the harvest festival and so a day to celebrate the fresh harvest. A lot of the dishes made on this day include freshly harvested produce such as rice, sugarcane, etc.

One combination that is common to Makara Sankrati celebrations across India is Til and Gud or Sesame and Jaggery. You will find people across India making sweets such as Til ke Laddoo (or Tilgul as it is called in Maharashtra) or Gajak.

It is a day to celebrate and typically every family has a feast at home. Here are some Sankranti Recipes that you can include in this feast.

Using new rice is a big part of Sankranti celebrations in the South. You can make:

Do you want healthier options of the traditional dishes? Try these Sankranti Recipes for Rava Pongal and Kuthiraivali Pongal | Udalu Katte Pongali |Barnyard Millet Pongal.

Of course, no celebration in Andhra Pradesh is complete without Pulihora. Try one of these different versions:

No celebrations are ever complete without sweets or desserts, so here are a few you could make:

Sesame and peanuts are popular ingredients for Sankranti celebrations.

And how can one forget the one dish that is a must in all South India festival feasts; Garelu or Ulundu Vada. You could also use the Garelu to make Perugu Garelu.

Happy Sankranti All!

Bhogichi Bhaji | A Makara Sankranti Recipe from Maharashtra

Bhogichi Bhaji, as the name suggests, is a dish made on Bhogi in Maharashtra. It is a mixed vegetable that celebrates the winter vegetables such as Paavta (Indian Lima Beans), Fresh Green Chana (Harbhara), Carrots, and more. In addition, Bhogichi Bhaji uses Peanut Powder and Sesame Powders which are warming in nature and are perfect for the season. It is to be savoured hot with Bajrichi Bhakri.

I looked at many recipes online and used this one here as the base.

What I love about this wonderful recipe is that it celebrates fresh produce much like Aviyal from Tamil Nadu, Undhiyu from Gujarat, Shukto from Bengal, and Pindi Miriyam from Andhra Pradesh.

  • This is a no-onion, no-garlic version of this famed recipe from Maharashtra.
  • Bhogi is the first day of Makara Sankranti, the 3- or 4-day festival marking the start of Uttaraayan, the 6-month auspicious period in the Hindu calendar.
  • In Andhra Pradesh, small children and babies are showered with a mix of Bhogi Pallu (a kind of ber), sugarcane, flowers, rice, and coins. It is supposed to be a blessing and brings good luck. 🙂

 

Bhogichi Bhaji from Maharashtra
Bhogichi Bhaji from Maharashtra

How to Make Bhogichi Bhaji

 

Bhogichi Bhaji Recipe | Sankranti Recipe from Maharashtra
Bhogichi Bhaji | A Makara Sankranti Recipe from Maharashtra
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Bhogichi Bhaji is a wonderful mixed vegetable made in Maharashtra for Bhogi, the first day of Sankrant,
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 1 Hour
Bhogichi Bhaji Recipe | Sankranti Recipe from Maharashtra
Bhogichi Bhaji | A Makara Sankranti Recipe from Maharashtra
Yum
Print Recipe
Bhogichi Bhaji is a wonderful mixed vegetable made in Maharashtra for Bhogi, the first day of Sankrant,
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 1 Hour
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 Minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 Minutes 1 Hour
Instructions
Soak the Peanuts
  1. Soak the peanuts in warm water for about 1 hour.
Making Bhogichi Bhaji
  1. Drain the water from the soaked peanuts. Set aside.
  2. In a kadai, over medium flame, heat the oil.
  3. Add the mustard seeds.
  4. When they splutter, add cumin seeds.
  5. Turn the heat down to low.
  6. Add the curry leaves, chilli powder, turmeric powder, and hing.
  7. Turn the heat up to medium.
  8. Add the peanuts, green chana, carrots, and drumsticks
  9. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  10. Add the potatoes and carrots.
  11. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  12. Add about 1/4 cup water.
  13. Cook covered till the vegetables are just al-dente.
  14. Add the Pavta beans and brinjal.
  15. Stir-fry till the beans and brinjal is cooked.
  16. Add the Goda Masala, salt, and a few tbsp of water.
  17. Mix well and cook covered for 3 to 5 minutes.
  18. Add the tamarind pulp and a little water, if required.
  19. Mix well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  20. Turn off the heat.
  21. Add the grated jaggery, peanut powder and sesame powder.
  22. Mix well.
  23. Add the grated coconut and mix with a gentle hand.
  24. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander.
  25. Serve immediately with hot rotis or Bhakri.
Recipe Notes

This bhaji tastes absolutely great with some hot Bajrichi Bhakri and Butter.

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Bhogichi Bhaji for Makar Sankrant from Maharashtra
Bhogichi Bhaji for Makar Sankrant from Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, peanuts, sesame, and jaggery play a big role in Sankrant celebrations. Here is a recipe for Til Poli which celebrates all three ingredients.

Methi Pithla | Methiche Pithle (Vegan Gluten-Free Recipe)

Pithla is a simple rustic curry made with besan (gram flour) in rural Maharashtra. You can make Pithla is many ways; plain with just besan, or add vegetables such as onions or drumsticks (Shevgyachya Shenganche Pithla | Drumstick Pithla). This time I made it with fresh fenugreek leaves and the result was a spicy, slightly bitter Methiche Pithle (Methi Pithla).

Pithla is very quick and easy to make and tastes absolutely great when eaten hot with Bajrichi Bhakri or Jwarichi Bhakri. You can also savour it with rotis or phulkas.

My memories of some of the best Pithla are always at the end of a hike to one of the many famed forts in Maharashtra. We used to trek in monsoons or in winter, and so welcomed the hot Chaha (Chai/Tea) and Bhakri-Pithla that awaited us at the end of the trek.

Both Bhakri and Pithla can be cooked within 15-20 minutes and so the villagers will always make it fresh for the multitudes of trekkers or picnickers who travel to the forts. The smoky flavour of the Zunka-Bhakar-Pithla cooked on a wood fire cannot be quite replicated on a gas stove, but you can still make a delicious version at home and enjoy!

Methiche Pithle | Methi Pithla: Gram Flour Curry with Fresh Fenugreek Leaves
Methiche Pithle | Methi Pithla

How to Make Methiche Pithle | Methi Pithla

 

Methiche Pitle | Methi Pitla
Methi Pithla | Methiche Pithle
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Methi Pithla (also called Methiche Pithle) is a simply rustic curry made with fresh methi leaves (fenugreek leaves) and besan (gram flour). It is flavoured with garlic and green chillies, and tastes divine with Bhakri or roti.
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Methiche Pitle | Methi Pitla
Methi Pithla | Methiche Pithle
Yum
Print Recipe
Methi Pithla (also called Methiche Pithle) is a simply rustic curry made with fresh methi leaves (fenugreek leaves) and besan (gram flour). It is flavoured with garlic and green chillies, and tastes divine with Bhakri or roti.
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 to 6 People 10 Minutes
Cook Time
15 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
Preparing the Besan
  1. Dry roast the besan till it just starts to change colour.
  2. Set aside to cool.
  3. Add the turmeric to the besan and mix well.
  4. Sieve together the besan to ensure there are no lumps.
  5. Place the besan in a large vessel.
  6. Gradually, add 1 cup of water while mixing continuously to avoid lumps.
  7. Ensure you have a smooth batter.
  8. Set aside.
Making the Methiche Pithle
  1. Over medium flame, heat the oil in a kadai or a heavy-bottomed vessel.
  2. Add the garlic and fry till it just starts to change colour.
  3. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  4. Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  5. Add the green chillies and asafoetida, and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  6. Add the methi leaves and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  7. Add about 1/4 cup water and cook covered so that the methid leaves are cooked well.
  8. Turn down the heat to low.
  9. Mix the besan batter.
  10. Slowly add the besan batter to the cooked methi leaves. Stir constantly.
  11. Add salt and mix well.http://aahaaramonline.com/wp-admin/admin.php?page=sumome
  12. Turn the heat up to medium and cook the mix till the Methi Pithla becomes thick and glossy.
  13. Turn off the heat and serve immediately with roti or Bhakri.
Recipe Notes
  • Methi Pithla is best eaten hot.
  • If the Pithla goes cold, it will solidify. Just add some warm water and mix well. Heat the Pithla for 2-3 minutes.
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Methi Pithla | Methiche Pithle
Methi Pithla | Methiche Pithle

Vangyachi Bharit | Baingan Bharta from Maharashtra

I absolutely love the smoky flavour of roasted Brinjal and try to use it in as many ways as I can. One of my favourite dishes is Vangyachi Bharit,  the Maharashtrian-style Baingan Bharta.

Made with roasted eggplant, onion and tomato, and flavoured with garlic and green chillies, this dish is a great accompaniment to rotis and Bhakri. I am particularly fond of Vangyachi Bharit because it is spicy.

In Andhra, we use roasted brinjal to make Vankaya Pachi Pulusu, Kalchina Vankaya Kothimira Pachadi, and Vankaya Perugu Pachadi.

You could also try the middle-eastern Moutabal, Muttabal, or Baba Ghanoush with it.

Vangyachi Bharit | Baingan Bharta

Vangyachi Bharit | Baingan Bharta

How to Make Vangyachi Bharit | Maharashtrian Style Baingan Bharta

 

Vangyachi Bharit | Maharashtrian Style Baingan Bharta
Vangyachi Bharit | Baingan Bharta from Maharashtra
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Vangyachi Bharit is Maharashtrian Style Baingan Bharta made with roasted eggplant, tomatoes and onions. It is a great accompaniment for rotis and bhakri.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 Min
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Min 10 Min
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 Min
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Min 10 Min
Vangyachi Bharit | Maharashtrian Style Baingan Bharta
Vangyachi Bharit | Baingan Bharta from Maharashtra
Yum
Print Recipe
Vangyachi Bharit is Maharashtrian Style Baingan Bharta made with roasted eggplant, tomatoes and onions. It is a great accompaniment for rotis and bhakri.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 Min
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Min 10 Min
Servings Prep Time
4 People 20 Min
Cook Time Passive Time
10 Min 10 Min
Ingredients
Servings: People
Instructions
Roasting the Eggplant | Brinjal
  1. Rub a few drops of oil onto the brinjal.
  2. Roast the brinjal over a medium flame.
  3. Roast the brinjal till all the skin is burnt and the brinjal collapses a bit.
  4. Rotate the brinjal every few minutes so that it is evenly roasted.
  5. Take the roasted brinjal off the flame and let it cool for about 10 mins.
  6. Peel the skin off the brinjal.
  7. Using a heavy ladle and mash the roasted brinjal a bit so that it is a coarse pulp.
  8. Add salt and mix well.
  9. Set aside.
Making the Vangyachi Bharit
  1. Heat the oil.
  2. Add the garlic and stir-fry till the garlic starts to change colour.
  3. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  4. Add the cumin seeds and green chillies.
  5. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  6. Add the asafoetida and onion.
  7. Stir-fry till the onion is translucent.
  8. Add the tomato pieces.
  9. Stir-fry till the tomato is well-stewed.
  10. Add the turmeric and red chilli powder, and mix well
  11. Add the roasted brinjal pulp and mix well.
  12. Turn off the flame.
  13. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.
  14. Serve with Bhakri or Roti.
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