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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

A - Z Karnataka Recipe Series ~ H For Hitakida Bele Huli

So far in my A - Z Karnataka Series
A - Akki Halbai
B - Biscuit Roti
C - Congress Kadalekayi
D - Davanagere Benne Dose
E - Ellu Pajji
F - Field Beans / Avarekalu Payasa
G - Girmit

H for hitakida bele hili or saaru. Hitakida bele huli / saaru is one of the classic dishes of Karnataka cuisine and any series on Karnataka food would be incomplete without it. Avarekalu or fresh hyacinth beans is a winter crop and an integral part of Karnataka cuisine. These beans' based dishes dominate the meal menus especially in Bangalore - Mysore region households during the season.   

Thanks to my sister in law who comes from a Kannadiga family, my 'H' recipe was ready even before I thought about doing this Karnataka food series. She had prepared a couple of dishes from the state during our last India trip, which had those star ingredients that I couldn't have sourced locally. I could present this popular and delicious dish only because of her. This huli was cooked and clicked in her kitchen and is her mother's recipe. 

'Hitakida bele' literally means skinned beans. The term huli / saaru usually refer to the gravy based bean / lentil / dal dishes. As the name of the dish indicates, hitakida bele / skinned fresh field beans are the star of the dish and lentils of any kind are not used in this preparation. The beans are first sauteed lightly in ghee to get rid of their smell and then cooked with a spicy paste made with toasted and ground ingredients like coconut, chilles, coriander and Bengal gram. This paste forms the base and gives the thickness to this yummy and flavorful gravy. This recipe has only a simple seasoning of mustard seeds, not even curry leaves or asafoetida. 

Ingredients for grinding:
2 tsp. oil
1 tbsp. Bengal gram / chana dal / kadale bele
1 tsp. rice / akki
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds / gasagase
1/2 tbsp. coriander seeds / dhaniya
4 dried red chillies or adjust as needed
1/4 cup or a little more grated dry coconut
Other ingredients:
2 tsp. ghee
1 cup hitakida avarekalu / skinned fresh field beans / hyacinth beans
Salt to taste
1 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds

* Heat oil in a small and add Bengal gram and rice. When the Bengal gram starts to change color, add coriander seeds, poppy seeds, chillies and coconut. Saute until coriander starts to change color. Turn off the stove and let the ingredients cool. Grind the ingredients in a blender adding water as needed. (We had prepared more dal and so the paste quantity was more as well.)

* Add ghee to the same pan and add the beans. Saute them for a minute or so. Add water as needed and cook until they turn tender. (It will not take much time for the beans to cook but the beans should not turn mushy. Below is the picture of hitakida bele.)

* Add the ground paste and salt to the pan. Add water to the required consistency and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes and turn off the stove.
* Heat a tsp. of oil and add mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, remove and add it to the cooked beans mixture and stir well.

* Serve warm with rice.   

1. The quantity of coriander seeds can be altered according to one's taste preference. It can be increased to about a tbsp. in the recipe but the flavor of the final dish would be stronger.
2. A combination of spicy and Byadagi chilli varieties can be used for color.
3. Onion and tomato can be sauteed and added while grinding the other ingredients.
4. Some versions use tamarind and jaggery in the recipe. 


Pavani said...

Thank you for sharing this classic Karnataka dish. It sounds so spicy and delicious. Lovely clicks as well.

Rafeeda AR said...

Sounds like a classic, very flavorful and feels like a thick soup. Despite clicking off your comfortable area, the dish still looks really well clicked...

Harini R said...

Wonderful dish with the hyacinth beans. The newly sprouted beans look so appetizing and fresh.

Srivalli said...

This dish is so new to me and would have tasted so good...