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Friday, June 18, 2021

Avarekayi Melogara / Karnataka Style Field Beans Gravy

After yesterday's avarekayi idli, here is another traditional dish from Karnataka called melogara, which I have prepared with avarekaalu, a favorite produce among the locals. Melogara is a side dish that can be served with rice or Indian breads like rotis / pooris. Avarekaalu is a Kannada word for fresh field beans / hyacinth beans and hitakida avaraekalu are peeled beans. Frozen surti papdi lilva would be a decent substitute when fresh ones are not available. The melogara can also be prepared with snake gourd (padavalakayi), mixed vegetables or any greens. 

A melogara can replace huli aka sambhar in a south Indian style menu and this particular melogara is a winter dishMelogara is a spicy, strongly flavored and delicious gravy that is quite easy and quick to prepare. The difference between a melogara and a sambhar is that melogara doesn't require toor dal / pigeon peas for it's base and is also prepared thicker than a sambhar. A mixture of lentils, spices and coconut are sautéed and ground which forms a delicious base for this gravy. One can find gravies prepared along the same lines in other south Indian states albeit with regional variations. 
1 cup hitakida avarekaalu / fresh field beans / frozen Surti papdi lilva
Salt to taste
A pinch of turmeric powder (optional)
Ingredients for seasoning / oggarane:
1 - 2 tsp. oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 sprig of curry leaves
A pinch of asafoetida powder
Ingredients for frying:
2 tsp. oil
1 tbsp. split chickpeas (chana dal / kadalebele)
1 tsp. skinned black garm (urad dal / uddina bele)
1 tsp. rice
1/2 tbsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/4 tsp. black peppercorns 
3 dried red chilis
A handful of shredded, fresh coconut

1. Heat 2 tsp. oil and add split chickpeas, skinned black gram and rice. Sauté on low flame until the split chickpeas start to slightly change the color and add coriander seeds, poppy seeds, peppercorns, and dried red chilis. Continue sautéing until the chickpeas and black gram change color to brownish and corianders seeds change a shade darker. Then add coconut, stir for few seconds and turn off the stove. Let the mixture cool.
2. Grind the fried ingredients to a paste adding water.
3. Cook the beans adding little water in a microwave or on stove - top.
4. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When mustard seeds start to sputter, add asafoetida and curry leaves.
5 - 7. Next add the cooked beans along with the water if any, the ground paste, turmeric and salt to the pan.
* Add enough water to bring it to a thick consistency gravy. (I added about 1 & 1/4 cups water.)
* Cook the mixture on low flame until it starts to boil and then simmer for a couple of minutes more and turn off the stove,
* Serve it warm with rice and a drizzle of ghee or with rotis.
This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon and check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.


vaishali sabnani said...

The curry with field beans sounds delicious as well as interesting. Here in Gujarat we use them in Undhiyu or some dry saute, let me try this recipe for curry.

Radha said...

This is a delicious and interesting curry. Full of bold flavors and protein rich avarekai. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

sushma said...

Field beans curry looks super good.

MySpicyKitchen said...

Avarekulu are favorite at home. I add it to curries and rice. Melogara is new to me and loved the taste of it. Thanks for the recipe.

Narmadha said...

Field beans curry looks so delicious with freshly grounded masala. Would love to have it with hot rice