Avarakkai poriyal is a popular side dish in South Indian cuisine. Avarakkai is tamil is known as Broad beans. This variety of beans are grown in climbers and is a seasonal vegetable. Avarakkai is used liberally in the Southern states and is very nutritious.
At my mothers house, which is an independent house, she maintains a kitchen garden. Avarakkai is a regular climber we sow. The reason being that it is an easy one to grow and gives abundant veggies. The crop typically lives for about 4 months. Every day one climber easily gives more than 500grams of beans which is more than what a small family can consume. We used to distribute the produce to neighbours as everyday we cannot be consuming Avarakkai.The full blown climber occupying one side of the wall of the house and purple/white flowers in the plant is still in my mind. The crop needs proper pest care. My mother everyday used to spread ash (from cow dung cake) on the plant. More importantly it needs to be spread when plants leaves have moisture. Typically this will be first activity of the day. My sisters and I enjoy the work thoroughly.
My mother makes a varierty of dish with Avarakkai and poriyal/stir fry is a prominent one. Though I am not a big fan of Avarakkai, I eat the curry without any fuss. Primarily because I had spent time around the plant every day. That gives a sense of ownership for the plant as well as the produce. Today my children are so fuzzy about eating because there is lack of “my thing” in any food they eat. Times have changed and so are the values.
Last time when I went to our village, both my mama and Chitti who live 15kms apart, stuffed me with Avarakkai. My cousin drove all the way from his house to hand over Avarakkai to me. He told me that all sibling houses nearby have only Avarakkai and I would be doing a great favour if I take the whole produce, as he would be spared from eating it for atleast 2 days. I was bursting with laughter. Indeed, it is such a plant that gives so much that at one point you would start looking for consumer.
Leaving the story apart, here is the recipe for Avarakkai poriyal
- 500 grams Avarakkai
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Shredded
- 1/2 Tsp Salt To taste
- 1 Tsp Oil
- 1/4 Tsp Mustard
- 1/4 Tsp Urad dal Split
- 2 Nos Dry Red Chilli
- 1 Spring Curry leaves
Wash Avarakkai under running water. Avarakkai contain fiber which is heavy for humans to digest. Hence carefully remove the fiber by holding avarakkai in the ends. Tender Avarakkai will not have fiber, and for those simply remove the ends alone.
Chop the avarakkai finely, Add the chopped vegetables to a small pressure cooker along with salt. Sprinkle little water and pressure cook for 2 whistles directly. You can cook the same in kadai too, adding water little by little till done. Pressure cooking is faster and hence I use the same.
Now let us do the tempering. Add oil in a kadai and heat in medium flame. Add mustard seeds. When they crack add the urad dal, dry chillies and curry leaves. Add the cooked Avarakkai to the temper and saute till all ingredients mix well.
Add the shredded coconut finally and give it a mix. Do not cook after adding coconut. It is best to consume coconut in raw form.
Avarakkai Poriyal – Step by Step instructions
*Wash and de-string Avarakkai.
*Chop the avarakkai finely and pressure cook with added salt for 2 whistles in small pressure cooker/kadai.
*Temper the items as given and add cooked avarakkai.
*Add shredded coconut and give it a stir.
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