Going back to childhood

Going back to childhood

Going back to childhood

The ‘avarekai’ (hyacinth beans) always brings back many cherished memories of my childhood. As the season approaches, I get nostalgic and am reminded of my days in my native place, Kanakapura. My grandfather grew ‘avarekai’ in his farm so every year we would get nearly 200 kgs of it. Since there were about 30 to 35 people in our family house, it wouldn’t take long for the stock to get over.

To be honest, I’m not as good a cook as my mother or sister-in-law. I spent 20 years in the IT sector, and never had time to enter the kitchen. But now, I’m taking a sabbatical and have decided to learn new skills, cooking being one of them. These days, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and make three meals a day.

One of my favourite vegetables is the ‘avarekai’ and in our family, the ‘avarekai’ season does not pass until we make a variety of dishes with it. But it starts and ends with ‘avarekai roti’, which is my favourite.

The list of dishes we make include roti, sambhar, idli, lemon rice with ‘avarekai’, upma and mixture.

When I was a kid, I would eat the roti with chutney and butter. For this dish, green chutney does not go as well as the red one.

Our whole family including aunts, uncles and cousins would get together at our native place during this season. There used to be a competition among the cousins on who would eat more rotis. So we ended up eating four to five rotis at a time and would skip lunch that day.

I like ‘avarekai’ because it has an awesome taste — it tickles your tastebuds and is healthy at the same time. There hasn’t been a time when we haven’t made something from ‘avarekai’. And now, I have introduced it to my children! They also eat ‘akki roti’ with red chilli chutney.
The only difficult part in preparing this dish is peeling the ‘avarekai’.

It takes a long time and much effort to peel enough for the whole family. Otherwise it is like making regular ‘akki roti’.

Recipe

‘Avarekai roti’

Ingredients

n Rice flour - 2 cups
n Grated coconut  - 1/2 cup
n Boiled ‘avarekai’ - 1 cup
n Onion - 1 medium chopped
n Green chillies - 4-5, finely chopped
n Curry leaves - Few, finely chopped
n Coriander leaves - Few, finely chopped
n Jeera - 1 tsp
n Salt
n Oil to roast

Method

n Add rice flour, onion, coconut, green chilli, coriander, curry leaves, jeera and salt to boiled ‘avarekai’ in a wide mixing bowl. Mix it well by crushing onions with your hands for a few minutes. This brings out more flavour from it. Use warm water to mix well.

n The dough should be such that it’s easy to spread/pat with hands. It should not be too hard or soft.

n Heat the pan and transfer the roti to it, pouring some oil  all over. Cover and cook till it becomes slightly brown in colour. Then flip the roti and continue cooking for about a minute or so till it becomes crisp. 

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