Avarekalu ruling restaurant menus

The city’s favourite bean gets diverse new avatars as it is added to chikkis, tacos and chocolate desserts
Last Updated 11 January 2024, 22:03 IST

It’s that time of the year again when Bengaluru’s beloved bean makes its way into its kitchens. Hyacinth beans, popularly known as avarekalu or avarebele, flood the markets between November and January.

The annual Averebele Mela, hosted this year at National College grounds in Basavanagudi, wrapped up earlier this week, but many restaurants are serving special avarekai menus over the next few weeks.

Restaurants across the city are adding the bean to conventional favourites like khara bhat and dosa. Some are innovating with it.

Malleswaram-based Halli Mane is organising ‘Avare Habba’ from January 20 to Feb 15. It features a set lunch menu, featuring over 20 dishes. Some special dishes are avarekalu rotti, avarekalu chikki, and avarekalu shavige chitranna. 

This will be the first time the eatery is launching a special menu for the avarekalu season. “Every year, we have a special menu for the mango season. This time, we thought we should organise something to celebrate Bengaluru’s favourite bean. We are offering a traditional oota, with some avarekalu surprises,” says Raghavendra Sanjeev Rao, managing partner.

Fusion season

Well-known for its regional bites and live Kannada music, Enne in Malleswaram is incorporating the humble bean into various south Indian delicacies. “We’re not just sticking to popular Bengaluru dishes, but also experimenting with coastal dishes and cuisines from neighbouring states as well,” says N Shruthi Sukumar, owner. The restaurant has added 12 avarekalu dishes to the menu — including avarekalu pork gassi, ros omelette and avarekalu gojju, Andhra-style avarekalu chilli and akki rotti tacos filled with avarekalu sukka.

Another place experimenting with avarekalu is 24th Main, a vegetarian buffet restaurant in J P Nagar. This is the seventh edition of their ‘Avarebele Buffet’, and the showstoppers this year, they say, are avarekalu chocolate mousse and avarekalu halwa.

“People find it quite intriguing when we present the bean in the form of a dessert. They are apprehensive but soon enough develop a liking towards it. While our local chefs are usually excited for this season, even the north Indian chefs now look forward to it as they get to experiment,” says Prathana Prasad, proprietor. 

Savoury time

Venkateshwara Sweet-Meat Stall in Gandhi Bazaar is offering a spicy avarekalu mixture. “During the winter, we purchase avarekalu in bulk and deep fry the beans to prepare a spicy-tangy mixture. It is a hot-seller,” says V C Hariprasad, owner.

(Published 11 January 2024, 22:03 IST)

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