Friday, October 1, 2010

Spicy Avarakkai (Broad Beans) Fry

Up until a few years ago, Avarakkai (Indian Broad Beans) was not in my favorite list of vegetables. There are some vegetables that I used to take it for granted while growing up - the vegetables that I used to see cooked regularly at households. Beans, Avarakkai, Brinjal etc are few of them (Potatoes are exceptions!). Plainly, a simple poriyal (stir-fry) of any vegetable seemed to be so ordinary and did not excite me. So, when I moved to the US, I did not miss those vegetables much. With the years passing by, I had developed a true interest in dining out and exploring variety of cuisines - to learn about new spices, new cooking methods and mainly, to get a break from the kitchen. In fact, I had forgotten about those traditional vegetables altogether. Also, I loved the fact that I found some of my favorite vegetables in abundance here. Cauliflower, beets, Green Peas, Mushrooms enthuse me to cook often.

Well, that all changed after a few years and I started relishing all those simple yet flavorful vegetable dishes all of a sudden. Whenever I visited India for vacation, those vibrant traditional home-made vegetable recipes sparked my liking towards them and I realized nothing can beat this traditional taste. Now, any poriyal is my my favorite and avarakkai poriyal is my first choice! I must say, nothing will never replace the taste of a homemade traditional meal. Thankfully, some of the local Indian groceries here sell these wonderful vegetables on a regular basis. This recipe has a vibrant flavor, and best of all, an easy recipe anyone can make it. Its simple taste practically goes with anything.


Avarakkai (Indian Broad beans) - chopped - 2 cups

Onions - chopped - 1/2 cup (1 small sized onion chopped)

Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Corriander seeds - 2 tsps

Black Pepper corns - 1 tsp

Red Chilly - 1

Fresh shredded Coconut - 2 tbsps (optional). If you don't have coconut you can use 4 or 5 cashewnuts.

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Urad Dal - 1 tsp

Curry Leaves - a hand full.


Grind the coconut, corriander seeds, pepper corn and red chilly to a fine paste, by adding a little water. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan, season with mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves.

Once they splatter, add chopped onions and fry for a few mins until onions are well fried.

Add chopped avarakkai, turmeric, salt and fry for a min. Add some water, cover and cook in low heat until the vegetable is tender.

Now add the paste and mix it well. Simmer and let it boil for a few more mins.

Increase the heat and stir until the mixture becomes thicker and dark colored (roasted).

Serve hot with Rice and Dal.