Every day is a field day for avarekai buffs during avarekai ( field beans ) season. This is one vegetable ( Bean ) which is omnipresent in almost all the dishes prepared in Bangalorean homes at this time of the year, confirming its status as The Signature Bean of Bengalooru.
Hituku Bele is the fresh lentil squeezed out of the avarekai bean and is used as a nutritious substitute for all other lentils during this season. Here is a recipe to prepare Menthya soppu ( fenugreek leaves ) huli/sambar using hituku bele as the substitute for the usual tur dal.
Hituku bele ( Fresh Field Bean Lentil ) - 1/2 kg
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Chopped menthya soppu ( fenugreek leaves ) - 4 cups
Tomato - 1
Tamarind - 1 plum size
Salt - 2 tsps
FOR THE MASALA
Black gram dal - 1/2 tbsp
Bengal gram dal - 1/2 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Red chillies - 10
Fresh coconut gratings - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Red chillies - 2
Gingelly oil - 2 tsps
2. Add red chillies and roast till they are crisp.
3. Add asafoetida and keep roasting till it gives out a pleasant flavour and remove the roasted ingredients on to a plate.
4. Using the same pan roast the fresh grated coconut till it becomes red and flavoursome.
5. When cool grind all the ingredients together into a fine powder.
6. Add water and run the mixer till the powder becomes a paste and set aside.
7. Cut the tomato into half and soak it in boiling water along with the tamarind.
8. In another vessel boil hituku bele with a pinch of turmeric powder.
9. Stir now and then till it is cooked but not mushy.
10. Heat oil in the pan and add mustard seeds.
11. When it splutters add broken red chillies and fry.
12. Add curry leaves and the chopped menthya soppu and saute till the leaves shrivel and give out a pleasant aroma.
13. Add the cooked hituku bele and stir in the spice paste and salt.
14. Extract a thick juice out of the soaked tamarind and tomato, and add it to the lentil and spice mixture.
15. Let the huli/sambar boil for a few minutes so that all the ingredients blend well.
Switch off flame and enjoy the hot Menthya Soppu Hituku Bele huli with rice, ragi muddae, chapaties, dosas or any of your other favourite dishes.
Update: Our dear blog friend Lakshmi from the blog, "Taste of Mysore", is co-hosting the event "Complete my Thali" along with Jagruti from the blog "Joy of Cooking". What a co-incidence that the theme is "beans"! This post is our entry of the event.