This roast potato, Avarakai and chicken salad is the favorite at home. The coriander tahini keeps the flavours close to home and provides the deliciously creaminess to the dressing
Winter’s slowly receding and spring is almost here (heck it is summer already. Spring decides to skip visting Bangalore), and I love cooking with fresh produce. One of the most underrated spring veggies that we keep making quite often at home because of the Andhra-Karnataka influence is Avarakkai. Although the bean is cooked through the year, the seeds are used in late winter and early spring, to make avarakkai seeds curry, and other dishes.
Did you guys even know that there is an avarakkai festival that happens in the Food Street Of Bangalore? (VV Puram)
Avarakkai, or broad beans, as it colloquially known in English, is a favourite around the house. It is quite widely eaten along the rural Karnataka and Andhra region (where it is called Chikkudikaya) because it’s so easily available, has an incredible amount of nutrients and fiber in it. Apart from Andhra and Karnataka, this vegetable is included in a lot of Tamil-Nadu based dishes too – like Avarakkai kozhambu, Avarakkai poriyal and Avarakkai kootu, just to name a few. This doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the ways this delicious vegetable is used. Because Avarakkai was probably one of the most ancient cultivated crops, they are quite easy to grow, and can easily be grown in home gardens too. Infact last year we grew so much of it that I was giving it to everyone.
Avarakkai is generally harvested right Sankranthi, the Harvest festival that is celebrated all across South India. It is unusually flavourful and has a unique, biteable texture. This is why all across many parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, this humble bean has been known to grace many delicious dishes including upma, dosas, akki rotis – and even curries.
Not only is Avarrakai easy to cook with quickly, it is packed fully with nutrients too – and is a good there are a lot of dishes that it is usually added to. Be it akki roti, chicken and mutton curries, it complements the dish beautifully by soaking in the flavours of whatever it is cooked along with – making this textured bean delicious to bite into.
And apart from making the traditional stuff, I have been using Avarrakai a lot in salads, steamed or stir fried and this roast potato, Avarrakai and chicken salad is the favorite at home. The coriander tahini keeps the flavours close to home as well.
I love salads with Indian flavours and ingredients. Here are a few more you can try