Hithakida Avarekal Palav

Hithakida avarekal (de-skinned beans) palav is one of my favourite dishes, the avarekal/ Flat beans/Hyacinth beans/Indian lilva beans in English, Mochakottai in Tamil, and Surti papdi in Hindi. These are seasonal beans it’s produced during winter, maybe from Nov to Feb. When I was in Bangalore in FEB my mom made this especially for me, it was the yummiest I must say. Here in the US we get the avarekalu but it’s not de-skinned, maybe we can soak the beans for few hours and the de-skin it, but that’s a long process sigh. This is a very simple recipe if at all, you have the de-skinned beans ready to use. So let’s get to the recipe.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 30 minutes.
Idle Time: 4 hours
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
serves:  2 to 3 people

What you will need

2 cups Jeera samba rice or basmati rice
3 +3/4th cup of water
1 small Onion finely chopped
½ tsp turmeric
1 cup hithakida avarekalu (de-skinned beans)
1tsp dhaniaya powder (Coriander powder)
1 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp chilly powder
1 cup of mixed greens (coriander,pudina/mint and meethi/fenugreek)
1 tbsp of mixed whole garam masala (2 bay leaves,2 eliche, 4 cloves, 1 star anise, 1 inch cinnamon, little stone flower, shah jeera (black cumin))
2 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon
1 Tbsp oil

To grind
1 small onion
2 ripe tomatoes
5 to 6 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
¼ tsp sauf (aniseed)


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How to make

First wash and soak the rice for at least half-an hour, then grind the to grind ingredients and keep it aside.
In a heated pan add oil, once the oil is hot add the onion and turmeric, let it cook until translucent, the add the whole garam masala, sauté for a minute, then add the mixed leaves/greens and sauté again for a minute, then add the beans and salt then sauté for 10 minutes, then add garam masala, chilly powder and dhania powder and mix well let it cook for few more minutes, the add the ground paste and water mix well, bring it to boil.
When its boiling add the rice, lemon juice and close the lid, cook for 20 minutes or until done on medium heat. Once it’s done serve it with raitha or any other dish. It’s a one pot meal you can just have it without any ac-compliments.
If you don’t get de-skinned beans, just add skinned beans, I haven’t made the palav using the sinned beans, so I don’t know how the taste will be.
Instead adding oil for sauteing you can add gee or mix of both oil and gee. The taste will be better. I try to make it vegan so I don’t add gee .


Masala Chai/Chai Masala

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I wanted to make homemade chai masala from a very long time. Why? this idea of making chai masala came to my mind was, when I was in the US my neighbour was also from Bangalore, whenever I used to go to her place she used to make this best masala chain I have ever had, from then onwards I started liking chai and until now I prefer chai over coffee but before I used to like coffee. Now I am a chai fan. I had tried the store brought chai masala it was not at all good and was a waste of money

In all these years whenever I wanted to make chai masala I dint have the ingredients immediately or when I had all the ingredients I either dint have the recipe or mood to do it, or I used to make ginger or cinnamon or cardamom chai whichever ingredient was available and now finally I have made my custom-made masala chai, all the ingredients are according to my taste and I enjoy my tea sessions, either alone or with DH or the guests at home, so here goes the recipe.

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Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 15 to 20 minutes.
Idle Time: nil
Cooking Time: nil
makes: 100 grams


Cardamom – 10 t0 15

Cinnamon – 15 small pieces

Nutmeg – 2 to 3

Pepper – ½ tspn

Jeera – ½ tspn

Ginger (dry) – 50 grams (powder)

Cloves – 10


Take all the ingredients put it in a mixer and grind it coarsely and its ready when ever you’re making the masala chai

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Notes; I have show fresh ginger in the picture but I have used dry ginger.