Avarekalu uppittu/ Hyacinth beans & vegetable upma/ Avarekai uppittu

Winter being season of the pulses like Hyacinth beans (Avare kai), Pigeon peas (Togari), it is the time people enjoy various dishes made of them. Life in Bangalore introduced me so many avarekai/ togari kai recipes to me and I tried few on my own. Avarekai uppittu is one of very famous breakfasts that is simple to make. People prepare it with either Rice rava or with Wheat rava, whatever, it is delicious I can say. Today I am sharing the recipe of my version of Avarekalu uppittu. This is a simple, wholesome & protein rich breakfast one can make in the season.

Avarekai/ Hyacinth beans is a seasonal crop as I said earlier which grows well in Karnataka in the season of winter. It goes well in many delicacy which includes both sweet & savory. To name a few, Avarekai uppittu (today's post), Avarekai saaru, vade (fritters), spicy mixture, Obbattu (Holige), Avarekai - Akki rotti, Rice and many more.. List continues. I will try to cover atleast few of them as this time we have a good harvest in the home garden! 

Uppittu – Avalakki (beaten rice) is a great breakfast combination in Mangalore/ Coastal region which is very common during any festival or celebrations like pooja. It will be generally served with coffee/ tea and paired with banana. In general, uppittu / upma will be prepared without adding onion. I am sharing here the recipe using onion. You can just leave it if not preferred, which does not make much difference.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3
Avarekalu/ Avarekai/ Hyacinth beans – ½ cup
Medium Rava/ Semolina – 1 cup
Green chillis – 2
Ginger – ½ inch
Salt – to taste
Sugar – 1-2 tsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Coconut Oil or other cooking oil – 2 tsp
Onion – 1
Tomato – 1
Vegetables of choice (beans, carrot, potato) – ¼ cup (chopped & optional)
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Gram dal - 1 tsp
Dry red chilli – 1
Asafoetida/ hing - 1 pinch
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Water – 2.5 cups
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp (optional)
Coriander leaves – for garnishing (optional)

  • Keep avarekalu ready by removing the seeds from the pods.
  • Cook Avarekalu in a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water and 1 tsp salt. It will be done in 2 whistles. Keep aside until pressure releases.
  • Meanwhile, wash and peel off other vegetables like potato, carrot (if using) and onions. Chop green chillis, tomato & peeled vegetables as desired and keep aside separated from one another.
  • Wash, peel and crush ginger too.
  • Now take a thick bottomed wok or a pan. Heat 1 tsp. ghee and fry rava or semolina on medium flame until you get a nice fried aroma. Keep sautéing in order to avoid burning.
  • Transfer the fried rava to a plate.
  • Now prepare a seasoning of oil, gram dal, minced red chillis, mustard and asafoetida. On spluttering add curry leaves, chopped green chillis & crushed ginger. Fry for couple of minutes.
  • Add onions, cook until translucent.
  • Add tomatoes & other chopped veggies. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle salt required while doing it.
  • Now pour 1.5 cups of water, add cooked avarekalu (hyacinth beans).Bring to boil. Add sugar.
  • On boiling, add fried rava/ semolina. Stir well in order to avoid the formation of lumps.
  • Cook covered on medium flame until all the water absorbed and it is cooked properly. You can sprinkle little water if it looks like not cooked.
  • Add remaining ghee and mix well.
  • Garnish with grated coconut & chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve this upma or uppittu hot with a cup of coffee or tea.

  • It can be served with choice of green chutney which is optional.
  • Addition of chopped veggies is optional, which makes upma more nutritious.
  • Same procedure can be followed to make regular upma without adding avarekalu if it is not available. In that case reduce the water to 2 cups.
  • Onions can be avoided in case of festival cooking. 
  • Flavor variation possible by adding crushed cumin & pepper while seasoning / tadka. In this case, avoid onions for better taste.