Avarekai is also know as surti papdi. It comes in a pod. While I was growing up I remember my grandpa used to buy these with the pod in large quantities. Entire family sat together to de-seed them from the pod, to make delicious varieties. It’s a seasonal vegetable mostly found during the summer months March thru June. Since it was summer break from school I could not escape from helping 😛..
It was one of the veggies that my mom would use in many dishes she cooked during those months. She made rotti, saaru, usli, upma, hitkavare (a very tasty laborious curry which is eaten with dosa or rotti), chivda and more.. My mom also made a sweet dish called yeLavare, of course there has to be a sweet dish as well given that we are a family with sweet tooth 😀.. It was a treat with avarekai during the whole season..
Coming to US we can get the frozen avarekai all year round. Sometimes we do get the fresh ones here.. My recent visit to India brought back memories of all the dishes my mom makes.
Today I made a very simple yet tasty recipe of my mom – Avarekai usli, for lunch with rice and rasam. This is great to eat when mixed with hot rice and a drop of ghee.. So yum yum..
avarekai seeds (surti lilva) 2 cups
onion 1 big sliced thin and long
green chillies 8 or per taste
oil 5 tsp
mustard seeds 1 tsp
urdhal 1 tsp
hing a pinch
salt to taste
sugar 1 tsp
lime juice 2-3 tsp
coconut 3 tblsp
Wash the avarekai seeds in water and cook them till tender not mushy. Drain water and set aside.
Slit green chillies and set aside.
In a pan heat oil, add mustard seeds and let splutter.
Add urdhal, hing and green chilles.
Sauté till the dhal turn light brown and add onions.
Sprinkle salt and sugar, let cook till onion turns translucent.
Add the avarekai and mix well.
Lastly add lime juice and grated coconut.
Heat for a minute and turn off the flame.
Serve with hot rice..