Yesterday had me making Avarekalu once again, my favourite bean at this time of the year ;). This time, I decided it was going to be Avarekalu Saaru. Saaru is Rasam in Kannada, however, this saaru is more gravy-ish like any other sambar. Only difference is, there is no toor daal used in the preparation. I decided to make ragi mudde (ragi balls) to go with the saaru. I don’t think Raagi and its benefits need any introduction!
This Saaru-Mudde combo is a staple diet with the original localites of Karnataka. The Saaru has a perfect blend of spices and I’m postitive you will all absolutely love it!
Ingredients for Avarekalu Saaru:
- Avarekalu Beans – 4 cups, in all (shelled and pressure cooked with salt)
- Tamarind puree – 3-4 tbsps
- Rasam Powder – 2 tsps
- Coriander/Cilantro – a sprig, finely chopped
- Water – 2-3 cups
- Salt – to taste
For the Masala:
- Channa Dal – 3 tsps
- Urad Dal – 1 tsp
- Dhaniya (Coriander) seeds – 1 tsp
- Methi seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Jeera/Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Black Pepper corns – 1/2 tsp (adjust to suit your taste since red chillies are being added too)
- Selam Chillies (hot variety) – 2 nos
- Byadgi Chillies – 2 nos (these add more colour than spicyness to your dish)
- Asafoetida – 1 pinch
- Cooking Oil – 1/2 tsp
- Ginger – 1/2″ piece
- Garlic – 5-6 pods (adjust to suit your taste)
- Grated Coconut – 4 tbsps
- Avarekalu Beans – 1/2 cup (shelled and pressure cooked with salt)
For the Tempering:
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Ghee – 1/2 tsp
Procedure for Avarekalu Saaru:
- In a wok, boil the tamarind puree, rasam powder, salt and water together for 2 minutes.
- Add 3 1/2 cups of the cooked avarekalu beans and coriander. Allow to boil on a low flame.
- In the meanwhile, fry together all the masala ingredients in a wok except the last 4 ingredients (ginger, garlic, grated coconut and 1/2 cup cooked avarekalu beans), on a low flame till the daals turn golden brown.
- Allow to cool. Grind together all the fried masala ingredients with ginger, garlic, grated coconut and 1/2 cup avarekalu beans, with as less water as possible. Keep aside.
- Once you see a froth collecting on the surface of the saaru in the wok, add the ground masala paste. Stir well so that no lumps are formed.
- Continue to boil on a low flame for about 10-15 minutes or till the saaru turns into a bubbly liquid.
- Prepare a tempering with the mustard seeds, asafoetida and ghee. Pour over the saaru and stir well.
- Serve hot with raagi mudde!
Ingredients for Raagi Mudde (serves one):
- Raagi flour – 1 measure (I used a 1/2 paav glass)
- Water – 1 1/2 measures
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 1/2 tsp
You would need to use a short wooden stick (or ladle with a thin, stick-like end in upside down position – the side you would normally hold, would go into the pan/wok) while making the mudde. Don’t ask me why, but they have always used a wooden stick/ladle to make these muddes! I used my wooden churner in upside down position. You could do the same if you don’t have a wooden stick handy.
Also, preferably use a non-stick pan or wok to prepare the mudde. It avoids any wastage and plus, the mudde turns out really well without sticking to the sides of the pan.
Procedure for Raagi Mudde:
- In a non-stick wok, heat the water. Allow to boil for 2 minutes.
- Add the oil and salt. Stir well with the wooden ladle (held upside down).
- Now, add one pinch of the raagi flour to the water and stir well (Pssst…this is a trade secret – it prevents formation of lumps when you add the rest of the flour).
- Allow to boil another 1/2 minute.
- Now, ensuring the wooden ladle is sitting in the pan (in the upside down position), add the remaining flour and immediately cover with a lid for 1 minute. Do NOT stir during this time.
- After a minute, take off the lid and start stirring vigourously till the mixture thickens to form a lump/ball around the wooden ladle. Remove from flame.
- Slightly wet your hand and give the mudde a smooth, round form.
- Enjoy it hot with the yummilicious avarekalu saaru!
Some trivia: You know, there is a way to eat these raagi muddes. From the main mudde (ball), break off small portions and dip them in the saaru/gravy and pop each portion in your mouth and just swallow. No chewing…it will only result in the mudde getting stuck all over the insides of your mouth and that’s something you wouldn’t really like! So, make sure you break off small portions that you’re comfortable swallowing in one go. And trust me, these muddes are very very wholesome and filling. You’ll be full in no time! Bon appetit!
The Ragi Mudde goes to the JFI – Ragi/Finger Millet event being hosted by Madhuram of Eggless Cooking this month. The event is a brainchild of Indira of Mahanadi. Thanks Madhuram, and thanks Indira for the round-up! Can’t wait to see the database of recipes calling for Ragi, once its all been collated.