Thursday, January 13, 2005

For the sake of beans

For the sake of beans
Deccan Herald

January is a festive season for all averekai lovers in the City. Metrolife strings in the averekai parishe at Sajjan Rao Circle for die hard bean lovers.

Jamoons and sohanpapdi are the staple sweets of most festivals. But what if you are told that these, along with some other sweets are made of averekai? To get the taste of these unusual sweets you should head towards Sajjan Rao circle in V V Puram where the heady smell of avarekai will engulf you. In January, it’s festival time for averekai and the busy circle is full of vendors who do brisk business selling the seasonal beans, snacks and sweetmeat made of them. “We have customers who come every year from as far as Banaswadi and Rajajinagar to buy hithekbelle - the deskinned beans,” says Mohan, a vendor.

Capitalising on the popularity of this age old tradition and Bangaloreans’ love for this food stuff, K S Geetha Shivakumar of Vasavi Condiments and Food court has organised the avarekai food festival for the second consecutive year at her store . “Last year, we held this food fest, during the fair (parishe) at a rented building. Following the astounding response we received from people, we bought the place and set up a shop four months ago,” she reveals.

The narrow aisle of the store is full of people, who jostle with each other in their eagerness to savour one dish or the other. This time there are 32 kinds of dishes made for season. Putting their culinary skills to test, the chefs have come out with some very exotic and unusual preparations such as avarekai holege and avarekai chakkali. Even the chaats have been cleverly modified to include avarekai with the subtle shift in taste. They are unusual and good for an experiment.

“The most popular dishes are kali dose with hithekbelle sambhar and voth shavige, which are the traditional dishes of the Shetty community. Also the kharas or mixtures are the fastest moving items. Besides being delicious averekai preparations are also very healthy. The beans are said to improve memory power,” adds Geetha. The festival is on till January 22 at Vasavi Condiments and Food Court, Sajjan Rao circle. For details call 2667 4999.


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