February 22, 2011

Avarekai Pilaf


Avarekai is one of my favorite beans, and I try making as many dishes as I possibly can with it. This is pretty easy to make, as it is all cooked in one pot. You may use the crock pot if you like. The key to a great pilaf is slow cooking. 

What I used: Serves 4/5
2 cups rice
2 cups avarekai / fresh or frozen green kidney beans
1 cup onions diced
1 cup ripe tomatoes diced
2 tsp fresh ginger and garlic chopped
2 tsp cilantro finely chopped
A stick on fresh mint leaves
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp Whole Garam masala (1/2 inch cinnamon, 2 cardamoms, 4 cloves, 1tsp fennel seeds)
1 tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric
2 tsp ghee/oil
Salt to taste
First, soak the raw rice in cold water. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Add ghee into a medium pan. Over medium heat, add the whole garam masala, and fennel seeds. Stir in whole mint leaves, chopped ginger, garlic, and onions. Once they turn soft, add chopped tomato. Stirring attentively, cook on medium-high till they are soft and pulpy. About 5-7 minutes.

Add in the avarekai and powders (chili powder, turmeric and salt), cook for a few minutes. To this mixture, pour 4 cups of hot water (lesser if you like your pilaf flaky, more if you like it soft and mushy) and bring to a boil. Now drain the soaked rice and add it into the bubbling mixture slowly. Let is simmer on high for 3 minutes.

Add in the lime juice, then, cover the simmering mixture on low heat for the next 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally, very gently. All the liquid will evaporate. Test to see if the rice is cooked. If it is watery, let it stay on low heat for a few more minutes. Turn off the heat. Smear the top of the pilaf with 1tsp ghee just before it is served. Serve hot. Enjoy!