The season of avare (bean) is officially in as multiple melas have begun in Bengaluru where the delicacies of the bean can be savoured. The most popular Avarebele Mela, organised by Shree Vasavi Condiments, opened on January 5 at the National College ground, and is on till January 9. It was usually organised in the food street of V.V. Puram.
Along with the usual avare dosa, avare mixture and new dishes like avare samosa, avare puff and Appu avare sweet (in memory of actor Puneeth Rajkumar) will be available at the mela. Around 40 stalls will offer over 100 varieties of avare dishes at the mela this year.
“As the venue is spacious, we are expecting around 10,000 persons per day. We have seating arrangements and organised cultural shows. Other than favourites like avarekal payasa, vada and avarekai gobi manchurian, we have introduced a new variety – avarekal peri peri masala this time,” said Swathi. K.S., owner, Vasavi condiments.
Lalita Ganjam, who has been visiting the fair for the past 5 years, said, “Avarekai is a much-favoured ingredient in our household. In our house, we make vade, dose, sweet halwa, payasa, palya, and so many more dishes with avarekalu.”
Owing to the incessant rains in 2022, cultivation of avare had taken a hit in Kolar, Magadi, and other areas. Many farmers had also given up farming leaving the traders worried about the quality and quantity of the bean. Supply of avarekai this season in Bengaluru’s markets is low and prices are hovering over ₹50 per kilo. For the Avarebele Mela, the beans are sourced from Magadi, Chintamani and parts of Kolar.
Harvest your own avare at Ragihalli
At Ragihalli, an eco-sensitive zone near Bannerghatta National Park, a unique, experiential Avarekai Habba will be hosted on the four Saturdays of January. For a fee of ₹800, visitors can harvest the bean in the fields, cook them, have their lunch in the village, bake with ragi, participate in pickle tasting and vinegar making session, and participate in other such activities.
“We have been promoting organic farming for the last couple of years. This year, we started field schools and taught them to grow nine crops, and avare was one of them. This will be a totally different experience as harvesting and cooking fresh avare will make it much tastier. It will be a simple food, where we will highlight the flavour of avarekai without much masala. Visitors can also bake at the Ragihalli bakery run by 25 women,” said Vishala Padmanabhan of Buffalo Back, who is organising the event.