Breakfast, Upma

How to make Avarekaalu Upma | Hyacinth Beans and Semolina Upma Recipe | ಅವರೆಕಾಯಿ ಉಪ್ಪಿಟ್ಟು

Come December, and we eagerly look forward to Hyacinth Beans, fondly called “AvarekaaLu” in Kannada or “Mochai” in Tamil or “Anapakaya” in Telugu. Hailing from Bangalore, we make a LOT of dishes using this seasonal produce – be it Upma with Broken Rice, Usli(Sundal) Kootu, Akki Rotti (flattened GF Flatbread), Huli / Saaru (Sambhar)  and so many other yummy dishes. 



A kind of Chiwda is also made with these beans (blanched, deep fried and seasoned with salt and spices), and that’s another lip-smacking delicacy. The best beans are found in South Karnataka between10-15th December when it’s called “Sogadu” (aromatic oil fragrance that these beans release). As I don’t have access to that variety, I have made do with what I get locally here. 


See Notes below for more details. 


  1. Today’s Upma is made with Semolina, and we make this Upma multiple times during the season. It’s taste is quite different from the Upma made with Broken Rice and hyacinth beans. But both taste equally good.
  2. Hyacinth beans also have a high cellulose content which helps in IBS while adding protein and fibre aiding in good gut. 
  3. Usually Onions are not added to this hyacinth beans Upma and I have not used it as well. If you need please go ahead and use it.
  4. If you want to make this 100% vegan, simply skip the ghee and proceed. 

Let’s get to the recipe now:

Prep time – 20 mins, Cook time – 15 mins ; Serves – 2~3 generously



What you need:

  • Semolina / Bombay Rawa / Rava – 300 grams**
  • Oil – 3 TBSP
  • Salt – to taste
  • Hyacinth Bean / Avarekaalu – 100 grams
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Urad Dal  + 1- 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • Cashew nuts – 1 tsp (broken) – optional but recommended (skip for nut allergy)
  • Grated ginger – 1.5 tsp
  • Asafoetida – a generous pinch (simply skip for GF)
  • Minced green chillies – 3- 4  (adjust spice)
  • Grated coconut – 4 tsp (optional but highly recommended)
  • Ghee – 1 tsp (skip for vegan)
  • Garnish – chopped coriander leaves 1 tsp + Lemon juice (opt.) 1/2 tsp

** You can use Jowar / Sorghum Rava also here with varying results.



  1. Dry Roast rava / Sooji / Semolina in a pan for 3-4 mins on a low flame till a nice aroma wafts out – keep a watch on burning. Meanwhile boil the hyacinth beans in slightly salted water for 20-25 mins (or pressure cook with 200 ml water + a pinch of salt for 2 whistles) till soft but not mushy. Drain the water and retain the same.  
  2. If using roasted rava, skip this above step, but still go ahead and warm it slightly for 20-30 seconds. 
  3. Cool the rava in a large plate.
  4. In a kadai / Non stick pan, heat oil. Add the tempering ingredients. Once the urad dal has turned golden brown, tip in the cashew nuts, asafoetida (if using), ginger and green chillies. 
  5. Now add the cooked beans, cooked water (2.5 times the rava measured) and bring to a boil. Add all the ghee, salt and half of the grated coconut at this stage. 
  6. When. the water comes to rolling boil. add the roasted rava / Semolina and on a medium flame, keep mixing till the water is incorporated and there are no lumps in the Upma. 
  7. Cook Covered for 8-10 mins on low-medium flame. 
  8. Fluff it up once done. Finish with chopped coriander, remaining coconut and mix well. Add lemon juice if using. 
  9. Serve hot as it is. This Upma is quite spicy so it doesn’t need any chutney / side dish although serving a chutney alongside is totally optional.  

If you chance upon this beans this season, do try out this Upma. I have explained it with step by step pictures in the collage above as it goes to A-Z Recipe Challenge where every month we take a new ingredient alphabetically that we cook with. This edition I feature S For Semolina as my key ingredient. 





  1. Interesting combo. Upma with hyacinth beans must be tasting good.I love to try out different varieties of upma as hubby dear loves it.

  2. Avarekalu Upma is all the rage in Bangalore this time of the year! My aunt makes it – she says the hyacinth beans need to be soaked in water and squeezed. Is that so? I always buy them ready to use.

    • yes priya, bangalore special 🙂 altho I have never squeezed and used (unless its hitaku bele saaru where its done so)

  3. Now this is interesting… beans with upma is something I would really love. We get these frozen but not fresh, I am really intrigued and sure that this is going to be delicious!

  4. mildly indian

    I loved averekalu upma on all days when I was pregnant with my second child. I dont know what was so soothing about it, simply loved it. Glad to see it on your blog.

  5. Give Me Some Spice

    Your upma looks delicious. Perfect and a nutritious choice of a meal. I am a great believer of eating seasonal vegetables as they are so much healthier.

  6. Superduper kitchen

    I love mochai and it's available now in bangalore. I have never used it in making upma. Will try it sometime.

  7. Mayuri Patel

    Interesting recipe adding hyacinth beans to an upma. A good way to enjoy the seasonal beans other than the usual carrot, peas, that we use for upma. Would love to try this recipe when I get some hyacinth beans.

  8. I have heard in Bangalore they do so many dishes with avarekaalu during this season. This is amazing and delicious upma with hyacinth. Will try this variation sometime.

  9. Yup! This is the season to celebrate this bean in all its glory. I loved that you used it in this simple dish that can serve as breakfast, brunch, snack or even dinner.

  10. Vidya Narayan

    Delicious Wholesome Upma with seasonal produce! What more does the heart and health want? These beans add so much flavour to the upma, completely agree!

  11. Avarekalu upma has always been my favourite sich childhood days. I remember my mom using it in almost every dish when it is in season! Though I don't get fresh beans I would try with frozen ones soon. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe.

  12. Avarekaalu is my fav and this upma is what I would love to have with thick dahi . Lipsmacking

  13. Poonam Bachhav

    Upma is our favourite breakfast. Love the addition of hyacinth beans in it. Sounds absolutely healthy and nutritious.

  14. JollyHomemadeRecipes

    Now this sounds so interesting and very healthy recipe, bean with upma. A best way to feed kids with other veggies. I am sure they must be so delicious, would love to try it sometime.

  15. Delicious and nutritious start of the day. bonus is season fresh hyacinth beans added to it.. sounds so filling and yumm.. lovely share.

  16. Hyacinth beeans with upma sounds interesting. Upma looks so colorful.

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