Ever found yourself delaying plans to whip up a delicious hurali kayi palya or sambar? You’re not alone. In Bengaluru, the beloved bean is becoming a luxury as prices have skyrocketed over the last four months to over ₹200 per kg. Integral to traditional Kannadiga meals, beans are essential for palyas, sambars, and upmas, leaving many kitchens feeling incomplete without this versatile ingredient. 

Uma, a resident of Rajarajeswari Nagar, expresses concern over the rising prices of beans, a staple in their daily cooking routine. “We use beans very frequently to prepare our usual dishes. With the prices going up, we’ll need to find alternatives, affecting our daily expenses.” “We hope prices stabilise soon,” she expressed, echoing the sentiments of many across Bengaluru.

Prices to decline

 The surge in prices, which typically rises during summers, has persisted for five consecutive months, with rates ranging from ₹180 to ₹200 per kg on online platforms. Bigbasket offers French beans at a discounted ₹248 per kg, down from a recent high of ₹339, while Swiggy Instamart and Blinkit list beans at ₹43 per 250 grams (approximately ₹172 per kg).

Apart from the high retail prices, thing are only slightly better in wholesale markets. Sayed, a vendor at Shivajinagar market, noted, “Beans were selling for ₹240 per kg due to crop losses from heat and increased exports. However, recent abundant rainfall has lowered prices to ₹140 per kg, with further declines expected.”

Dr. Prakash Kammardi, former chairperson of the Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission, explained, “Bean cultivation is region and season-specific. Climate change, such as droughts in one area and excess rainfall in another, disrupts supply unpredictably.” He added, “Rising prices of substitutes drive demand for relatively cheaper alternatives, exacerbating supply-demand imbalances and price hikes.”

Looking ahead, Swaroop Reddy of the Bhartiya Kisan Sangh anticipates a gradual decline in prices. “Farmers faced higher costs planting beans before heavy rains,” he said. “With recent monsoon showers, prices should decrease in the next 10-15 days.”

The fluctuating prices, currently ranging from ₹180 to ₹220 per kg in retail and online markets, reflect supply challenges exacerbated by crop losses in Kolar district - from where Bengaluru gets most of its supply - and surrounding areas due to heat. Here is hoping that the plates and palates of Bengalurueans will again shortly be full of beans.