September 05, 2009

Avial (Vegetables in ground coconut)

Avial or Aviyal is a semi dry - super healthy dish from the God's own (or rather my own) country, made with an assortment of veggies in equal proportions. It's a delight for any vegetable lover. For the same reason it was an instant hit with my husband.

Some Avial trivia! The story has it that somebody came up with a magical way to use up a whole lot of left over veggies and created Avial. Wikipedia suggested another story which dates back to the Mahabharata age, when Bheema, who probably didn't even know how to make an omelette, assumed a chef's role. He chopped whatever was available, boiled them all and in anxiety dropped a whole lot of ground coconut over it. Okay! That's a li'l bit of exaggeration of mythology. ;)

There is a popular rock band from Kerala by the same name catching up fast with the international audience. In Mallu land 'avial' is synonymical with any form of medley. The name is a perfect fit for the band which has a mix of members belonging to different genres of music. Check them out @ Subash's World

Ingredients 1 (to chop lengthwise into thin strips in the same fashion as julienning)
  • Carrot - 150 gms
  • Raw banana - 1
  • Yam - 150 gms
  • Ash gourd - 150 gms
  • Drumstick - 3 (optional)
  • Long beans - 100 gms (optional)

Ingredients 2 (to coarse grind)

  • Coconut - one half scraped
  • Jeera - 1 tsp
  • Green chillies - 3-4

Ingredients 3:

  • Sour curd - 1 cup
  • Curry leaves - 1 small sprig
  • Coconut oil - 1 tsp
  • Boil the cut vegetables in ingredients 1 with a pinch of turmeric powder and salt, till cooked. Strain the water and keep aside.
  • Add the ground coconut mixture to the cooked vegetables.
  • When the mixture begins to boil, add one cup of sour curd and remove from heat.
  • Take care not to boil the mixture once you add the curd.
  • Season with curry leaves in coconut oil.

Avial is best when accompanied with hot rice, sambar and pappadam. Will update with a pic soon :)


Subash S L said...

If you ask me it is the coconut oil that distinguishes the Malayalee Avial from other kinds of avials made elsewhere.

Minu said...

Very true! It just takes one whiff of that aroma of the seasoning in coconut oil to start drooling!