Avial has a special place in Kerala Cuisine. It is a thick mixture curd and coconut, with lots of vegetables. It is seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. Common vegetables that are used to make aviyal are yam, plantains, drumsticks, carrots etc. Some people prefer to substitute curd with raw mango or tamarind pulp. This dish can be made into a gravy and eaten with rice or be made into a semi-solid side dish. The word “avial” means assortment or a mixture – different kinds of vegetables mixed with simple sauce. I learnt this recipe from my mother-in-law.
1/4 cup carrot (diced)
1/2 cup french beans
Drumstick (2 no’s cut into 2″ length)
Raw bananas (cubed)
1/2 cup banglore/bengaluru vankaya also called Chayote
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1 medium potato
1/4th cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Coconut oil / vegetable oil.
1/2 fresh grated coconut
1/2 cup fresh curd ( preferably sour)
Green chillies 5 nos
Cumin seeds 1/2tsp
Coarsely grind the curd, grated coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds. Keep the mixture aside. Heat 1 tbsps of coconut oil/vegetable oil in a pan, add curry leaves and remove the pan from the heat.
Clean the vegetables, peel and cube into pieces ( lenght wise) . Slightly boil the drum sticks with salt. Boil little water and add remaning vegetables , turmeric and salt to it. Simmer on a low flame for 10 minutes. Cook vegetables till 3/4th done and add cubed plantains, drums sticks and cook for 5-8 minutes, add coconut paste mixture and stir well. Remove from stove top. Mix the remaining coconut oil and curry leaves to the dish as a garnish.
Serve with rice.
Notes and Tips
You can also use ( substitute curd for) raw mangoes peices for sour or juice of lemon/lime or tamarid paste. You can also use Yams, Ash gourd, Snake gourd and other commonly available vegetables. Do not over cook the vegetables. The curry will become mushy.You can even steam your vegetables. Turn off the heat after you add coconut paste otherwise it will curdle.