Considered as one of the most essentials in Kerala Sadya, Avial is loved by one and all (except me)! Yeah, as a kid I was picky and I still continue to be so. I remember the first time preparing this. It was on our first Onam after the wedding and P had invited few friends home. Thank God that they hailed from Northern parts of India, they didn’t know that the dish was a disaster. The sadya-lover that P is, he pointed out for the first time that my dish hasn’t turned out good. The next time I prepared, that is on our second Onam, I made sure that I call up Mom atleast ten times to make notes. Yes, it turned out goooooooooood. 😀
Before I introduce you to the recipe, I want to share a small story with you. Avial is supposed to be invented by Bhima, one of the Pandavas. While they were in exile, Bhime assumed the role of a cook of King Virata. Sadly though, he didn’t know how to cook. So, he grabbed some random vegetables, chopped and boiled them together, made a dish and topped it with grated cocunut. Oh, yeah, the dish has the roots from there.
There are few variations to this dish. But, here’s Mom’s recipe.
Indian yellow cucumber, raw banana, drum sticks, carrot, green beans, yam, snake gourd, 1/2 raw mango, 2 green chillies slit
10 Shallots mashed, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1tsp cumin seeds, 1 cup grated coconut, 2 sprigs curry leaves
3tbsp coconut oil, salt
In a pan, add 2 tbsp of coconut oil. Add mashed shallots and saute well.
Add the vegetables (except raw mango) and saute. Add 1/2 cup of water just enough for the vegetable to cook through. Add chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder. Add raw mango pieces and mix well.
Meanwhile, mash grated coconut, cumin seeds and two shallots.
Make a well in the middle of the cooked vegetables and add the coconut mixture. Close and cook for a couple of minutes. Mix together.
Remove from flame, add a tbsp of oil and mix well again.
Serve hot with rice and accompaniments.
Boil and cook yam separate if you find it is particularly raw and needs more time to cook than other veggies.
Leave little skin on the raw banana as it adds taste to the dish.
If you do not have raw mango, add 2 tbsp of yogurt to the dish once removed from flame. You can also add 2 tbsp of tamarind water also to obtain the little sourness the dish require.
‘Written for the A-Z challenge 2015’
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