How to prepare Avial

Avial is a very popular dish in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is a medley of various vegetables cooked together, spiced very lightly, and topped off with curd and grated coconut, a staple ingredient of South Indian cuisine. Avial is an essential part of sadya, which is an elaborate vegetarian meal that is served during Onam and at weddings.

The vegetables commonly used in Avial are elephant yam, plantain, pumpkin, carrots, beans, brinjals, cucumber, drum sticks, snake gourd, and so forth. All the vegetables are cut in the same shape and size, — elongated strips about two inches in length. Some people prefer to skip curd and substitute it with raw mango or tamarind pulp. Avial is generally had with rice.

Here’s how you can make Avial at home.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Half a cup of carrots

Half a cup of snake gourd

Half a cup of brinjals

Half a cup of raw banana

Half a cup of jackfruit seeds, quartered lengthwise

Half a cup of elephant yam

Half a cup of old cucumber

Half a cup of drumstick pieces

Half a cup of raw mango

Two cups of grated coconut

1 tsp of powdered cumin

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp of red chilli powder (optional)

2-3 green chillies

Half a tsp of turmeric powder

2 tbsp of coconut oil

A few curry leaves

Method

Put all the cut vegetables, except mangoes, in a large cooking pot. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, curry leaves and chilli powder.

Add half a cup of water and mix well.

Cover the pot and cook on a low flame for about 10-12 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked. Take care not to over-cook them. Keep checking every five minutes to see if the vegetables are cooked to the right consistency.

Grate coconut, green chillies, cumin seeds, curry leaves and a pinch of turmeric in a mixer jar. Run the mixer just enough to make a coarse paste. Do not add water to make the paste.

Add the ground coconut mixture to the cooked vegetables, and top it off with the desired amount of salt and mango strips. You can also add lightly beaten curd instead of mango strips to the mix.

Drizzle some coconut oil on top and mix gently.

Your Avial is ready!

Let it cool for an hour before serving.

 

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