This classic dish of vegetables cooked in buttermilk and coconut, is a hot favourite and made across Kerala and tamil nadu….. the blend of flavours, of the vegetables and coconut, is something that is unmatched…I fell in love with avial while a student in PSG at Coimbatore. Many afternoon lunches as Sri Aryaas meant that the meals they served at Rs. 25 per head was lapped up like there was no tomorrow…..served on a banana leaf….it was quite an experience….and I quickly fell in love with this dish called avial…. Usually ignoring the usual three courses of sambhar and rasam that followed and eating just avial and rice for the full meal….
As in every classic recipe, there is no “one original” recipe for avial……every family, region etc have their own way of making it…some with buttermilk, some with curd, some with turmeric, some without….
While I am in no way claiming mine is original….i learnt this recipe from my MIL so this is the palakkad iyer way of making avial. Simple to put together (once you get over chopping vegetables), it’s a yummy dish, full of vegetables and all the nutrition they bring.
Today is thiruvonam…. Celebrated by all malayalees and keralites the world over… Avial is an integral part of the festive spread called Sadya…….while k isn’t hot on festivals, avial and keerai molagootan for lunch is something he will hardly refuse!!
Avial (serves 4)
4 cups vegetables (I used snake gourd, potato, raw banana, carrot, bottle gourd, but take your pick from ash gourd, yellow pumpkin, raw banana, potato, drumstick, carrot, beans, peas, snake gourd, yam)
Salt to taste
5 T grated fresh coconut
1 c sour curd
1 T tamarind extract if the curd isnt sour
1 T coconut oil
1 t cumin seeds
2 green chillies
A few curry leaves
In a heavy bottomed pan, boil the vegetables with salt and a little water till well done. They should break when pressed with the back of a ladle.
Grind together the coconut, cumin seeds, green chillies with 2 T of water. Add the curd to this and blend well. Add this to the cooked vegetables and heat gently making sure it doesn’t curdle.
Take off the heat, add the coconut oil and curry leaves.
Serve with hot rice.