Aviyal is a dish which is believed to have been originated from South India and is common in Kerala and Udupi cuisine. It is a thick mixture of vegetables and coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. Avial is considered an essential part of the Sadya, the Keralite vegetarian feast.
It is supposed to have been invented by Bhima (one of the Pandava brothers) during their exile. According to the legend, when Ballav (Bhima’s name during this time) assumed his duties as the cook in the kitchen of Virata, he did not know how to cook. One of the first things he did was to chop up many different vegetables, boil them together and top the dish with grated coconut.
1 cup chopped drumsticks (Shingh phali)
1 cup chopped yam
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped green beans
1 cup chopped tindora (tendli)
1 cup chopped ash gourd (winter melon/ petha)
1 cup chopped yellow pumpkin
1 plantain, chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
Salt as required
1/2 cup curd
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 spring curry leaves
For the coconut paste:
3/4 cup of freshly grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 green chillies, sliced
Water, to make a paste
1.Coarsely grind the grated coconut into a paste. While making the paste, add cumin seeds, curry leaves
and few chillies.
Cut drumsticks, yam, carrots, green beans, ash gourd and yellow pumpkin into long rectangular pieces.
Each piece needs to be about one and a half inches long. Make sure all the vegetables are of the same size
For plantain, peel only the ridges keeping the outer skin. Chop them also into rectangular pieces.
Add, some water in a pan along with the chopped vegetables. Cover the pan for some time and cook them
Now, add a tsp of turmeric, curry leaves, 4 slit chillies and salt as required.
Add the coconut paste to the pan and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Now add curd, oil, cumin seeds to the mix and simmer it for 2 to 3 minutes. Wait until the mix is semi-dry
Serve hot with steamed rice.