A simple, comforting vegetarian dish, in fact, a dish that contains all the easily available vegetable (well, in India), Avial or Aviyal is what intrigued me from last few days. Not that, I was not aware what Avial is or how it tastes. I have been to Kerala more than 4 times and till last year was quite regular in the southern part of the country for official assignments. Naturally tasted Aviyal several times. In fact, I make it quite regularly at home. We love the comforting taste of Aviyal. Prepared with several veggies, flavored lightly with minimum spices and cooked with Coconut. It goes perfectly along with our portion of rice. I actually cook it at times instead of Shukto at times given I found the dish strikingly similar to the Bengali delicacy, especially the way the ingredients are used.
When I planned to pen down the recipe of Aviyal, I started gathering interesting facts naturally. First thing came to my mind was the similarities between the dishes I have mentioned above. Both the dishes, Aviyal and Shukto are the amalgamation of several vegetables, both are comforting and curry like, both served with rice and both surprisingly are from the coastal area. Avial is a famous Keralian or Udupi side-dish while Shukto is a famous side from Bengal. For that matter, it is worth sharing that Avial itself has several variations; there is Keralean Avial, then there is Udupi Aviyal and also another version called Tamilian Brahmin style Avial. Though there is very little difference between the versions mentioned. All are having several vegetables and is a no onion no garlic preparation.
I found one more dimension while searching the history of the vegetarian delicacy, that Bhim, the 2nd Pandabh from “Mahabharat” had invented Avial. As the story goes, The Pandabhas and Draupadi were in exile for 13 years and they were in Virat dynasty in the last year of their Exile. They were there with a false identity to adhere the terms of exile. Bhim took the pseudo-name Ballabh during the Pandabh’s as well as Draupadi’s stay at King Virat’s residence during the “Virat Parbha”. Bhim worked as the royal cook for one year and invented a dish which was having several vegetables and coconut in it which he named Avial.
There one more story about the evaluation of Avial which says it was invented by the cooks from Thiruvithankor in Kerala who were responsible for making bulk food for an event at King’s residence. To cover up the shortage of curry they ended with making a mix-veg which they named Aviyal! Whoever invented it, indeed came up with an amazing dish.
Coming to the present day, Avial is an integral part of Kerala cuisine and one of the main items served as part of traditional Sadya. Apart from Aviyal traditional Sadya is having Kerala Matta (rice), Parippu, Sambar, Kaalan, Olan, Koottukar, Erissery, Kichadi, Pachadi, Pulisseri, Injipuli, Thoran, Pappadam, Sharkara Upperi, Kaaya Varuthathu, Banana, Payasam etc. You may check the post of mine on the Onam Sadya I have tasted at ITC Sonar.
As I already mentioned Avial is prepared using several vegetables and coconut is an integral part of this vegetable curry. I have used Potato, Carrot, Snake gourd, Drumstick, Beans, Raw plantain, Raw Mango and Elephant foot yam and a few chunks of Cucumber while making the Aviyal. You may add pumpkin or any other vegetable you prefer. Some people skip Curd too however, I like my Aviyal with Curd. Raw Mango again is optional. It gives natural sourness to the dish.
- Serves: 4-5 People
- Serving size: 100g
- Calories: 547
- Fat: 32.9g
- Saturated fat: 24.7g
- Carbohydrates: 59.9g
- Sugar: 15.3g
- Sodium: 174mg
- Fiber: 13.1g
- Protein: 8.8g
- Cholesterol: 2mg
- Potato: 2
- Snake gourd: 1
- Drumstick: 1
- Beans: 2
- Raw plantain: 1
- Raw Mango: 1
- Elephant foot Yam: 100g
- Cucumber: 1
- Curry leaves: a few
- Green Chilli: 2
- Scrapped Coconut: 1 Cup
- Green Chili: 3-4
- Cumin Seed: 1 Tsp.
- Turmeric Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Salt: to Taste
- Curd: 1 Cup
- Vegetable Oil: 2 Tbsp.
- Curry Leaves: A few
- Soak Cumin seed in water for 10 minutes.
- Make a smooth paste of Scrapped Coconut, green chilis, and Cumin Seed.
- Peel Potato, Carrot, Snake gourd, Raw plantain, Raw Mango and Elephant foot yam and Cucumber and cut into small squares.
- Cut Beans and Drumstick into long strips.
- Take a deep bottom pan and take 3 Cups of water and bring it to boil.
- Add Potato, Elephant foot yam and start boiling those till cooked ⅓.
- Add Raw plantain and Carrot and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Now add Snake gourd, Raw Mango, Beans, Drumstick, and Cucumber and mix lightly.
- At this point add Turmeric Powder, Salt, Curry Leaves and Green Chili and cook till the vegetables soften but remain in shape.
- Add the Coconut Paste and Curd and stir and then cook by covering the pan till the gravy thickens.
- Heat the oil in a separate pan or tempering ladle and add Curry leaves to it.
- Add this tempering to the Avial and mix lightly.
- Serve Aviyal hot with Rice.
Raw Mango is optional as well, however, works as a souring agent. Adjust is according to taste.
Types of vegetables can also be adjusted as per taste.
Southern Delicacies from Debjnair Rannaghar apart from Avial:
- Mangalorean delicacy, Mutton Ghee Roast
- South Indian Prawn Curry
- Malabar Squid Curry or Nadan Koonthal Curry
- South Indian Filter Coffee
- Malabar Fish Curry
- Cabbage Poriyal | Cabbage Thoran
Have you tried the Avial Recipe from Debjanir Rannaghar!
Do let me know how it came out. Also, I would love to see a picture of the same which you can share here on firstname.lastname@example.org or in Instagram you can use my hashtag #debjanirrannaghar or can tag me at @foodofdebjani.