Friday, August 28, 2009


Aviyal as you all might know is a thick coconut based curry of the down South of our country and can be regarded as a speciality in Kerala cuisine.
The mildly spiced vegetable stew goes well with rice and must serve for the Sadhya related to Onam in Kerala.The very own nadan vegetables of the state goes into it which gives the exact authentic taste to the same.

The Mythology according to wiki goes…

It is supposed to have been invented by Bheema (one of the Pandava brothers) during his agnaathavaasa. According to the legend, Ballav (Bheema's name during this time) when he assumed his duties as the cook in the kitchen of Virata, 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.

Get ready with:
The vegetables
Jackfruit seeds/chakka kuru
Raw banana/vazhakka-1
Raw mango-sour variety-1/2.(use the a whole small mango if less sour)
Yam/chena-a small piece-which yields a cup when cut
Cucumber-cut-a cup
Snake gourd-small-1/2
Long string beans/Achinga payar-4
Green chillies-5-6

Freshly grated coconut- 1 ½ cups
Cumin seeds/jeerakam -1/2 tsp-jeera powder can also be substituted
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Curry leaves-2 sprigs
Salt- to taste
Coconut oil/pacha velichenna- 2tbsp

Cut the vegetables lengthwise, a little chunky, to one inch pieces.

Transfer them to a pan,except the raw mango(as the acidity in it interferes with the cooking of the other vegetables)with just enough water.Close with a lid and ensure even cooking by turning them now and then for a few minutes or till 1/4th done.
Crush/pulse green chillies, jeera and shallots coarsely.Add this to the vegetables along with turmeric powder and salt.
Grind coconut, not too smooth, adding a little water.Keep aside.Now, rinse the pulser/mixie with ½ cup of water.Add this to the vegetables on the stove and stir carefully not to break the pieces as would have almost cooked or half done,at this stage.Ensure the ‘hard to cook’ vegetables like yam is soft .
Add the ground coconut and raw mango pieces.Let it simmer for 5 mins.Check salt and **sourness.Make sure the aviyal has reached the right semi solid consistency.

Coconut oil and curryleaves are to be added last.Press the aviyal very lightly and close with the lid of the pan, so that the aroma of the coconut oil and curry leaves seeps in, to give the very own flavour to the authentic dish.

**-.If you fail to grab the raw mango, feel free to use curd/tamarind extract for sourness.

P.S-The traditional aviyal doesn’t call for veggies like carrot beans .but since I added them along with with the nadan veggies as it always improves the taste of the final curry.
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