Avial - My Comfort Food

Avial - an amazing yet simple dish from God's own country - Kerala. I got introduced to this lovely dish, way back, when I was a child and so I call it my comfort food. This made our standard sunday lunch - we would have rice, avial and pappad for lunch. Infact, I would go for a second round and have a bowl of avial, just like tat. Whenever, I make or eat this, I get transported to those lovely days. I would say it is a family favourite. Nutritious and yummy. Though cooking avial is easy, preparation time is more since we got to cut a lot of veggies. After some yrs, when I grew up, I took the job of buying the fresh veg and cutting it down. I, being a vegetable lover, would happily venture out selecting diff veg for avial. I wouldn't even mind a long walk to the veg market. Just the sight of the fresh veg would help me unwind. I would even try to be creative by getting bajji milaga (banana peppers) or tindora to add to the curry. I'm totally crazy about fresh veg. You got the idea, right?

I can offer you a tip here. If you are that kind of a person, who feels cutting a lot of vegetables is tedious, try to save the veg you cut during the course of the week.You can save time and effort that way. But take care that you cut them into thin slices suitable for avial and that too, of uniform size. This way you can store cut carrots, pumpkin, yam and beans in the fridge. But as far as I'm concerned, I like to cut them fresh just before cooking. I never use frozen veg that are available in the market. (except for peas) So, you decide the best.

White pumpkin is the major ingredient of avial and try not to omit it. But, in my opinion, nothing is mandatory and use up all vegetables you can. (However, avoid brinjal or okra)
If you do not have any other veg, you can make a simple avial with just white pumpkin. The combination of white pumpkin, coconut, green chillies and coconut oil is just awesome.

If you are such a perfectionist and have lot of patience, boil each veg separately or group them depending on the cooking time they require. I generally mix everything , add salt and pressure cook. I don't see any major problems. However, I do not pressure cook the drumsticks since they might break into sticks on overcooking. I will microwave it separately and mix with the rest. Coconut oil is mandatory and don't substitute it.

Carrot - 1
Beans - 10
Chow Chow (Chayote squash) - 1
White pumpkin (must)- a small piece
Yellow pumpkin - a small piece
Raw banana - 1 small
Raw mango - a small bit (optional, add if you really like it)
Yam - a small piece (I dont add it, since I get only frozen yam)
Potato - 1
Peas - 1/4 cup
Drumstick - 1
Curd - 1 cup (I do not like using sour curd, if you like the taste, go ahead and use it)
Coconut - 1/2 a cup
Cumin - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 5 to 7
Turmeric - a pinch (I like white avial so I do not add it)
Salt to taste
Coconut oil - 1 tablespoon (If you are health conscious add a little for taste. But this is mandatory)
Curry leaves - to garnish

1. Pressure cook the veg with a little water. When half cooked, mix the salt and cook again till done. Don't overcook, you should be able to see every veg in its original form.
2. Grind coconut, green chillies and cumin. Add this paste to the curd and mix well.
3.Add the curd mixture to the cooked veg and heat for a while. Just till everything blends. Too much heat will break the curd.
4. Switch off the gas, add the coconut oil and garnish with curry leaves.

Serve hot with rice and pappad. I like to eat this with bisibela bath.


Pooja said...

The avial looks yummy! Truly a comfort food. I love to have with rice n dal.

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Avial looks very delectable, never made it with rawmangos looks tempting...

Anu said...

Very yummy!!! My fav :)

Sree vidya said...

Thanx Pooja, Ramya and Anu.
Gr8 to see, so many ppl liking my comfort food.

Anonymous said...

aviyal shud be slight yellowish not pure white

Sree vidya said...

@ Anonymous
Please check the ingredients.
I have mentioned, add turmeric. If you do that, you would get yellowish avial.
I like it white, I said.