Aviyal

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Aviyal Prepared, garnished and served in a plate

No festival is complete without ‘Sadya’ in Kerala. Sadya is a traditional way of eating rice with several curries and side dishes, spicy, sweet and sour, put on a banana leaf and to be eaten with bare hands.  Aviyal is a dish that has a unique place in typical Kerala as well as Tamil cuisine. It is a thick mixture of vegetables, curd, and coconut seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. Aviyal is considered as an essential part of the Sadya.

Myths:

There are several legends behind the invention of Aviyal. One of them says Bhima invented Aviyal. When Pandavas were on their exile Bhima disguised as Bhallav, a cook. Being the macho warrior he knew zilch about cooking. One day, after everyone had finished their meal, an unexpected guest arrived at the palace. It was Rishi Durvasa, who was known for his ill-temper and the habit of cursing if not offered the best hospitality. With hardly having any time at hand, Bhima quickly got down to preparing a dish using whatever ingredients that were available in the kitchen and created Aviyal. Luckily, Rishi Durvasa was immensely pleased with the meal and left the palace satisfied. The dish soon started being raved about, becoming hugely popular in no time.

adding coconut oil to Aviyal

Another myth is that in the kingdom of Thiruvithankor in Kerala there was a great feast held by the king. Everyone in the kingdom came to eat and there went a shortage of curry to be served. In the kitchen the stock was less so when the king visited the kitchen he found that a lot of vegetables were wasted when they were peeled. The king ordered the cook to make a curry with this along with some other ingredients hence Aviyal was born.

Ingredient :

  • a) Raw Plantain: 1 No
  • b) Elephant Foot Yam: 200gm
  • c) Drumstick: 1 No
  • d) Ash Gourd: 150gm
  • e) Potato: 1No
  • f) French Beans: 4 nos
  • g) Snake Gourd: 100gm
  • h) Carrot: 1 No
  • i) Green Chilli: 4 nos
  • j) Turmeric Powder: 1 pinch
  • k) Grated Coconut: 1 cup
  • l) Cumin Seeds: ½ tsp
  • m) Curd: ½ cup
  • n) Curry Leaves: 2 sprigs
  • o) Shallot: 5 nos
  • p) Coconut Oil: 1 ½ tbsp
  • q) Water: 1 ½ cup
  • r) Salt: to taste

Recipe –

a) Wash the vegetables and cut them into long pieces (1-2 inch long)Carrot, Elephant Foot Yam, Drumstick, Ash Gourd, French Beans, Snake Gourd

b) Slice the chillies lengthwise. Cook the vegetables in a closed vessel. Add green chillies, salt, water and turmeric powder to it.Turmeric added to aviyal for taste and look

c) Cook it on a low flame till it tender and dry. Mix the crushed shallots with coconut oil.

d) Make a paste of coconut and cumin seeds by grinding them. Add the paste to cooked vegetables along with curry leaves and mix it well. Cook it on low flame for 3 minutes.Poured curd on Aviyale) Remove it from the flame. Pour light beaten curd and add coconut oil (shallots mixed) to it.Curd, Coconut oil and saltf) Serve Aviyal as a companion to rice.

As every vegetable has a different level of cooking so it would be better if they are added according to their cooking time. This means longer cooking items are added first and shorter at last.

Enjoy with rice!