Avial is again a part of every feast - it has an assortment of vegetables and coconut and curd. It tastes good with sambar as well as chapathi.
Avial is synonymous with Kerala cuisine. But I have tasted so many variations in the avial prepared by various sects of Kerala. The vegetables are diced. Some add onions, some add even garlic! The tastes are so very different. I think Iyer’s avial is closest to the avial made by the Nairs of Kerala.
Bottle gourd / ash gourd – 2 cups
Snake gourd – 1 cup
Beans – ½ cup
Brinjal (preferably the long green variety) – 1 cup
Raw banana - 1
Yam – ½ cup
Carrot – ½ cup
Potato – ½ cup (optional)
Drumstick – 2
Raw mango – ¼ cup (if available)
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Grated coconut – 5-6 tbsp
Green chilli – 2-3
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Fresh yogurt – 3-4 tbsp(whisked)
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 7-8
In a thick bottomed pan, pour ½ cup of water. Then add the cut drumstick and potato and cook covered for 5 minutes on low heat.
Then add the ash gourd, beans, raw mango and raw bananas and continue for 3 minutes, adding minimum water if required.
Then add snake gourd, and brinjal and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Pressure-cook the yam and carrot for 1 whistle. Add to the vegetable mix.
Grind the coconut, green chilli and cumin seeds in a mixer.
Add the ground paste to the cooked vegetables.
Add a tsp of coconut oil.
Turn off the heat.
Add the whisked yogurt and mix well.
Garnish with curry leaves.
It should have a semisolid (thick) consistency as it is a side-dish.
The vegetables have to be boiled as per their tenderness – beginning with the ones which need greater time to cook. Otherwise they will all get squished.
If mango is not in season, you can use a marble-sized tamarind ball or just use sour yogurt.
In case you want to make it as a gravy, add more buttermilk and get the desired consistency.