Aviyal

One of my favourite side dish is Aviyal which is from my motherland Kerala. I used to be very proud whenever I’d to say I am from Kerala. Mostly the reasons behind feeling that way are it’s been my birthplace, as it got the title “God’s own country”and undoubtedly the cuisine.

My family migrated from Kerala to Tamil nadu even before my birth. So I can say that the relationship between me and Kerala is just my birth and the summer vacation we have at our Grannies home during schooling.

Everytime when we visit Kerala I’d always have these jobs to do, jumping into the lake, walking by the sides of deep Canal (even if I feel nervous), collecting the fallen mangoes, having our meal served in banana leafs 3 times a day ;).. 
Picking the mangoes was always my routine job. We had 4 mango trees of different kind. Since we always go in summer which is the mango season, we would grab a basket half of our size and go to each tree, collect the mangoes and of course one in hand to bite.  
The good thing about their food is they grow vegetables at their garden. And most of the days they cook with their garden vegetables. Hardly few times I see them buying from markets.
So Aviyal is a side dish for rice, prepared with many vegetables whatever available at your garden cooked with Kerala’s identity “Coconut” and a touch of sourness from curd.
Only recipe you need not worry about unavailability of any vegetables I mentioned in here.. But you definitely require coconut and curd. I got this recipe from my mom. Hope you guys find it easy to cook. Traditionally, vegetables like Yam, Drumstick, Raw Banana, Raw Mangoes Carrot, Ash gourd, Pumpkin, Bitter gourd, Cucumber, Green beans and Cow beans are used. Here I don’t get Yam, Drumstick, Raw banana. So it’s all upto you to add or omit any vegetable.

Servings:  6        
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
1)      Carrot                                  100 gm 
2)      Green beans                       50 gm
3)      Ash gourd                           100 gm
4)      Pumpkin                              50 gm
5)      Cow beans                          50 gm
6)      Bitter Gourd                       100 gm
7)      Green chillies                     2 nos
8)      Cumin seeds                      1 Tbsp
9)      Coconut (Grated)               1 Cup
10)   Curd                                    1 ½  cups (Adjust depending on sourness)
11)   Turmeric powder                ½ Tsp
12)   Red chilli powder               ½ Tsp
13)   Coconut Oil                        1 Tsp
14)   Salt                                     as required
15)   Curry leaves                       8- 10 nos
Method:
1)      Chop all the vegetables approx. 5cm in length. You need to peel the skins of Ash gourd & Pumpkin before chopping them.
2)      In a deep pan, add all the chopped vegetables with turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
3)      Pour 1 cup of water and cook by closing lid with reduced flame.
4)      Grind together grated coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds to a coarse paste by adding little water time to time.
5)      When the vegetables are half cooked pour in the coconut mixture and combine gently.
6)      Again close the lid and cook for 5 more mins or till the vegetables are soft.
7)      When all vegetables have been cooked, add the beaten curd and mix very gently. Make sure not to break the vegetables.
8)      Turn the heat down and transfer to another bowl
9)      For garnishing heat coconut oil in tawa and add curry leaves.
10)   Pour on the Aviyal. Serve as side dish for steamed rice.


Notes:
1)      As I mentioned earlier you can use yam, raw papaya, raw mango, drumstick or any other kind of vegetables. But make sure the vegetable are little hard like yam or carrot. So that it won’t disappear while cooking
2)      Adjust the quantity of curd upon the sourness. If it is too much sour reduce the quantity of curd and add little water to it.
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