Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Kerala special for Onam – Avial

Onam has just come to an end. King Mahabali has blessed us and returned to his abode with a solemn promise to come back next year. The celebrations and more so the divine tastes of all the Kerala delicacies still linger on.

Although onam was just a week after moving into the new house, I decided to put in a little extra effort and prepare a small “sadya”. Made the traditional dishes of Sambhar, Avial, Thoran, Vendakaya Khichdi (Bhindi or Okra fried and put in a yogurt and coconut gravy) and yes, the sweet ending - payasam.

Avial is one of my favorite dishes just next to the tasty tangy Kalan. And so here I have the traditional Kerala delicacy which is a wonderful mixture of a variety of vegetables simmered in tamarind water and a coconut paste. My avial sure didn’t turn out as good as what my mom makes(but then moms are always the best cooks and there is just no out foing them), yet it turned out well enough to make me proud of my culinary skills. This is my version of the avail as I do not use some of the vegetables like yam due to reasons of strong likes and dislikes and also food allergy(my husband is allergic to it). This is I guarantee however, a mouthwatering combination. In fact, the avial in my refrigerator is over and just writing the recipe is making my mouth water.



Avial (Kerala vegetables cooked in tamarind water and a coconut mixture)
Note: some of the names are typically keralite and I do not know the English equivalents.
1 Paduvalankya (gourd – the really long variety)
¼ kg barbatti or achinga payar(similar to beans)
Vellarika – ½ kg (similar to cucumber, you can also use cucumber minus the seeds)
Carrots – 2 to 3
Drumstick -1
Coconut -1/2 (grated)
Cummin or jeera seeds- 1 tbsp
Green chillies – 2 to 3
Coconut oil -1 tbsp
Tamarind – 1 big ball (soaked in water) (some people also use yogurt instead)
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – a handful

Method:
Wash and clean all vegetables and cut into thin long strips. Take an open vessel and add a glass of water. Add the vegetables, salt, curry leaves and turmeric powder. Let cook. When the vegetables are 3/4th done add in the tamarind water(as per taste). Boil and let cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the coconut mixture (grind the coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies coarsely). Let cook for another 3-5 minutes. Let it thicken. You can either make it fully dry or a little watery depending on your specific palette. Switch of gas. Add in the coconut oil and curry leaves. Stir well. Ready to serve.



This aviyal goes to Priyanka's "Festive Food Event- Onam".

22 comments:

Jayashree said...

Avial looks really nice. Hope you had a wonderful Onam.

notyet100 said...

avial looks yum,..will be glad ifu send this for Onam festival,..ceeya,..

Sireesha said...

Avial looks awesome and yummy.Hope you had a wonderful Onam.

SMN said...

Avil is my all time fav looks really yum

Indranee said...

Hope u had a great Onam...have a great week!

Happy cook said...

Yumm i love avial. When i was in India my sis made this few times for me knowing my love for avial.
This looks delicious

ANJALI J. said...

i have eaten avial only once till now.. and from that day i have been thinking of preparing it.. will follow ur recipe now..

LG said...

nice looking avial.

karuna said...

thanks for visiting my blog. u write on a lot of topics. would love to read the bollywood masala.

VEGETABLE PLATTER said...

looks lovely .. hope u had a fantastic onam

Yasmeen said...

Vandana,
With Tamarind ,coconut and veggies all in one, Avial sounds like tangy tasty delight. Belated greeting of Onam:)

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

avial looks yumm... the recipe is also somewhat different to how i make..

Suma Rajesh said...

my fav is too the avial...a slight difference is i add either raw mango or the curd for the tangy taste..will try with tamarind next time. :)

Uma said...

ooh! Avial looks so delicious Vandana!

Madhavi said...

Avial looks/sounds delicious!!!

Chefkiwiberry said...

Great site. Keep it up

Jaishree said...

Avial looks so delicious Vandana.It is my all time favorite.

Nazarina A said...

This dish looks so exotic!You had me at tamarind and coconut!!!!

Suma Rajesh said...

nice to know that ur inlaws has visited...enjoy dear..u can surly make them happy making banana halwa...:) all the best..

Vibaas said...

Thanks for your comment vandana.
Avial is my favorite and looks delicious.

Laavanya said...

Yummy... avial is my favorite.

Vandana Rajesh said...

Thank you for all the lovely comments on the avial. This is my mom's recipe of the avial. Different parts of Kerala do have their own slight variations to the basic recipe,mainly that of the tangy ingredient in the recipe. I use tamarind in the avial as my Mom does and her avial is to die for. In certain parts of Kerala curd is a substitute to the tamarind water. Thank you the great response, this like all my recipes is easy to follow and I am sure you would love it.