Is there anyone that knows ‘God’s own country (Kerala)’ and does not love it? I can’t tell you how much I love this most beautiful state of India. God perhaps had a soft corner while creating Kerala, he has made anything and everything about it so extraordinarily beautiful. I can’t stop admiring its scenic and serene landscapes, sculpted features of its people, honey sweet language, mouth watering food and .. I can keep on adding to this list. I’m glad to be born in a state that shares one of its borders with Kerala, though I’d have been more happier if I were a Keralite, sigh!!
Kerala’s cuisine offers some of the best and finest vegetarian and vegan food in India. Their avial, thoran, eriseri, upperi etc. are just to die for. You may want to check out www.tongueticklers.com, www.mydiversekitchen.com for some great Keralite vegetarian/vegan recipes. You can’t stop falling in love with their drool worthy pictures as well.
We grew up eating plenty of vegetables and avial has always been our family’s favorite. My brothers and I always looked forward to the weekends when our mother used make dishes loaded with vegetables. Both my parents were employed full time, so it was only the weekends that gave them time to cook peacefully. My dad and I used to go get the vegetables from the local market, dad cleaned and chopped them (so neat and uniform) and mom transformed them into a finger licking delicacy. Good old days, they’ll never come back!!
Many have asked me ‘What do you eat the avial with?’. I can have avial with anything or just eat bowls of it as is. Typically, I have seen people relish it with plain white rice (and a little ghee) and pappadam, adai, dhal rice (paruppu sadham) and sambar rice.
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 15 mins
Yield : 4-5 cups
4 cup assorted vegetables*
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
3-4 green chilies
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup yogurt
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 sprig curry leaves
* carrots, string beans, potatoes, drum sticks, white pumpkins, raw bananas, green mangoes, suran (elephant foot) etc.
Grind coconut, cumin and green chilies into a smooth paste. Whisk this paste with yogurt and sour cream, set aside.
Add salt and water (1/2 cup) to the veggies and bring it to a boil. Simmer and cook covered for about 10 mins until the veggies are just done. Do not overcook, you would not want your veggies to turn mushy. To this, add the coconut – yogurt sauce and cook under low to medium heat until it starts to get a little bubbly and turn off heat. Do not let the mixture to boil.
Heat coconut oil in a skillet, add curry leaves and pour on top of the avial.
Serve warm with rice or adai.
1. Sour cream adds richness and creaminess to the avial. If you do not want to use it, replace it with 1/2 cup yogurt.
2. You can add a pinch of turmeric if you’d prefer your avial to be a little yellowish.