Thursday, September 07, 2006
Aviyal again is a dish prepared with as many vegetables as one can get. There is a legend about this dish. The maharaja of Travencore used to perform Murajapam everyyear, a vedic seminar, in which a large number of vedic scholars participated. One year it so happened that there was no vegetables left on the last day of the Murajapam.. Only few pieces of various vegetables left over from the previous days were available. The cook cut all the left overs into long thin pieces and prepared "Aviyal." The king liked the dish so much and presented him with a gold bracelet so much and ordered that this dish be served every year since then. All vegetables go in it, except perhaps, some mushy vegetables, like, tomato, brinjal, ladies fingers, cabbage, cauliflower, beetroot (it stains the dish), radish, turnip, onion, sweet potato, etc. Otherwise, all the following vegetables can be used, depending on the availability.
Raw Green plantain
Elephant yam (amorphopallus is the botanical name, Chena in Malayalam, chenai kizhangu in Tamil, Suvarna
gadde in Kannada, Jameenkhand in Hindi),
Chembu (colocasia, cheppam kizhangu in Tamil, arvi in
Snake gourd (Trichosanthes Anguina)
Avarakkai (Saem in Hindi))
Chow Chow (Sechium edule, Bangalore Kathrikkai in
Malayalam and Tamil, Seeme badanakkaye in Kannada)
Thondekkai ( kova kkai in Tamil)
Lobia (payar in Malayalam, Karamani in Tamil, Halasinde in Kannada)
Green mango (raw)
A small quantity of bitter gourd can be used to give a tinge of bitterness
Since a variety of vegetables are used, we will need only very small quantity of each of them and also it is very difficult to prepare 2 servings or 4 servings. However, even if the prepared quantity is more than can be consumed, it keeps well for a couple of days under refrigeration. This can be frozen also.
Now for the recipe:
The preparation of aviyal is very simple.
Vegetables: 250 gms of mixed vegetables.
Turmeric powder: 1tsp.
Grated fresh coconut :1½ cups
Green chillies: 5 to 8 nos. according to taste
Curds 3-4 tbsp lightly sour (if using raw mango, do not use curds)
Salt to taste
Curry leaves : a few
Coconut oil 2 tbsp. (it is the coconut oil which gives aviyal the aroma and taste, hence do not substitute)
Wash and cut all the vegetables lengthwise into 2" pieces(stick shape). Boil the vegetables until just done, with turmeric powder and salt. One should be careful not to overcook the vegetables: they should remain crisp.(There are some vegetables which cook very fast and some which take a long time. Keep adding the vegetables to the boiling water according to the cooking time, the longer cooking vegetables first and the quicker ones last) Grind the coconut with green chillies, without using water. Drain the vegetables. Put them in a wide mouthed large pan in mild heat, add the coconut mixture, beaten curds, curry leaves and coconut oil and gently toss for few minutes, until all the vegetables are coated with coconut and coconut oil. If using a spoon, be careful not to mash the vegetables. Remove from heat add fresh curry leaves.
This aviyal can be used as a side dish for sambar rice or any other rice. If this has to be used as a main dish for rice, make the aviyal with a little more of beaten curds to get a gravy. One can use the water used for cooking the vegetable to make the gravy, if short of curds. Aviyal can be eaten with rice, dosa, chappathi or Poori. Our son relishes pooris with refrigerated aviyal.
Suggested accompaniments: Pappad