Aviyal

Aviyal

 

    There is no sadya without aviyal. Aviyal is a mixture of vegetables, coconut, souring agents such as mangoes, tamarind extract or curd, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. It is very healthy and nutritious since it contains a lot of vegetables. There are many stories about the invention of aviyal. The legend says that aviyal was invented by Bhima(one of the Pandavas, Mahabharat). He was in the disguise of a cook at sometime during their exile and he did not know how to cook, so he chopped up different varieties of vegetables, boiled them in water and added  grated coconut.  There is yet another story about the invention of aviyal that the Travancore Maharaja’s chef chopped up all the leftover vegetables in the kitchen and prepared aviyal. The Maharaja liked it so much that he gifted the chef. Vegetables most commonly used in aviyal are raw green plantain/ethakka, elephant yam/chena, cucumber/vellarikka, winter melon/ash gourd/kumbalanga, snake gourd/padavalanga and drumsticks/muringakka. You can also use vegetables like achinga payar/long runner beans, carrot, tindora/kovakka, pacha thakkali/green tomatoes, raw cashews, beans, brinjal, chembu, jack fruit seeds, chinese potato etc. You can use 4-5 vegetables among these but plantain and yam are the most important vegetables maybe because they both are firm so its better to include at least one of them if you don’t want the whole thing to be mushy.

    Back home we also make chakka/jackfruit, cheera aviyal with pacha manga for sourness and ethakka/green plantain aviyal in which we add kudampuli for sourness. It is really easy to prepare aviyal but the vegetables need to be cooked to the correct consistency, sourness should be perfect and the grated coconut needs to be crushed perfect to get the perfect delicious aviyal. The coconut oil added in the end gives it an extraordinary aroma and taste so please do not skip adding coconut oil. I have noticed that even though everybody’s recipe for aviyal is almost same, the taste differs widely. It might be because of the different veggies used or simply kaipunyam :). Some people even cook vegetables in coconut oil with little water and add cashew paste for extra taste. Here is the recipe.

 

 

 

Ingredients (Serves 5)

  1. Vegetables – 4 cups ( I used plantain, elephant yam(chena), cucumber, snake gourd, drumstick, carrot and chembu/colocasia. Add brinjal and chembu only if you wish since some people do not like their taste in aviyal.)
  2. Green Chilies – 3 – 4 slit
  3. Chilly powder – 1 tsp
  4. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  5. Raw Green Mango – Half a small mango, sliced (Add depending on how sour it is)
  6. Grated coconut – 1.5 cup
  7. Pearl onions –  3 + 3
  8. Cumin seeds – 1/2  tsp
  9. Curry leaves – 2 – 3 sprigs ( the more the better)
  10. Salt – To taste
  11. Coconut oil – 1 + 1.5 tbsp

Method

 

 

 

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1. Cut the vegetables into long thin pieces. Cover and cook the vegetables, slit green chilies, curry leaves, chilly powder, turmeric powder, 2 – 3 pearl onions halved, 1 tbsp coconut oil and salt, in enough water (around 1/2 cup). Do not add too much of water since cucumber and winter melon are watery vegetables.  If you add too much water, the vegetables will be over-cooked and the aviyal will end up watery and mushy.

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2. When the vegetables are 3/4th cooked add the green mango pieces and close the lid again. Meanwhile crush the grated coconut adding 3 pearl onions and cumin seeds. When the vegetables are done, bring down the heat and add the crushed coconut mixture in the middle and cover it up with the cooked vegetables (In case there is too much water in the vessel, remove the lid and evaporate the water before adding the coconut mixture). Again cover up with the lid and let it cook for a few minutes. Now open and mix the coconut mixture well.  Be careful not to break the vegetables. If you are using curd (around 1/4 cup, adjust it according to it’s sourness), add it now. Switch off. Add around 1.5 tbsp of coconut oil and some curry leaves. Cover with the lid and let it remain for 15 mts. Mix well. Serve hot with rice.

Avial

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Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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48 comments

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  • Congrats on your awards.. Thanks a lot for sharing it to SpiceUrSenses….
    I just wanted to know.how to collect them. bcoz iam new to all this… i’ll be very happy if u explain me what i should do to collect them..
    Waiting:)

  • Congrats on ur awards dearies. and the avaiyal looks fantastic with all naattu veggies.. and i love that picture too. My fav aviayal i can have all day long without any meal. Thanks for sharing the awards with me too dears. Keep up ur good work.

  • Thank you all!!

    Rumana,
    We too had the same confusion when we received our first award. You just copy and paste these awards in your post..That is how you collect them 🙂

  • Pearl onions to be crushed along with coconut? Wont it leave a raw onion taste? I thought aviyal never accommodated onion.
    Also is there a need to add chilli powder? Won’t green chillies be sufficient? Chilli powder may affect the hue and bring up a slightly red tinge.

    And those drum sticks. Don’t they have to be split? Would they get properly cooked as such?

  • Congrats on your awards,hope lots more is coming your way as u deserve many many more…and thanks so much for passing one set of awards to me as well..very sweet of you to share it with me…

  • Thank you all for your lovely comments.
    Dear Ethiran Kathiravan,
    Pearl onion never leaves a raw taste, we have mentioned in the method that you should cook the crushed coconut-pearl onion-cumin mixture for a few minutes. In fact when it gets crushed with coconut and cumin it leaves a great aroma…..and yes chilly powder is essential for avial. In my place the basic powder mix includes turmeric and chilly powder, besides, the color of avial won’t come right if you don’t add chilly powder. The aviyal will be greenish instead of the normal yellowish orange color…..and drumsticks get cooked very easily if fresh whether it is split or unsplit, only plantain and yam takes a lot of time to cook. You can put the drumsticks, raw plantain and yam in the bottom part of the vessel so that they will be properly cooked. I have done some google search before replying to your comment to see whether other people have used raw onion in their aviyal. Saw many aviyal recipes where they added pearl onions and chilly powder. In our place, even the aviyal served in a sadya has pearl onions added. We are from two different places – Thiruvalla and Mavelikkara, the recipe for aviyal is exactly same in both our places.
    I had really thought that the recipe for aviyal is almost same in every part of Kerala but now I got to know that even aviyal’s recipe has got lots of variations. Hope I have answered all ur doubts….Thanks for your comment.

    Muraleegeetham,
    We do add chembu to aviyal. Aviyal itself is used to denote a mixture. You can use any vegetable you wish. I guess some people even add bitter gourd to aviyal.

  • avial looks yummy…i havnt tried an avial with chembu..also we dont add pearl onions..i think avial has its own variation in different places…congrats for the awards!

  • Delectable dish…just loved the dish n clicks too…so inviting…!

    First time here…fascinated by ur healthy n lovely collection of recipes…happy to follow u dear..Do drop in at my blog sometime…

  • WOW Avial looks fantastic… love to have it anytime … good filling and very delicious. Congrats on all your awards and thanks for sharing it with me 🙂

  • Dear Yummy:
    In fact Avital has its local flavors. My father’s family (Brahmins) Aviyal is the best I have ever tasted. They never let any kind of onions enter their household! In our way also we never add onions.
    Chilli powder also is not added. The color is yellowish green at the end.

    I wish I could make some onionless-chilli powderless Avial and gain your aproval!

    Carrot is a new addition to Aviyal.

    Traditional Malayali cooking (that means our household!We define tradion, mind it! ha ha) does not include any chilli/masala powders. Chilli powder was made only to make pickles. All ingrediants used to be ground fresh.

  • Great pics! Kandittu kothiyakunnu..

    I follow exactly the same recipe for aviyal. I guess this is the Central Travancore style recipe for aviyal. I have heard that some people grind green chillies, curry leaves and even garlic with grated coconut and cumins making it greenish. I usually make aviyal with leftover vegetables and sometimes I add carrots and chembu also to my aviyal.

  • Dear Ethiran Kathiravan,
    We have never tried pearl onion-less, chilli powder-less aviyal, we will definitely try and let you know about it. Please do try our version as well.
    You are right about the carrots. But we have already mentioned the most common vegetables used in aviyal in our introduction. Sometimes we add carrots, chembu, brinjal etc when we are short of other vegetables. We will also confirm with our elders about the traditional way of cooking aviyal in our place and get back to you soon.

  • Dear Maya & Lakshmi,

    your aviyal looks fantastic,i find all that is authentic in the recipe!!! lovely & clear descriptions and appetizing pictures!!!!

    Congratulations for all those awards and thank you so very much for passing on to me; that’s something which made my day complete!! enjoy and happy blogging!!!!

  • And the argument continues…how to make the perfect avial?
    Never in the history of Malayali cuisine has there been more controversy than finding the right recipe for the perfect Avial
    My take on this is anything goes in avial.
    All variations will still be called Avial unlike say for pullissery ,with each minute variation the name also changed e.g pullisery, pinapple pullissery, kaalan, paccha pullissery, etc

    Personally, I have never been a big fan of home made avial, now the sadya avial is a different story. It is not as watery and they add raw coconut oil after switching off the fire. If anyone has the recepie for that, can you post the link

  • And finally i got the perfect recipe for avial… Thanks a lot lakshmi chechi!I have just started cooking at home and your blogs are really really helping me a loooottt! This is Megha (Manas Nivas le swantham)from Bangalore 🙂

  • Dear Yummy Team,

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe and it definitely looks yummy. How many people would this recipe serve? I would like to cook it for our Onam celebrations. Appreciate your reply for this.

  • While I prefer the Aviyal made using green chillies and sour curds, my husband prefers the drier variety – the one with red chilli powder and tamarind.
    Recently I tried out a variation for the sour taste. I used dry mango powder (aam chur). And I’m happy to say that the Aviyal was received quite well. Try out for yourself!

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About Maya

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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