Avial is a traditional South Indian dish, popular in Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka cuisines. It is a delicious mix of a variety of vegetables cooked with coconut. It is also an essential dish in Kerala Sadya, a grand vegetarian feast on banana leaves, prepared during festivals like Onam and vishu and also for special occasions. Avial is made with a variety of vegetables like Yam, Plantain, Pumpkin, Ash gourd, Carrot, Cucumber, Snake gourd, Drumsticks, Mango etc. All vegetables are cooked together with coconut and curd and seasoned with coconut oil.
Onam season used to be a great celebration during our childhood days, with the whole extended family. I have very wonderful memories of Onam with colorful Pookkalams, new pattu pavadas (silk skirts), all the hustle bustle in the kitchen and Sadya in leaves!! The dishes would come from every home and we always had plenty of food to fill the banana leaf. Avial, Sambar, pulissery, Pachadi, kalan, erissery, thoran, inji curry, parippu, olan, payasam, pradhaman, papad, Instant Mango pickle, crisps etc; the list is pretty long! I don’t think I was very fond of all those vegetarian dishes during my childhood, but the excitement of having sadhya with all my cousins was abundant! After marriage, we had Onam celebrations in Dubai, with both our relatives. It was great fun. We would sing, dance, make pookkalam and have grand sadhya with all homemade dishes.
With most of the ladies working, these days, people order Onam Sadhya from caterers or Hotels. But the joy of making your own Sadhya is really awesome. I always feel proud after preparing this spread with sweet Payasam for a perfect finish! Hope you will try most of my Onam dishes and have a great Sadhya. Wishing you all a happy and prosperous Onam. Enjoy!!
|Plantain/ Unripe Banana||: 1 no.|
|Yam||: 150 gms|
|Pumpkin||: 100 gms|
|Snake Gourd||: 100 gms|
|Ash Gourd||: 100 gms|
|Carrot||: 1 big|
|Cucumber||: 100 gms|
|Long Beans/ Achinga||: 5, 6 nos.|
|Drum stick||: 2 nos.|
|Onion||: 1 big|
|Green chilies||: 2 -3 nos.|
|Garlic||: 3 cloves|
|Small Onion||: 3- 4 nos.|
|Jeerah/ Cumin (whole or powder)||: ½ tsp|
|Curry leaves||: little|
|Turmeric||: ½ tsp|
|Finely Scraped Coconut||: ¾ cup|
|Curd||: ½ cup|
|Coconut oil||: 1 tbsp|
Clean/ peel and wash all the vegetables. Cut into 2 inch long pieces. Slice the onions. Boil/ cook the yam, cucumber, ash gourd, plantain, carrot in ¾ glass water for about five minutes. Add other vegetables, onion, curry leaves, one slit green chili and cover and cook till tender (It should be tender and slightly crisp).
Add salt and toss the vegetables. Grind the coconut coarsely with garlic, green chili, small onion, turmeric, jeerah and curry leaves. Add this mix to the cooked vegetables, combine well, then cover and cook for some more time. Add the curd and mix well.
Adjust the salt and switch off the flame. Pour 1 tbsp Coconut oil for seasoning and mix well. Serve hot with rice. Enjoy Onam Sadhya!
- The vegetables should not be overcooked. You may pressure cook all vegetables together, or cook it covered in a pot. It should be tender and crisp.
- Pour only enough water to cook veggies. Avial should be semi solid style.
- Add salt only after the vegetables are cooked.
- Mango should be medium sour. You may add tomatoes instead.
- After adding curd, mix well and switch off the flame immediately.
- Add coconut oil only after taking it off the heat, to add on to the flavors and aroma.
Hope you liked this Avial recipe. Please put in your comments and share with your friends using the share buttons on the side; that would encourage me to post more home tried recipes. God Bless!!