Saturday, March 15, 2008

1001 Aviyal ( Coconut- Yogurt Curry)

Aviyal ( A as in Apple - vi as in vixen , yal as in algebra ) is a mix of vegetables in a thick, creamy, coconut-cumin-yogurt curry. It is one of Kerala's signature dishes. Like many Kerala recipes, Aviyal proves that a divine recipe need not be complicated, nor use a ton of spices. Unlike many Indian curries, Aviyal needs minimal or no flavouring at all.

Blend a handful of coconut, a pinch of cumin, salt and a green chili to a paste, mix in a cup of yogurt, and a handful of boiled vegetables, and your basic Aviyal is ready.

A variety of souring agents like Tamarind, mango or tomatoes are used in place of or along with yogurt to create a range of Aviyals.

Aviyal can be flavoured with just raw coconut oil and crushed curry leaves. Some varieties of Aviyal call for garlic, shallots, ginger and even cinnamon / cloves.

A mixture of vegetables cut into thick matchsticks are usually used in an Aviyal. Yam, Ash Gourd, Carrots, Beans, Drumsticks and Raw Plantain, Cucumber, Ridge gourd, Bootle gourd and Potatoes are vegetables you would commonly find in traditional Aviyals.

Purists decree that mushy vegetables like brinjal, vegetables that stain like beetroot, or bitter vegetables like bitter gourd should never be used in an aviyal.Or that strong flavourings should be avoided. But you have versions of aviyal using these 'prohibited' vegetables and 'banned' spices.

Aviyals are eaten with Rice or served as a side dish with Adai ( thick savoury pancakes). They make great accompaniments for a variety of flatbreads.

Like any old and much loved dish, Aviyal has its own creation myths. A legend has it that Bheema, one of the Pandavas was employed as a cook during his exile and created the first Aviyal by boiling up piles of vegetables with yogurt and coconut.

Another legend has it that the cooks of Travancore maharaja faced a shortage of vegetables and so decided to mix various vegetables to coverup the shortfall. The king liked it so much that he decreed it to be cooked at every feast. Aviyal still forms a part of Sadhaya - the traditional Kerala feast.

And this one goes to Srivalli's Curry Mela.

Model Recipes

Laksh's Aviyal
Laavanya's raw yogurt Aviyal
Padma's Thick Aviyal
Geetha's Puli Aviyal
Ammupatti's Aviyal
Lulus Aviyal Aviyal thickened by rice flour

Aviyals with a twist :

Aparna's Aviyal
With a double twist - use of just one vegetable, and that too an unuaual one!

Aviyal flavoured with garlic
Anu & Veena's North Kerala Aviyal
Aviyal flavoured by the unusual blend of small onions and curry leaves.

Solai's Kalla Veetu Aviyal

An Aviyal which breaks all rules by using ' forbidden vegetables' and exotic spices

Annitas Aviyal
Another 'forbidden' aviyal - using Zucchini and brinjal, garlic

Maheswari's Egg Aviyal
And finally the unthinkable Aviyal - with boiled eggs !

1 comment:

Geetha said...

Hi Ramki: Thank you for including our family recipe in your blog. It is really wonderful that you have put together such a variety of recipes.

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