It’s been more than three months that the blog saw any activity. The reasons were many, none of which belong in a food blog; suffice to say most of them were compelling enough to keep entries at bay. But now that the leaf has turned and the resolve is back, so is the blog. So ladies and gentlemen let’s start cooking or eating or maybe just writing and reading about food here.
Since it’s my first day back as GG, I will begin with sharing with you a simple yet delicious recipe which by the way is quite healthy and practically fuss free. I was introduced to the joys of Avial many years back. I have enjoyed many an Onam Sadya where avial featured prominently among many other vegetarian delights. But never did I ever dream that I would be trying my hand at making this colourful dish on a humdrum Monday evening just because I was feeling especially kind towards the husband who has been pining for this malayali favourite of his for some time now. Of course when I started out I thought I was doing him a big favour by preparing an elaborate dish. So imagine my surprise when my sister-in-law informed that there was nothing to it. Well the recipe below will prove that to you. A word of caution though, I did make some changes to incorporate my laziness J and lack of kitchen equipment.
a) Vegetables: Well typically, I am told, you need to lay your hands on
Yam, plantain, brinjal, pumpkin, beans carrot, potatoes and drum stick. My fridge had only the last four. Hubby is interrupting to tell me that you can put any vegetable you fancy. : a cup each
b) Beaten curd : a cup
c) Coconut (grated or desiccated)* : half a cup
d) Cumin seeds/powder* : one tbsp levelled
e) Green chillies : up to you
f) Red chili powder : a pinch
g) Turmeric : one-and-a half tsp
h) Mustard seeds : one tsp
i) Curry leaves : a handful
i ) Oil* * : one tbsp
a) Cut the vegetables in 3-4 inch length pieces, and cover them in enough water to cook them. Don’t forget to add salt. Make sure you don’t over cook these.
b) As the vegetables simmer merrily, blend cumin seeds, coconut and green chillies with enough water to make a rough paste. I, however took an easier route, brought about by the fact that I don’t have a blender, yet (hope the hubby’s listening). In case you share my predicament, mix together a heaped tea-spoon of cumin powder, half a cup of desiccated coconut and finely chopped green chillies along with enough water to make a rough paste.
c) Mix the beaten curd with the paste made above
d) Once the vegetables are ready, drain the excess water, if any. Add the paste, while the vegetables are still on the hob. Mix well.
e) Heat oil; splutter the mustard seeds, add curry leaves and a pinch of red chili powder.
f) Add the tadka (e) to the vegetable mix.
My avial debut saw the dish on the drier side, the way we make it back at home, but it can be with more and thinner gravy if you so desire. And since I put a lot of turmeric, it was more of the yellow variety. Reduce the amount of haldi if you want the colours less warm.
Would have loved to put some pictures up but I am happy to report that the preparation was eagerly lapped up as soon as it landed on the dining table, and I sure don’t want to photograph scraps for the image. So borrowing from the internet instead.
** Believe it or not but I used olive oil because I ran out of vegetable oil. Of course, ideally you have to use coconut oil for cooking. But the olive oil did not spoil the party one bit!
Some TriAvial facts:
- If I was to give you an analogy for avial, it’d be khichdi. It’s a mish-mash of all the veggies you could lay your hand on.
- Wikipedia tells me that avial was “invented” by bhim during their exile (agyathvaasa) and he, not a cook, put all vegetables he found together and came up with this Onam Sadya essential.
- As I googled around a bit, I found that there is a Malayali rock band by the name!