Aviyal

If you ask my mom, what my most favorite dish is, she would answer ‘Aviyal’. She would make a huge pot of aviyal every time, coss I would finish off most of it. And even today, whenever she cooks aviyal back at home, she says I kept thinking of you Denny…Thats the history of me and aviyal.

Aviyal, literally translates to ‘steamed’. What makes it special, and not just a plate of steamed veggies is a mildly spiced coconut paste with tang from yogurt and finished with a drizzle of fragrant coconut oil. If you haven’t added coconut oil to food….it smells and tastes AWESOME.

You can use any combination of veggies. I have used whatever I could get here. I’ve used french beans and potatoes here..Traditionally, cluster beans and yam is used. But there are no rules here..feel free to experiment. Also, raw mango is an important component to offer a tangy bite. I didn’t find any and so its missing here.

Ingredients:
2 carrots, cut into 2 inch sticks
1/2 cup french beans, cut into 2 inch sticks
1 raw banana, cut into 2 inch sticks
1 long japanese eggplant, cut into 2 inch sticks
1 potato, cut into 2 inch sticks
1 cup ashgourd(poosanikai) cut into pieces
1/2 cup grated coconut
4 green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp yogurt
2 tsp coconut oil
salt to taste

Method:
Make a paste of the coconut, green chillies, cumin seeds. Place all the vegetables in a pot with about 1/4 cup water and some salt. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender. I usually don’t add all the veggies at once. I add the longest cooking veggies first(carrots, potatoes etc.) and add in the quick cooking veggies(ash gourd, eggplant) later. When the veggies are 3/4th cooked, add in the coconut paste and take off the lid. Let it all cook and come together. Taste for seasoning. Remove from heat. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Stir in the yogurt. Drizzle the coconut oil just before serving.

Verdict: Really yummy…I kept thinking of my mom as I made this dish. It never tastes as good as mom, nonetheless I ended up eating most of this dish by myself. 🙂

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