Of Flavours & Tastes…
3 cups of vegetables cut into two inch length pieces.(Vegetables I used are plantains/ethakka,papaya,potato,string beans,beans,drumstick,carrot)
1/2 cup shallots cut into two
1 piece of ginger crushed
4 cloves of garlic sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilly powder
1/2 cup tamarind water/tamarind juice (soak lemon size tamarind in half cup water and squeeze.But the sourness varies with the type of tamarind you use)
1 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chilly
2 sprig curry leaves
2 tsp coconut oil
Few things I would like to share :
1.Avial is made in several different styles in different parts of Kerala.The difference comes mainly in the vegetables used,the souring agent selected and the thickness of the gravy.
2.Souring agent used are yoghurt,tamarind or sour mango pieces.If you are using mangoes you may cook them with vegetables.In case you prefer yoghurt,after cooking vegetables you can add the same and then mix up with coconut paste.
3.Regarding the vegetables,what I have found in South Kerala is that they use brinjal,tomatoes and onions.In central Kerala,they usually depend on the vegetables like papaya and payar/string beas which are readily available at home.The main difference if you travel to Palakkad is that they use bitter gourd in avial and only use yogurt as souring agent.
4.The gravy part is other variation.Some prepare it as a curry and so will have a loose gravy where as others convert it to a semi dry preparation so that can be used as a side dish.
5.Traditionally,Avial is made in Man paathram/an erathern pot .If you opt to prepare avial in a traditional way,then arrange the vegetables which needs more time to cook down and then the others.Cook well adding little more water and other methods are similar.
6.The vegetables should not be overcooked.They should be intact,still cooked.
*Avial is the star dish in Sadya.