Few years back, my husband had an utmost desire to live long as his weighing scale could not force itself to work. So we were thinking about every other option that came our way. At last, we consulted a naturopath and started on a naturopathic regime. Now you see, if you are a binge eater, it is a real sacrifice you are making to keep your body running. They will put you on a drastic diet, which according to me is fair, given the person who is on it is 100% willing. Happy news is that it worked for my husband and some of our dear friends, and all of them reduced some pounds. Anyways, story altogether is different now and best left unspoken.
Avial ….nah….Cochin ke aviyal as my out-of-state friends say were served along with a kind of red jaw breaking rice. To make our life easier, I too joined this red rice and Avial lunch for a month. If you believe 21 days is a habit forming period, it is so true. I am a great advocate of the same since the love of Avial stayed with both of us.
For avial you can use any assortment of veggies. Some people even use bitter gourd. The real success is when you know your vegetables are thoroughly cooked, but not mashed, the mild sourness, which is not overpowering (either use yogurt/sour mangoes/tomatoes for sourness) and the rich adornment of grated coconut, curry leaves, and a small pour of coconut oil towards the end in correct portions. Now see how it is cooked in my kitchen .........
Elephant yam/Chena - 1 cup
Snakegourd/Padavalanga - 1/4 cup
Runner beans/Achinga - 1/4 cup
Carrot - 1 No.
Drumsticks/Muringakka - 2 Nos.
Cucumber/Vellarikka/kani vellari - 1 cup
Raw green plantain/Pachakaya/kaya - 1/2 of one (if very small use 1 No.)
Sour mango - Half of one (check for sourness before adding) (Alternatively you can add yogurt, tomatoes to get sourness to the dish)
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 stalk
Coconut oil - 3-4 tsp (to pour towards the end)
To Grind coarsely
Grated coconut - 1/2 of a coconut
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp (if you prefer taste of cumin, add more)
Green chillies - 2 Nos.
Using a blender, grind coarsely grated coconut, cumin seeds, and green chillies.
Cut the vegetables in equal sizes.
Use 3 bowls to soak the cut veggies.
Firstly, soak the cut elephant yam in a bowl with some water. Secondly, in a separate bowl with water, soak drumsticks, runner beans, snake gourd, and carrots. Thirdly, place raw green plantain in water in a different bowl.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add drumsticks, runner beans, snake gourd, and carrots. On top of that add elephant yam. On top of that add kani vellari. Now add turmeric powder, chilli powder, and salt. Close the lid and when it starts to boil mix well. When elephant yam is half cooked, dig a well in the curry, add raw green plaintain and sour mango to it and close the lid. Open the lid to see if green plaintain is cooked. When water is no more, add coarsely ground masala along with curry leaves. Mix gently without mashing the veggies. Now pour some coconut oil on top and heat for a minute. Switch off the stove.
Your pan Kerala Avial is ready to be served with rice.