Monday, April 14, 2014

Avial - Our home style

அனைவருக்கும் இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துகள்!..
Wish you all a very happy Tamil New year friends!...

Tamil new year is one of the most awaiting festival for me in school days. Just a day before Tamil new year, the exams used to get over and immediately the festival mood starts :))
In my native, we used to have a festival called, chithirai theerththam which falls on first day of Tamil month Chithirai(சித்திரை தீர்த்தத் திருவிழா) and a day before that we have another important event in temple called car festival (தேரோட்டம்).  Our summer Holiday's starts with these wonderful festivals every year. And another interesting thing is, we used to have new cloths to wear and yummy dishes to enjoy. Unforgettable days those are...It is another Deepavali for us in childhood :))

My mom used to prepare yummy vegetarian dishes on this special day. And my most favorite vegetarian dish is aviyal. Though the origin of the recipe is Kerala, you cannot find a single function or auspicious day's menu without Aviyal in southindia. (Especially in our home).



Since it is my favorite dish, my mom never waits for a function or a festival to prepare. Weekly once she used to prepare for sure. it is never boring dish for me. Aviyal goes well with sambar, rasam or even curd rice well.(for aviyal lovers like me,  rice is not required, we can eat it as it is:)))) As it has more vegetables, it is a healthy food for sure.

Aviyal is nothing but the combination of vegetables steamed / boiled along with spices and coconut. There are several methods of making. And I am comfortable with the way of making as well as taste which my mom fed me from childhood :) Today i am sharing my mom's recipe, and it is quiet famous in our relative circle too. They all love it.

The choices of veggies are purely our convenient only. Still I am dividing them into two parts, mandatory and optional.

Ingredients:

Mandatory:

Egg plant / Brinjal - 2 to 3
plantain/ vazhaikai - 1 big
Potato - 1 large
Raw Mango - 1/2 a small mango
drumstick - 4 to 5 pieces
Carrot - 1/2 small carrot
Beans - 3 to 4 beans
coconut - 1/4 cup grated or 1/3 cup cut in to pieces
Jeera - 1/2 table spoon
Greenchili - 1 medium
Curd - 1/4 cup
salt- to taste

Optional
Senai kilangu / yum - 4-5 small pieces
snake gourd - 2-3 table spoons, (sliced)
butter beans / soya beans  - few (fresh ones)
avaraikkai / broad beans - 4-5 chopped

To temper:
Cooking oil / coconut oil - 1/2 table spoon
mustard seed - 1/2 tea spoon
Urad dal - 1/2 tea spoon
curry leaves - a few

Preparation:
1. Peel off the skin for plantain, potato and cut the veggies into 2 inches long.
2. In a wide pan,Place potato, plantain cubes in the bottom and on top of it, add carrot, beans, raw mango,egg plant, drumstick, and add a cup of water. (Add only till half of the veggies are immersed, say little lower level than potato, plantain layer in vessel).
3. Add salt when veggies are half cooked. Do not stir more,
4. Cook until the veggies are cooked,  the water would not be completely evaporated at this stage.(do not over cook). Dont worry if little water is left. Keep the flame in simmer.
5. In the meantime, in a blender grind, coconut, Green chilies, Jeera) and make it to a thick paste.
6.When all the vegies are cooked, add the beaten curd to it and mix well.
7. Let it cook for a minute or two, then add the ground coconut paste.
8.Just cook for a while to remove the raw smell of green chili and jeera.
9. Temper with the items listed and add it to the Aviyal.

Serve with Steamed rice and sambar. or your choice of curry.

Notes:
1.I personally do not prefer adding snake gourd, as it leaves water and makes the aviyal more watery. If you add snack gourd, add a little amount and adjust the water level accordingly.
2. do not add more carrots, as it will make the curry sweetened. My mom doesn't add carrots at all, But I add them a little.
3. do not add more coconut paste than required, Just use a desired quantity.
4. Increase or decrease no of green chilies, as per your taste.
5. Adding curd is not mandatory, but gives better taste if added.
6. The lists mandatory / Optional are based on my preference only