Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to make Avial (Steamed (Country) Vegetables in Yogurt Gravy)

It goes very well on its own, accompaniment to a good Vengaya Sambar (Onion Sambar),
or with Adai.....Shown here with Adai (my husband's Dream / Favorite combination)

This is one of the most easiest vegetable dish to make. Yet I have seen various versions of Avial in Hotels and
other places and had to write this post. The Tamilian (Tanjore Style) version of this dish really has only 3 Simple steps. The Avial which is traditionally made in my house is white and will have only country vegetables (naattu kaai) which means it wont have lima beans, corn, peas, or cauliflower. I have seen this made with the mixed frozen vegetables that are available here in the US and I feel the individuality of this dish is robbed.


The Vegetables you can use to make this are
Winter Melon (Vellai Poosanikkai)  (More of this)
Chayote (Also known as Bengalore kathrikai or Chow Chow)
Snake Gourd
Guwar Beans (Cluster  Beans -- Available in Indian Stores)
Avaraikkai (Broad Beans -- Available in Indian Stores)
Green Raw Banana 
Raw Green Banana
Thick Stems of Spinach
Brinjal (Eggplant) (I really don't like to include this)
Indain Yam (Senai Kizhangu-- You don't get this in the USA)
Drum Stick (only frozen available in Indian Stores and they are not that good .. can do without this)
Steamed Taro Root (only if you really really want it, but the avial will become slimy)

And Absolute NO NO s are
Any kind of Onions, Tomatoes, Okra (Ladies Finger), cauliflower.

Potatoes and Indian Yam can be steamed separately and added.
As an option, potatoes can be peeled and cut and then steamed along with the other veggies.

This will feed a minimum of 8 people

You need
 All the Vegetables (about 8 cups)
Cumin -- 2 to 3 teaspoons
Fresh Grated Coconut --  1 cup (yes 1 cup)
Green Chili - 4 or 5 (or more if you can handle it)
Fresh Yogurt - (About 2 or 3 cups)
Salt as needed

--->Grind Cumin, Coconut and Green Chillies to a smooth paste
--->Cut all the veggies. Make the pieces big but not too big that you have to open your mouth too wide to eat it... :)
--->Add the salt and Cover and Steam all the veggies with about 1 and 1/2 cups of water.
--->The veggies will let some water out.
--->After the veggies are cooked (when pressed with a fork it should easily get mashed) if you see there is excess water you can drain it, but a little excess is fine.
--->Mix the ground paste to this and boil for a few mins on a low heat.
--->Mix the yogurt to this and remove from fire as soon as the mixture gets warm and before the yogurt splits.

Traditionally there is no tempering of mustard seeds for this.
You can add some Coconut oil as an option, and some curry leaves as a garnish.

[If you notice, this is similar to this Mor kootu, except for mor kootu (made with one vegetable) is usually garnished with a tempering of Red Chili, Mustard and Curry Leaves.]

1 comment:

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