Avial is a dish that makes the most of the locally available vegetables. That's why a novice cook who is unsure of the names and prices of the fare but has to go vegetable shopping can safely ask for an avial kootu (an avial mixture) for, say, forty or fifty rupees and be assured of a variety of vegetables for the week. These don't include the leafy ones though.
Technically, there is a recipe for the avial but one is allowed to use more or less veggies than the ones specified.
The basic set of vegetables includes:
2 raw bananas
1 medium-sized brinjal
100 g of cucumber
100 g of snake gourd
100 g of elephant foot yam
And a drumstick
You also need to make a paste with two cups of grated coconuts, a teaspoon of cumin seeds and six green chillies.
2 cups of grated coconuts
1 tsp of cumin seeds
6 green chillies
As a finishing touch for the cooked mixture, you will need to add curd and coconut oil. So keep two tablespoons of curd and ¼ of a cup of coconut oil ready.
2 tbsp of curd
¼ cup of coconut oil
Apart from these, you need salt, half-a-teaspoon of turmeric powder and a sprig of curry leaves.
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig of curry leaves
Method of preparation
Cut the veggies into batons. Boil them with the turmeric and just enough water. To this add the coconut paste that has been ground smoothly. Cook for five minutes. Add salt.
Remove from the fire and add the curd, beaten, and the coconut oil. Mix well. Serve hot.
Recipe by Ms Lyla Venu Kumar