Sunday, August 8, 2010

Akola's Aviyal

Akola's Aviyal

Aviyal is a classic South Indian dish and because of its richness it is generally reserved for festive occasions such as weddings, festivals or special family get-togethers. The Aviyal I make has the same fundamental recipe but with many changes to accommodate the lack of tropical vegetables such as drumstick and yam, and fresh coconut oil whose signature aroma defines this dish. Mine has a different flavor, consistency, and plenty of fresh vegetables available locally with a generous amount of potatoes mixed in. The purist may not acknowledge that this is the right look and feel for Aviyal but it a favorite dish of my children especially my first daughter.

Preparation time - 40 minutes
Serves - 8
Category - Side dish or stew generally served with rice.


Fresh green beans - 15 - 20
Green peas fresh or frozen - 1/3 cup
Potatoes (Medium) - 2
Green pepper - 1/2
Egg plant (Italian) - 1/2
Fresh carrot - 1
Coconut flakes - 3 Tbspns
Green Chilies - 6 – 7
(Optional) JalapeƱo pepper - 1
Fresh Curry leaves chopped - 1 Tbspn
Yogurt (smoothed) - ¾ cup
Salt - ¼ tspn and adjust to taste

Wash, peel the potatoes and carrots and chop all vegetables with the exception of green chilies to approximately the same length and thickness.

In a deep pot or dutch oven, add the chopped vegetables. Cover them with enough water so that the vegetables are well immersed. Add salt .Bring to a boil and heat in medium heat until the vegetables are cooked but firm. Avoid overcooking to prevent the vegetables from becoming mushy.

In a blender, add the coconut flakes, cumin seeds, and green chilies and half a cup of water. Blend until to a smooth paste adding additional water if needed.

Add the paste to the cooked vegetables. Stir and mix in thoroughly. Heat at medium heat until the mixture of the paste and vegetables come to a boil. Continue to heat at low heat for two more minutes. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

Add the chopped curry leaves and yogurt. Avoid adding the yogurt when it is too hot. Stir and mix in.
Serve with hot rice.

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