Aviyal is a mixed vegetable coconut-based curry from the south Indian state of Kerala. It is commonly served as a side dish at festive meals. This recipe works well with many different vegetables like ridge gourds, snake gourds, green plantains, pumpkin, elephant foot yam, ash gourds, carrots and drumstick, just to name a few. You may use any combination of your favourite vegetables. Coconut oil is traditionally used; if you do not have it, use any neutral flavoured oil.
Serves 4 to 6
300g ash gourd, peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1/2-inch/1-cm cubes
250g elephant foot yam, peeled and cut into ¼-inch/6-mm cubes
4-5 yard long beans, cut into 1-inch/2.5-cm lengths
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into ½-inch/1-cm cubes
1 medium green plantain, peeled and cut into ¼-inch/6-mm cubes
1 cup/100g grated fresh coconut
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 fresh green chilli peppers
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon asafoetida
1½ teaspoons salt
½ cup/125ml plain yoghurt, whisked until smooth
2 tablespoons coconut oil
10-15 fresh curry leaves
1. Cook the ash gourd, elephant foot yam, long beans, carrot and plantain in a saucepan with 1½ cups/375ml water until tender.
2. Meanwhile, using an electric blender, blend the coconut, cumin seeds, green chillies, turmeric powder and asafoetida to a smooth paste, adding 1 cup/250ml water.
3. When the vegetables are done, add the coconut paste and salt. Mix well and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the yoghurt. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat.
5. Heat the oil in a small pan. When the oil is hot, add the curry leaves and stir until fragrant. Add the tempering to the curry.
6. Mix and serve hot.