Sunday, 12 August 2012

Aviyal in a Pressure Cooker

This post is part of Onam and Sadya. The recipe below will make enough to serve 6 - 8 people for a Sadya. Measurements are only approximate.

Aviyal is a dish from vegetarians paradise. It is a semi dry preparation of mixed vegetables with crushed coconut, cumin, garlic, green chilly and yoghurt and finished off with fresh coconut oil. The tartness of the
yoghurt and aroma of fresh coconut oil gives it a unique taste. It occupies a very important place in Kerala and Tamil Nadu cuisine and a Sadya in Kerala can never be complete without it.

My Mum prepares aviyal in two ways. One is the traditional method where vegetables are added to the cooking pot at different times depending on their cooking time; the vegetables that need more time to cook are added first and the ones that require the least time is added last. Finally you have a medley of vegetables that you can actually see and bite into. The second method is the modern, easy, quick, pressure cooker style. While my Mum prefers the traditional way of cooking, me and my sis prefer the pressure cooker method because it is quick and easy and also the vegetables melt in your mouth. Lucky for me, my husband GC also prefers aviyal this way.

Aviyal is usually made with raw plantain, yam, snake gourd, lemon cucumber, drum sticks, beans, carrot, etc. Being in Melbourne, the main challenge Keralites are facing here is to find raw banana. It is not imported in any forms and unless you have a farm nearby you may not find it. So the recipe I have here is a Melbournian Aviyal with vegetables that are easily found here but I promise you that we do not compromise on taste.

  • 1 1/4 cup ivy gourd/ kovaykka, sliced
  • 1 cup yam, chopped in chunks
  • 3/4 cup cluster beans, cut into half a finger length
  • 1 cup colocasia root, copped in chunks
  • 8 finger-size drumsticks 
  • 1 1/2 cup lebanese eggplant, chopped in chunks
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped in chunks
  • 1 1/4 cup of chokos, chopped in chunks
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup chinese potato (Saras cooked and ready to use)
To crush
  • 1 cup shredded frozen coconut
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 green chilly
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
1. Crush all ingredients under "to crush" till it forms a coarse paste. Mix it with all vegetables except chinese potato. Add 1 cup of water. Cook in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle. When pressure dies, open it and add chinese potato, yoghurt and coconut oil. Mix loosely with a spatula.

Serve hot with rice.

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