Aviyal

 Aviyal is a medley of vegetables. Traditionally, ash gourd, green plantains, string beans telinga potatoes (suran), and drumsticks (moringa oleifea, not chicken!) are used in the preparation of aviyal. In the U.S. green plantains are available in Latin American grocery stores and sometimes even at American supermarkets. Long string beans, ash gourd, fresh, frozen and canned drumsticks and telinga potatoes (suran or zimikand) are available in Indian food stores and ash gourd (with light green skin and white flesh) is readily available at Chinese markets. Although not traditional, zucchini, carrots, butternut squash, green beans and potatoes also may be used in this curry. The idea is to use as many vegetables as possible. This is one dish that definitely needs curry leaves. Curry leaves, fresh coconut and coconut oil gives aviyal its authentic flavor. 

1 medium sized potato
2 medium sized carrots
8 pieces of drum sticks *
1 cup of suran (telinga potato) pieces *
1/4th of a pound of green beans or string beans
1 green plantain
1 Zucchini
1 cup of ash gourd pieces
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 ½ cups of plain yogurt
3 cups of grated fresh coconut
4 to 5 hot green chilies (reduce for milder taste)
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

For seasoning and garnish:
1/3 cup coconut oil
A few springs of fresh curry leaves

Ingredients:

1 green plantain
2 medium-sized carrots
1 zucchini
1 medium-sized potato
1 cup ash gourd pieces
8 pieces of drumstick*
1 cup telinga potato pieces*
¼ pound green beans or string beans
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1½ cups plain yogurt
3 cups grated fresh coconut
4 to 5 fresh green chilies (serrano or Thai) (less for a milder taste)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds

For seasoning and garnish:

3 tablespoons coconut oil
12 to 15 fresh curry leaves

Peel and cut the plantains, carrots, zucchini, potato, ash gourd, drumstick, and telinga potato into pieces 2½ to 3 inches long (approximately the size of thick french fries). Cut the green beans or string beans into pieces of about the same size. Place the vegetables in a colander, wash them under running water, and drain. Place the cut potatoes, carrots, drumsticks, suran, and beans in a heavy saucepan, and add just enough water to cover. Sprinkle with salt and turmeric and cook over medium heat. When they are partly cooked, add the remaining vegetable pieces and combine. Cook for five to six minutes, until all the vegetables are cooked; add a couple of tablespoons of water if necessary. Stir the yogurt with a tablespoon and pour it over the cooked vegetables. Simmer for three to five minutes. Grind the coconut, green chilies, and cumin seeds with just enough water to make a coarse, thick puree. Remove the puree from the blender, and stir it into the cooked vegetables. Simmer gently for five minutes over low heat (to prevent the yogurt from curdling). Remove from the stove and garnish with coconut oil and fresh curry leaves. Cover and set aside for ten minutes, to allow flavors to blend. Serve with plain boiled rice.

*Both frozen and canned drumsticks and telinga potatoes (labeled suran) are available at Indian grocery stores. If using the canned vegetables, first drain them, wash them under running water, and drain them again. After cooking the fresh vegetables, add them along with the ground coconut puree and mix.

Makes 4 to 6 servings if served with another curry, as is traditional. 




AMMINI RAMACHANDRAN