For my part,as clichéd as it may sound,my school /college canteen sucked big time.Of all the years I’ve spent in the campus[almost 17 years,starting from K.G till my graduation days]I must have gone to the canteen 2-3 times,that too when I was forced to accompany some friends.It was a convent run canteen and the fish-non-veg stink was too much for me to bear.I am not being judgemental here,I have no qualms in having food along with my non-veg friends,but its just that the smell from the canteen used to put me off.
It's funny how people think vegetarians only have one sambhar and one aviyal to eat and nothing else.Many feel that we are losing out on stuff because we don’t eat non-veg.
Ok,has it started to appear that I am on a rant mode-it wouldn’t be surprising if I told you that off late I’ve been showered with compliments like –I’ll run out of recipes for my ”only vegetarian blog”.So I thought I will post this life-saver dish for vegetarians;).Of course,Aparna’s post inspired me to dig out the photos of this dish from my drafts.You can read all about Aviyal’s origin and the stories associated with it here.
Aviyal ~ A medley of Vegetables!!
Due to the unavailability of many of these vegetables,new ones like Carrots,Beans,Potatoes etc have been added to the aviyal.As they say-anything goes into the aviyal-the more the merrier!!
Mixed vegetables about 3-4 cups – I used ash gourd,pumpkins,carrots,beans,drumsticks and yam
Raw mango* – ½ of 1 small one-cut lengthwise
To be ground to a coarse paste
Grated coconut – ½ of one coconut
Haldi/turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Jeera – ½ tsp
Coconut oil – 3-4 tbsp
Curry leaves – 2-3 sprigs
Chop the vegetables lengthwise[about the size of your small finger].Wash and keep aside.
Grind the grated coconut,haldi and jeera to a coarse paste without adding water,keep aside.
In a thick bottomed kadai/pan add the coconut oil and add all the vegetables into it.
Keep mixing till the oil coats the vegetables.
Add water-not much[about 1/2 cup should do]just enough to cover the vegetables and green chillies and cook the vegetables till soft.Take care not to overcook.
Add salt and the chopped raw mango to the cooked vegetables,mix well and then add the ground paste.
Spread the paste on top and cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes,open the lid,mix everything.
Add a tbsp of coconut and fresh curry leaves.
Aviyal is more of a side-dish than a gravy and the doneness is checked by the texture of the cooked vegetables coated with the ground coconut mix.