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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Onam special: Make avial the right way with these easy tips

Make your onam sadhya platter more flavourful with these easy tips to make avial

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 31, 2020 10:01:17 am
avial, how to make perfect avial, easy recipes, tips to make avial, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, onam recipes,Learn how to make the perfect avial with these easy tips. (Source: Pixabay)

The festival of onam is as much about fun and frolic as it is about the elaborate feast or onam sadhya. While the sadhya comprises of any dishes, a prominent one is the spicy and nutritional mix of vegetables called avial. Prepared by boiling vegetables like yam, moringa, egg plant, tomato, beans, potatoes and carrots, the dish is spiced using a generous dose of freshly ground coconut, cumin and green chillies.

While avial has many variations, it is the basic creamy texture that lends it its unique taste.

So on this special occasion, here are a few tips that can help you make a flavoursome avial.

Make sure the vegetables are not finely chopped, just cut into two-inch sizes.

Avial is all about natural flavours; the best way to maintain it is to ensure the vegetables are not overcooked into a mash-like consistency. This can be achieved by regulating the cooking time of each vegetable. This means vegetables that take longer to cook like yam, potatoes, moringa and carrots should be cooked first, followed by vegetables like cucumber, that cook quicker. Note that traditionally, avial didn’t have vegetables like carrots, beans and potatoes.

Allow the vegetables to cook in steam with a little amount of water.

The spice paste of green chillies, coconut and cumin should be added once the vegetables are half cooked. This helps release flavours.

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Ensure the coconut is coarsely ground instead of a fine mixture.

Curd is only added at the end, right before the flame is switched off. But whisk it nicely. If you don’t like curd, you can add raw mango or tamarind water.

If you like thick gravy, add 1-2 teaspoons of soaked channa dal or soaked rice while grinding coconut.

Mustard tempering may be added at the end. But a common trick to enhance the taste of avial is to pour a dollop of coconut oil.

Keep an eye out for the creamy texture of avial to know it is ready.

It is widely believed that avial’s taste is enhanced when served on a banana leaf, which is usually the case with a typical sadhya.

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