Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Kerala Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Vegetable Korma

A spicy and wholesome vegetable curry that goes well with almost everything.

Ingredients:
Mix vegetables diced in small cubes and florets(carrot, cauliflower, beans, green peas, potato) – 250 gms

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Turmeric – 1 tsp
Water – 1 cup
Coriander leaves – 1 cup

For gravy:
Onion – 2
Tomato – 2
Green Chillies – 4
Ginger (finely chopped) – 1 small piece
Garlic (finely chopped) – 3 pods
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Coconut (grated)* – 3 tbsp
Cardamom* – 2
Cloves* – 1
Star Anise* – 1
Bay Leaf* – 1
Cinnamon* – 1 small piece

* In case any of these ingredients are unavailable, check the alternate ingredients section for other options.

*Alternatives:
Instead of the whole spices, you could use 1 tsp garam masala powder. You can add coconut milk instead of the grated coconut.

Method:
Add some water and turmeric powder to the cut vegetables, close with a lid and boil.

While this is being done, in a wok, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Put the spices into the oil and sauté until the smell of spices waft in the air. Add finely chopped garlic and ginger. Add 2 chopped green chillies. When this is sauté-ed, add the onions and sauté. Add tomato after onions are sauté-ed. Add coriander powder. If you haven’t used the spices, add the garam masala powder at this stage. You can add a tsp chilly powder if you like it spicier. Turn off and add grated coconut (if you do not have grated coconut, you can add coconut milk towards the end). When this mixture cools, grind it into a fine paste. Note: Ensure that the cinnamon and cloves have been ground properly.

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Add this ground paste to the cooked vegetables. Mix well and cook for about 2 minutes. If you couldn’t add grated coconut to the paste, you can add coconut milk now. Turn off the fire and garnish with lots of fresh coriander leaves. Hot and tasty korma ready.

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List of accompaniments:
Tastes well with appam, chappathi, paratha, and even dosa or idli!

Skill Level:

Low

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Festival Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, Side Dishes, South Indian

Avial

A healthy concoction of vegetables in mildly flavored coconut gravy, a stew of sorts, a must-have for feasts.

Ingredients:
Assorted vegetables cut in 1-1-/2 inch size – 500 gm
Water – 1/2 cup
Curd* – 1 cup
Curry Leaves – 2 stalks
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp

* In case any of these ingredients are unavailable, check the alternate ingredients section for other options.

To grind:
Grated coconut – one cup
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Green chillies – 3 or 4
Shallots – 1-2 (optional)

*Alternatives:
You can add tamarind pulp instead of curd.

Method:
You can use any vegetable for avial. Avial itself means an assortment/mixture of various things. Yet, the traditional avial uses only native Kerala vegetables and does not use vegetables like potato, capsicum etc. So try to use ‘traditional vegetables’ to get the conventional taste. Traditionally used vegetables for avial are ash gourd, malabar cucumber, drum sticks, elephant yam, carrot, raw banana, pumpkin, long beans, snake gourd, bottle gourd. Wash, peel, and then cut the vegetables of same length of 1 to 1-½ inch pieces.

In a wok add ½ cup of water and add the cut vegetables. Ensure that the water is just enough for the vegetables to get cooked, not too much and not less. Add a pinch of turmeric powder. Close with a lid and cook in medium flame until all the vegetables are cooked. Stir occasionally. Add salt.

While the vegetables are cooking, in a mixer, grind the grated coconut, green chillies, cumin seeds, and shallots. Grind coarsely. Add the ground paste to the cooked vegetables and let it simmer for 2 minutes.

Add curry leaves. Turn off the fire. Beat the curd and add it to the cooked vegetables. Mix well and add 1 tbsp coconut oil mix. Avial is ready to be served.

Notes:
Avial can be eaten along with rice and sambar. It is a wholesome dish and can be eaten as a salad also.

Trivia:
Here is an interesting story about the origin of avial. Bheema, the strongest of the of Pandava brothers, worked as a cook in the Virata kingdom during the one year that Pandavas spent in disguise. The king of Virata did not like wasting a thing. Once, during one of his trips to the royal kitchen, the king noticed that there were small bits and pieces of various vegetables lying around even after all the cooking was complete. The king ordered that these vegetables should not be wasted and should be put to better use. Bheema then cooked all the leftover vegetables together and added some leftover coconut, curd and the rest is history! The inevitable item of every good sadya was thus born in the royal kitchen. It is a much loved dish and is commonly found in restaurants. But seldom will you find the original taste of avial there. Try an authentic sadya avial and then you will know.

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