Thursday, January 21, 2010



Avial is a combo of veggies in coconut gravy.Its a tradiotional dish of kerela.Usually on Pongal day my mom makes Avial,Variety of Chips made out of potatoes,sweet potatoes,Raw plantains and Sweet Pongal to finish up the meal.When I started cooking I didnot try Avial for a very long time because I have always heard my mom say that,if the veggies are over cooked the taste of Avial is lost.I should say it took me few attempts  not to over cook the veggies and their crunchiness is maintained.If you have variety of veggies ,I would say its the easiest to cook anytime.My Pic here doesn't show all the veggies here like carrots,sweet potatoes.I was skeptical posting it,but will change the pic when I get the right one.



String Beans 1/4 lb

Carrots 2

Sweet Potatoe 1/2

Potatoe  1

Chayotte squash 1

Yellow Pumkin  Few Pieces Diced

Yellow Pumkin   Few Pieces Diced

Peas   A handfull

Raw Mangoe  Few Pieces(optional)

Feel free to add any of your favorite veggies
To Grind to a Paste

Shredded Coconut  1/2 cup

Cumin Seeds/Jeera   2Tsp

Green Chilies   5 (to your taste)

Salt to your taste

Coconut Oil  2 Tsp

Curry Leaves 1spring

Mustard Seeds 1 tsp

Asfoetida/Hing  A Dash

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Yougurt 1/2 cup

1.Cut the veggies to long pieces about an inch .

2.In a sautee pan take 1/2 cup water , add all the veggies and turmeric to it .Sprinkle with salt.Close the pan with a lid.Keep checking in between ,so that the veggies are not burnt. The veggies will cook by itself .The veggies should not loose its crunchiness .Its fine if its just the state of half boiled.

3.While the veggies are cooking grind together the coconut,green chilies and cumin seeds.

4.Add the ground paste to the veggies .Switch off the stove when the veggies and paste start blending together.

5.Season it in 1 Tsp of  Coconut oil with Mustard seeds,curry leaves and Asfoetida/hing.

6.When the avial is ready to serve mix the yoghurt along with it and serve.It goes very well with Venpongal,Adai and with the combination of rice and appalam.

Chakara Pongal/Sweet Pongal

                                 Chakara Pongal/Sweet Pongal

As the name goes for this dish, it’s a sweet relish. Sweet pongal is a traditional dish and is a combo of rice, moong dal and jaggery/gund/vellam along with milk, ghee and a mixture of aromatic spices. In southern part of India, in villages it is believed that when the milk boils, to its brim is a good sign for a new year to begin with prosperity. My mom used to make this sweet pongal in a vengala panai otherwise called a brass vessel .The vessel would be decorated with haldi, kumkum and Sugar cane pieces, turmeric pods tied to it on the pongal day. When the milk boils my brother and me would shout on our highest voices "Pongalo Pongal" with joy. I did not carry my vengala panai here, given during my wedding, Mine was a pressure cooker pongal.My daughter had fun screaming "Pongalo Pongal" .Here you go with the recipe.

Chakara  Pongal/Sweet Pongal


Rice 1Cup

Moong Dal ¼ Cup

Jaggery/Gund 1 Cup

Milk 2 Cups

Water 1 Cup

Ghee ½ Cup

Cardamom Pod -3 Powdered

Clove -3 Powdered

Nutmeg/Jathikai -1/2 Spoon Powdered

Saffron a pinch

To Garnish Roast the following in 1 Tsp Ghee

Cashews -2 Tsp

 Raisins - 2 Tsp

Almonds -2 Tsp


1. Wash the rice, moong dal and mix it along with the milk, water and saffron in a pressure cooker and leave it for 4 whistles

2. In a pan mix the jaggrey with little water and boil it until it starts frothing and begin to form a thick consistency.

3.Smash nicely with a ladle the cooked rice and dal and add the jaggery consistency ,ghee ,powdered cardamom, clove and nutmeg to that , keep stirring it on a low flame until the pongal reaches a semi solid consistency and switch it off.

4. Garnish it with Cashew, raisins and Almonds.Voila that’s about it Enjoy!!!!