It's a pleasant saturday afternoon here and the temperature is in 80's(finally!!). Usually on weekends we go to H-Mart and buy some fish or shrimp or any other sea food since hardly is meat cooked much at our place. So much so that i dont even remember when was the last time we had them. Apparently Rakesh has been watching all sorts of (unwanted) documentaries and deciding which is the next meat to be given up. Its been a little more than a year that he had any and since we are only two out here, i dont bother cooking it either.
Today, as usual after 10 minutes of standing infront of the refrigerator i decided to have a vegetarian affair instead of the usual thing of reaching out to eggs for a quick egg roast or curry. There was a time when i needed fish atleast for one meal of the day and since there was seafood always in abundance in Mumbai, it wasnt an issue at all. But here we need to drive back and forth for a good 1 hour to get some and this has almost made us partial vegetarians. I had all ingredients for making avial along with pineapple moru, so decided upon them for the day. Even though i have my loyalities towards sambar, an occasional avial doesnt hurt. And yes, we like it dry without yoghurt. We never made them with yoghurt, guess its more prominent in northern kerala.
We will need 1/2 a cup of carrot strips, 1/2 a cup of diced pumkins, 5-6 drumstick pieces, 1/2 a cup of ash gourd, 1/2 a cup of beans, 1/2 a cup of raw mangoes, 1-2 sprig curry leaves. You can use vegetables of your choice. Some other commonly used vegetables are yam, raw plantain, brinjal, cucumber etc. No potatoes please!! Also if possible use fresh veggies, only thing frozen am using is drumsticks.
Add everything in a heavy bottom vessel except the mangoes, add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 green chilly, 1/2 tsp salt, around 3/4th cup water, close the lid and cook on a low to medium flame for 12-15 minutes. Do not overcook the vegetables, they need to be little crunchy.
Lightly pulse 1/2 cup coconut, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 green chilly and 1/4 th tsp turmeric powder, few curry leaves in mixer or blender without adding any water at all.
Mix well and add mangoes along with the coconut mixture and salt as per taste, close the lid and cook for 5- 10 minutes and at last drizzle 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Its very important to add the oil as we aren't tempering here. Serve hot with rice.