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The “Avial” Tale

July 17, 2010

My non-mallu roomies are most happy when food is made with all the masalas thrown in and they cannot comprehend the fact that I love coconut in my food.

After more than a year of cooking bachelor styled food with dangerous levels of masala, I finally decided to make some proper food yesterday; in our very own mallu style.

Just like I have a caffeine craving, I also have this coconut craving and last week, at the super market, I was pleasantly surprised when I spotted an “Avial Mix”; a packet with all the frozen vegetables.

 All these days, I thought that making “Avial” was the toughest thing in the world. But last week, after getting the recipe from home, I realized that if one has the right combination of vegetables, it actually is really simple.

So last evening, I came home and declared, “Guys, I am going to make Avial and beans today”.

Mr. NT asked, “Yaar; what the hell is an avial?”

I said, “It is basically a mallu dish with a hundred different vegetables, all cooked with coconut in it and coconut oil is used as well”.

Mr. NT got real serious and pleaded, “Coconut oil and coconut? Arre Miya, aisa nakko karo yaar

I exclaimed happily, “Yes!!!! Miya, ais-ich karunga

Mr. NT said, “We have a hard time when you make sambar with coconut in it. But this is taking things to the next level”.

I said, “Dost; make fun of me but not Arachuvitta Sambar. It is divine”.

And he said, “Maybe it is; but definitely not when you make it”.

And he continued on, “But thankfully you are also making beans”.

And I said, “But dost, I am planning to make beans in the mallu style as well with coconut in it”.

Mr. NT said something in Telugu and went into his room. I did not quite understand the words and it must have meant something like, “We are F*&^*#$”.

Mr. SK, the Punjabi also was apprehensive of the whole “setup”, but I did not care.


After an hour and half of slaving in the kitchen, I invited both of them to see the final output.

We first had a look at the “Avial” (yeah, I had added more coconut than required).

After a few seconds of silence, Mr. NT remarked, “This looks very coconut-y”.

And Mr. SK said, “Yeah dude, I agree”.

We then had a look at the “Beans” (yeah, I had added more coconut than required).

After a few seconds of silence, Mr. NT remarked to no one in particular, “Maa-ki-kirkiri”; probably referring to the adverse effect the coconut would have on his digestive system.

And Mr. SK asked, “Dude, it does not look like you have added any masala in it”.

And I told him that I had not added anything except some yellow powder and a pinch of asafetida.

No red chilli powder?” he asked.

Nope”, I said.

No Garam Masala?” he asked.

Nope”, I said.

 “No Karahi Chicken Masala?” he asked.

“Nope”, I said.

No ginger/garlic paste?” he asked.

“Nope”, I said.

Tu saala pagal ho gaya”, he exclaimed and left.

Later that evening, I noticed Mr. NT picking at his food, forcing himself to eat. Mr. SK did not even attempt to eat it. He had curd rice with achar/pappad.

This worked really well for me as I got to eat a lot; and it really tasted good due to the coconut.

Now, this is an exercise I intend to continue in the future as well. 😉

PS: The best song for the occasion: “Hotel Kerala-fornia“.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2010 4:32 am

    “Now, this is an exercise I intend to continue in the future as well.” ROFL!!! I like the way your brain works…But be careful, you may put on weight and I’m sure you don’t want to wear a dhoti with your paunch sticking out on your wedding day…
    OG: I am already overweight 😛 so does it really mattter 😛

  2. July 17, 2010 9:43 am

    Oh I loooooove both avial and archuvitta sambar… slurp… you’ve inspired me OG, let me rush to the kitchen right away 😉
    OG: haha 😛 best of luck 😛

  3. July 17, 2010 3:08 pm

    I love the beans and I really love the avial as well!!! 😛
    AND I’m not a mallu! 😀
    North Indians will never understand our taste buds.
    But the ever adjusting south indians love all the north indian food and never distinguish between the two!
    OG: yup……………….. agree 😛

  4. July 18, 2010 6:29 am

    Love aviyal and you’ve done a good job too – looks really good. And WOW to that beans poriyal with coconut !!! Yummyy….
    OG: haha thanks 😛
    Dont bother OG, those guys can never understand the love for coconut in our cooking…

    BTW, I feel that all this cooking training is getting better day by day, as your D-Day is coming near…. 😉

    Find a girl, who just cant cook – you can take the honors !!! 😉
    OG: 😛 😛 😛 😛 😛 everything will be shared 😛

  5. July 19, 2010 9:07 am

    I like avial 🙂 Btw heard of the band called ‘avial’ ?
    OG: great and yes, I love the songs from the band.

    • July 21, 2010 11:02 am

      I love their songs too 🙂

      OG: Isn’t the avial a bit watery? Shouldn’t you have dried it up a bit?
      OG: yeah it was……. had added more water than required………… 😛

  6. July 20, 2010 12:49 am

    hehe…once a mal. always a mal huh bro? good to know you are spreading the cheer!
    and very reassuring to know at you havent changed – ‘more food for you’, huh?!

    happy cooking and keep surprising( or rather shocking) the roomies!!!
    OG: aliyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, finally u read my space, eh???? kollam machuuuuuu 😛 and yes, will continue my quest for making the perfect avial 😛

  7. July 25, 2010 4:47 am

    Damn! I am raring to make avial but both me n sis were being too lazy to buy veggies. however, we went grocery shopping yesterday. Thank fully before i read this post. I so wanna have it right now!!

  8. July 29, 2010 5:41 am

    Arachuvitta is basically ground mixture or something? Just guessed bcoz ‘Ari’ is grind in Kannada and we make sambar that way 😛 Lemme check that recipe. Quite tempting 😛 😛
    OG: yeah it is……………. with coconut as well in it 😛

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