Author Notes: As much as I'd like to say that I got inspired by the spiral vegetable tart, nope I made this dish & posted it for my blog much earlier.. the inspiration was solely from Perennial plates recipe for potato terrine, except the flavors are totally South Indian.
Avial is a signature dish from the Southern Indian state of Kerala. A mix of different vegetables, (always added in odd numbers (never 3 though) , Don't ask me the reason, Its a quirky thing that I can't explain since I didn't make the rules!), cut into finger length sticks cooked in a gravy of fresh grated coconut, cumin & green chile and Soured yogurt. The version here uses just 2 vegetables, chosen simply for their similar cooking times, but other candidates include sweet potato (which my other half doesn't care too much for) & raw plantains (which i did not have on hand) —Panfusine
Makes: 1 standard loaf tin (~ 8-10 slices)
Large Idaho potatoes
tablespoons freshly shredded coconut (from the frozen section of any Indian grocery)
1-2 serrano chiles finely chopped
2 tablespoons Cumin
Salt to taste (~ 1.5 teaspoon)
1/2 cup greek yogurt
teaspoon rice flour
- Combine the yogurt, cumin, green chile, flour , coconut and the coconut milk & blend thoroughly in a blender until there is no trace of the shredded coconut, serrano & cumin. (i.e blended thoroughly in). Add the salt as to your taste and transfer to a large mixing bowl
- Peel the potatoes and carrots and discard the peels. Using the peeler make ribbons out of the vegetables. Immerse the ribbons into the coconut cumin mix.
- Line a standard loaf tin with parchment paper. Using clean hands, line the tin with the potato ribbons alternating with the orange carrot ribbons. Continue layering till the rim of the tin.
- Cover with foil (perforated to allow steam to escape) and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for about an hour until a knife easily slips through the vegetables. (Place a plate underneath, the coconut mix tends to ooze out & drip). Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Place an identical empty loaf tin over the dish & weigh down with heavy cans. (a brick covered with aluminum foil does the trick as well). Place in the refrigerator overnight, allowing the layered vegetables to compress down into a brick.
- When ready to serve, tip over onto a cutting board, remove the parchment paper and carefully slice into 1/2 in. thick slices. Pan fry the slices using coconut oil or any other oil of your choice (2 minutes / side) Serve as a side to Rice & plain dal.