THis is the quintessential dish from the Southern Indian State of Kerala and is the star of any food session that is associated with celebrations of happy event.. (e.g, news of an engagement.. make avial, a promotion at work, make avial, great scores in school, - AVIAL, Recipe gets acknowledged in the media or in the bloggers circle.. make avial!). The ingredients for the gravy are constant, what changes are the vegetables added to the dish, For some reason the varieties of vegetables added are always in odd numbers (except 3), 5, 7,or even nine.. It could be an all root vegetable medley, or a vibrant mix of the bounties of the season but they need to be cut just right, into 2 inch long fingers as if prepping for french fries.
Although Avial is traditionally served with rice, I find that it pairs splendidly with broad rice noodles that are generally associated with East Asian - THai, Chinese - cuisine —Panfusine
Fresh shredded frozen coconut
Serrano or thai birds eye chiles (MUST be green)
Medium Red Potatoes cut into 2 inch sticks (peeling optional)
Combine the shredded coconut, cumin and green chiles in a small belnder and grind to a smooth paste, adding as much of the kefir as is necessary. Reserve the remaining Kefir.
Prepare the Banh Pho noodles as per the instructions on the package. cover and set aside, ensuring that the noodles stay moist and warm.
Add the potatoes and the carrots into the water along with the turmeric & salt. Cover and bring to a boil. when they are halfway done (soft on the outside, but still resistant in the center, add the other vegetables and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Add the Coconut - cumin paste along with the torn curry leaves and bring to a gentle simmer until the gravy loses its green, raw aroma. Add the remaining Kefir if you prefer a more 'liquidish' consistency and finish by drizzling the melted coconut oil just prior to removing the dish from the stove. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm over the noodles.