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Mixed Vegetables with Coconut Sauce (Aviyal)

Makes6 servings (as part of a large meal)
  • Active time: 25 min
    Total time: 45 min
This quintessential Kerala vegetable curry marries many of the best ingredients of the region: coconut, curry leaves, green chiles, and a host of tropical vegetables. All the vegetables are cut into batons and poached in a spiced yogurt-coconut sauce. This recipe is part of our menu for Sadhya, a South Indian feast.
Published in Gourmet Live 01.18.12

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 2- by 1/4-inch sticks (about 2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 2- by 1/4-inch sticks (about 2 cups)
  • 1 small fresh green chile, such as serrano, Thai, or jalapeño, slit lengthwise with stem end intact
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 3/4 cups water, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 medium zucchini, peeled and cut into 2- by 1/4-inch sticks (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup grated dried unsweetened coconut
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (not Greek-style)
  • 15 to 20 fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Bring potatoes, carrots, chile, red pepper flakes, turmeric, 1 cup water, and salt to a boil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot, then simmer briskly, uncovered, until vegetables are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and peas and simmer 1 minute more.
  • Meanwhile, blend coconut, cumin, cayenne, and remaining 3/4 cup water in a blender or food processor to a medium-fine paste.
  • Add coconut mixture to vegetable mixture along with yogurt. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and flavors have blended, 12 to 15 minutes. If mixture becomes too thick to simmer, add more water.
  • Serve sprinkled with curry leaves and drizzled with coconut oil, if desired.

COOKS’ NOTES:

  • Indian ingredients can be mail-ordered from Kalustyans.com.
  • Chile can be removed during cooking when aviyal is spicy enough for your taste.
  • Aviyal can be made 1 day ahead and chilled (add curry leaves and coconut oil just before serving).
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