13 December, 2019

Aviyal Recipe | Keralan Mixed Vegetable Curry With Coconut And Yogurt

Learn how to make Aviyal or Avial ~ Keralan mixed vegetable medley with coconut and yogurt

Heaven must be a bit like Kerala, an ancient strip of lush, tropical land that slithers sensuously down the coast of south-western India.
~ Madhur Jaffrey
Blessed with tropical, balmy weather and plentiful rain, Kerala is truly God’s own country. The land of sparkling backwater zigzagging the lush green landscape dotted with paddy fields, tea plantations and the majestic coconut trees swaying to the cool breeze of Arabian sea, Kerala is home to world’s most precious treasure – spices that have lured traders from antiquity, and then the invaders many centuries ago. At the end of 15th century the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama hitched up his sail and after circling the Cape of Good Hope landed in Kerala at the port of Calicut and soon the other Europeans – Dutch, French and English – followed his sea route. What started as a lucrative spice trade soon created a whirlwind of brutal violence and colonisation in the name of God, king and country leaving a trail of blood stained the map of India!

Ingredients for Aviyal

Black pepper, the king of spices and the most coveted spice was believed to be worth its weight in gold is still one of the most loved spices in the present day is grown abundantly in Kerala along with many other spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms etc. Keralan cuisine is loved for not just it’s balanced used of spices, but also inclusivity of local produce in everyday cooking. Sadya – a celebratory feast consisting of a variety of traditional vegetarian dishes usually served on banana leaves – showcases the beauty of Keralan vegetarian dishes cooked with a wide range of locally grown vegetables like gourds, green plantains, root vegetables, yams etc cooked with freshly grated coconut, coconut milk, yogurt, and lentils etc. Almost every savoury dish has two main ingredients – coconut oil and fresh curry leaves – and it is impossible to imagine Keralan cuisine without these two!

05 December, 2019

Achaari Aloo Gobi Recipe | Vegan Potato and Cauliflower Curry with Pickling Spices

Learn how to make Achaari Aloo Gobi ~ Vegan potato and cauliflower curry with pickling spices

My love for pickle is a talking point with my family and friends, so much so that I end up being a butt of their so-called ‘pickle’ jokes! I belong to the very rare group of species who can survive not tasting a piece of sugar-loaded sweetmeats for rest of their life but go berserk when a meal is served without a piece of pickle adorning the plate. So extending my love for pickle into a lip-smacking bowl of curry is one of the best ways to satisfy my never-ending cravings for something spicy and uplifting. Enter Achaari Aloo Gobi, a delicious and one of THE best vegan curries that you can make to jazz up even the most mundane meal.

The word ‘Achar’ means pickle in Hindi and this recipe of Achaari Aloo Gobi is built on the basic pickling spices; mustard, cumin, fennel seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds, and red chilli which are prominently used in North Indian pickles. The touch of sourness comes from the amchur power which is a dried mango powder instead of vinegar which is used in most of the Punjabi pickles. This dish is how a pickle should be, spicy, astringent, and sour. Unlike the dry version of Achari Baingan or gravy based Achaari Paneer Curry, this Achaari Aloo Gobi Curry is semi-gravy based dish.