Southern Indian mixed vegetable curry (Avial)

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Southern Indian mixed vegetable curry (Avial)

This recipe is deceptively easy and adapts to most vegetables.

Ingredients :
  • 2½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ medium onion, sliced
  • 1-2 green chillies, sliced in half lengthwise
  • ¾ tsp ground turmeric
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ½ cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, chopped into 1cm/½ in pieces
  • 100g green beans, topped, tailed and chopped into thirds
  • 50g shallots, peeled and halved
  • 10g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 60g desiccated coconut, soaked in water to just cover
  • 2 small handfuls frozen peas
  • 12 fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 5-6 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
Preparation method :
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the cumin, onion and chillies and cook until the onions are soft and beginning to colour.
  • When the onions are cooked, stir in the turmeric, salt, carrots and potatoes. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring often. If necessary, add a splash of water to prevent the vegetables from burning.
  • After about 15 minutes, add the cucumber and beans. Cover the pan again and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.
  • Meanwhile, place the shallots, ginger and coconut (complete with its soaking liquid) into a blender. Blend to a fine paste before adding to the pan, along with the peas. Cook for a further five minutes, stirring thoroughly. Tear the curry leaves into the pan and stir in the yoghurt.
  • To serve, take the pan off the heat and pour the coconut oil over the vegetables, if using. Spoon the mixture on to six serving plates and serve with basmati rice.