Jan 17, 2012

Avial / Pongal Kuzhambu!!!!

Hi guys!!!

Here comes the next recipe from my Pongal dishes. Yes it is the yummy avial made at home every pongal day. This avial is way different from the typical Kerala avial which is prepared with curd and coconut milk. This one is more like a curry and I believe it is referred to as the Pongal kuzhambu in some parts of Tamilnadu. I know this 'coz when I told my husband that we were gonna have pongal rice with avial he gave me a surprised look and when he saw the prepared dish on the table he said 'Idhu pongal kuzhambu di.. Oru niminsham manushana kuzhapitiye' :-)

I remember last Pongal when mom and me were cutting all the vegetables from as early as 3 am. She was telling me the names of most of the vegetables 'coz I did not know most of them. She also said that it was a tradition that we prepare the dish with the number of vegetables used being 11, 15, 17 or 21.. Trust me it is so hard to find Indian vegetables abroad. I could hardly pick up 7 vegetables for the avial this time. The more vegetables we add the more flavor is added to the avial. Most importantly, any type of potatoes, drumstick and plaintain (Vazhakai) must be added. Also, the usual method involves cooking dal and vegetables separately. But I opted to go the quick way :-)

OK, so here goes the recipe.

Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Assorted vegetables diced - 2 cups
(Beans, Carrot, Plaintain, Brinjal, Potato, Drumstick, Broad beans, arbi, yams etc.)
Tamarind juice - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Corriander powder - 1 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Salt - as required

To season:
Oil - as required
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 3 nos
Curry leaves - a bunch


1. Pressure cook the dal and the vegetables with 5 cups of water and a pinch of salt for upto 3 whistles.
2. When the pressure is off, remove the lid and ensure the heat is on medium flame. Now add the tamarind juice and mix well.
3. Next add the turmeric, chilli, corriander and fennel powder and mix. When the raw smell from the turmeric leaves, add the sambar powder. Let it cook for about 10 mins.
4. Meanwhile, grind the grated coconut with a bit of jeera into a paste. Add this paste to the avial when the raw smell of the masala goes away. Simmer for 5 mins.
5. Heat oil in a kadai and add the mustard and cumin seeds. When they splutter add the red chillies and curry leaves. Add this tadka to the avial and switch off heat.

Serve hot with rice. Tastes just yummy... !!!!!!


  1. Havent tried making this at all. Sounds interesting and healthy with all those veggies :)

    1. Yeah it sure is.. Try it and let me know how u liked it :)


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