Aside dish which is made for special guests. A preparation reserved for special occasions.The Aviyal I love to make & savour. A unique dish of God's own country!
A dish which is never photogenic. The curry which made me struggle with lighting, focus and sharpness; yet not up to the mark. In short, the food to which I had surrendered in terms of photography.
I had pictured the dish a couple of years back with my basic Canon PowerShot. It was horrendous!
I shot it again a year back, with my next level camera. It was miserable!
During my third attempt I had to come to the conclusion that I can't capture a better image than this.
Put away the beauty and take my word, it is one of the richest and tastiest side dishes in a *Sadya (feast) menu and the easiest to make!
I am not sure about the availability of raw cashews or pacha andiparippu around you, which is the most ideal to prepare this, but I feel you can go ahead with the regular cashews, soaked in warm water for a few hours or until it turns soft. I haven't tried this way and so suggestions are most welcome.
These raw cashews are available in Alappuzha, where I was born and we had grown up nibbling these, though as kids we weren't much inclined to taste 'curries' made with them.
Now in T.N I get these rare cuties from the cashew farms in Neyveli which belong to my ma in law's cousin.
I got a fresh batch last week and here's how I prepared the curry just like my mother does..
Raw cashews/ pachandi parippu - 2 cups, cleaned and washed in running water.
Drumsticks, cut into two to three inch long pcs - 6-8 pcs
Chilly powder - 1 tsp (yes, you need some extra as cashews suppress the heat!)
Turmeric Powder- 1/4 tsp
Jeera- 1/4 tsp
Small onions-4-5 nos
To grind to a smooth paste
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Coconut oil-2 tsps
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Finely minced small onions- a tsp
Curry leaves- 1-2 sprigs
Boil cashews and drumsticks in just enough water adding chilly and turmeric powders.Crush jeera and onions in a hand mortar or give a quick pulse in your mixie. Stir into the curry. Add salt. Grind coconut and garlic to a smooth paste.Stir in the paste while the cashews and drumsticks are half done.Simmer until the curry thickens and the cashews and drumsticks turn soft (but not mushy).
Heat oil in another pan, crackle the mustard seeds, caramelise the minced onions and throw in the curry leaves. Pour the seasoning over the curry.
The Aviyal tastes best with Rice and Sambhar and fairs well with Indian breads.
Find the same recipe at my sister's place here.
I love this recipe as well!