Story of Origin of Avial
Onam festival recipe from Kerala

Aviyal or avial is a vegetable side dish

This Avial recipe (also spelt as aviyal) is a south Indian recipe which originated from the southern Indian state of Kerala. It is a kind of vegetable stew. It is also a Onam festival special meal 'sadya' recipe.

What is aviyal - avial?

Aviyal is a vegetable side dish that is served generally with rice. Aviyal literally means 'cooking with water. It is also a special dish made on the occasion of Onam, a festival of Kerala and also on any other special occasion.

A mixture of vegetables is used for this. You can use any 3-4 vegetables, your favorite vegetables.

Generally potato, beans, carrots, eggplant, raw banana, yam, cucumber, snake gourd, drumsticks etc are used.

There are many stories how this avial-vegetable-dish came into being. I love stories so I would like to share these stories with you.

Aviyal origin story - 1 - Mahabharat Story

There is a story from Mahabharata, of Bhima/Bheema, the mighty Pandava brother, who was the cook, Ballav, in the kingdom of Virata, making this dish.

Bheema, the mighty second brother among Pandavas disguised as a cook during their 'agyatvas-incognito', when they had to hide from Kauravas for a year, after spending 12 years living in forests.

The Pandavas spent this one year in the court of King Virata. According to one story, Bheema didn't know any cooking and made a dish by cooking all the vegetables together. That's aviyal for you.

Aviyal origin story - 2

According to another story, after all cooking and meals were over, unexpected guests arrived at the king Virata's court.

The VIP guest was Sage Durvasa who was known for his short temper and habit of cursing offenders when angry. Bheema had to prepare food for Sage Durvasa with whatever ingredients were available to him and do it fast.

He used the few vegetables available in the pantry and created 'Aviyal' which Sage Durvasa liked.

Aviyal origin story - 3

According to still another story, Kauravas killed Bheema by poisioning and threw his body in the river. Bheema was saved by the Nagas(Cobra snakes) and removed poision from his body. At the end of the mourning period, Pandavas were preparing the funeral feast when Bhima returned.

The Pandavas were happy and cancled cooking for the funeral feast. Bheema, the glutton, did not like that and prepared a vegetable dish with the available vegetables. And that is aviyal for you.

Aviyal origin story - 4

There is also a story of a king who did not like things being wasted in the kitchen and ordered the cook to use all the vegetables and make a dish. Aviyal is the wonderful result.

A dish with so many stories behind it's creation must be very interesting, don't you think so?

Go to Aviyal Recipe and enjoy.

Related Pages to visit:

Indian Breads - Flat breads, fried breads.

Indian Curries - North Indian and South Indian Curries.

Lentil Recipes - To go with Rice dishes.

Rice Recipes - Plain rice - Vegetable rice - Lentil rice dishes.

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