Aval and Pori time….

Avals are an eternal favourite with us in Bio Basics. It is one of our preferred breakfasts on delivery days ….and a handy and quick snack. I personally recommend avals to all instead of oats, corn flakes, and for snacks etc. Avals come in different forms and from different cereals.

Rice avals come in white thin – from pounding rice into very thin flakes, white medium and white thick forms; the red aval from unpolished red rice also comes in red thin, medium and thick form .  Then there is the mappilai samba aval, which is made from the nutritious and healthy mappilai samba paddy. Now we have received the aval of karuppu kavuni rice, a wonderful way to introduce our children to the extremely nutritious , full of anti-oxidants karuppu kavunni.

In earlier days the avals had to be painstakingly made by hand pounding soaked paddy, now we are fortunate to have machines that can achieve avals of various thickness. The soaked paddy is pressed and the husk is removed, that’s why you will find some paddy (nel) in the avals.

Aval

Now the new addition to avals, which millet processors have introduced, are millet avals. It is a little expensive as recovery rate is quite low( which means for one kilo millet you get may 300-400 gms of aval).  We are intermittently receiving pearl millet (kambu) aval and red sorghum (irumbu solam) aval from our farmers. These are power packed, gluten-free, fiber-rich cereals, easy to prepare and eat. Can be used the same way as rice avals and if your family hasn’t taken to millets in other forms, this is a great way to introduce it!

Thin avals are great for dry snacks like roasting and adding to mixtures, for mixing with jaggery powder and coconut for a sweet snack ( you will see that jaggery and coconut always feature heavily in most things I recommend), for a raw salad with shredded vegetables. The thin aval should be washed quickly in a colander and drained, otherwise it becomes soggy.  The thick aval requires a little bit of soaking, I prefer to wash it in a colander ( so that there is no excess water) and again pour a little water and let it absorb for about 15 minutes. Usually, this is great for making poha ( or aval upma ). Another great use is adding aval to idli and dosa batter, my friend Abi, an enthusiastic cook, swears by it and says that addition of aval make them really soft! (A quick recipe from my friend Nisha for raw/steamed veggies and aval salad: Pulse the aval, keep it aside, use grated veggies ( either raw or steamed). A  mix of watery veggies like poosani, pumpkin and crunchy veggies like carrot  should be used . Add salt, jeera powder, grated ginger, and pepper. You could do a thadka with mustard, urad dal and curry leaves. Mix the aval and veggies. Add tomato and coconut  and garnish  with coriander leaves or puthina.)

Avals are used by an enterprising mother as cornflakes, she says that aval with jaggery and milk is a pretty good replacement for chocolate laden flakes. It would definitely take some slow persuasion to shift them to this, but once done it is very rewarding to have our kids eating healthy. Avals are a two-minute meal, good for kids for providing energy and for us to resist sinful unhealthy snacks!

Mappilai Samba Pori! A delightful, crunchy snack, we have been munching on it. Roast lightly with spices & salt, or add jaggery for a sweet snack. Our supplier-farmer recommends making pori urundai with melted jaggery, he sent us wonderful sample urundais! I am yet to try my hand at it.

Pori-Mappilai Samba
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