A sweet and healthy snack from Kerala

Children are passionate food lovers. Every time we offer food to children, we first consider whether it is nutritious or not. The only foods that are healthy are often not liked by children because of their taste, but what if we offer them healthy and delicious foods? Once kids love a particular dish, they tend to repeatedly ask for the same taste, aroma, and flavor, making that particular dish their favorite. Due to its flavor and simplicity, this is not just a children’s favorite; adults love it too.

Aval Vilayichathu is a well-known Kerala snack mainly made from pounded rice, brown sugar and coconut. It can be eaten as a light breakfast with mixed fruit or just a banana, or even as a snack at tea time. It’s healthy, easy to prepare and useful when you don’t have time to prepare breakfast or snacks. The word for churning rice or rice flakes in Malayalam is ‘aval’. Red/Brown Aval is widely used in Kerala. Aval Nanachathu, Aval Velayichathu and Aval Payasam are some popular recipes based on rice flakes. In Kerala, vilayichathu aval (sweetened rice flakes) is a much appreciated treat at tea time. To make it, rice flakes, coconut and brown sugar are used. If roasted properly, avalayicathu can be kept for a very long time. It can be kept refrigerated to extend its shelf life. It is usually eaten with ripe plantains or tubers, Aval Velayicathu. Aval Vialyichathu will be slightly soft when prepared, however, the flakes will tend to separate when the aval cools.

Here is the recipe for Aval Vilayichathu.

Ingredients:

1. 1 cup of rice flakes

2. ½ cup brown sugar

3. 9-10 cardamoms

4. 2 tablespoons of crushed dry ginger

5. 1 cup of water

6. ½ cup grated coconut

7. 100 g of cashews

8. 100 g of dried grapes

9. 100 g of peanuts

10. butter

Aval Vilayichathu/ pinterest.com

Method:

1. When the brown sugar is completely melted, strain the mixture to remove any dirt and set it aside after first mixing the water and crushed brown sugar in a pan.

2. Take a frying pan. Add the grated coconut and stir continuously while simmering until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and reserve.

3. Next, heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat, add the cashew, dried grapes, and peanuts, and cook until the color changes to a light golden brown. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and reserve.

4. In a pan, pour the strained and melted jaggery. When it reaches the consistency of string, add the toasted coconut and stir well.

5. Next, combine the roasted cashew, dried grapes, and peanuts.

6. Once again, stir well before adding the crushed cardamom and dried ginger.

7. Remove from heat.

8. Add the rice flakes and mix well.

9. Enjoy the snack after letting it cool down.

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