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Bhima and the Story of Avial – Origin of Vegetable Dish Aviyal

Avial is a vegetable dish that is prepared in South India and it contains all important vegetables. The origin of Aviyal is traced to Bhima, the second of the Pandava brothers. In the Mahabharata it is stated that the Kauravas led by Duryodhana and Dushansana one day poisoned Bhima. They then tied him and threw him into a river.

Kauravas thought he had been drowned and informed people that they saw Bhima drowning in the river. Pandavas too believed the Kauravas and they mourned the death of Bhima.

On the fifteenth day, a funeral feast was organized. Vegetables were cut for the feast and suddenly Bhima emerged from the river. Bhima who is always hungry was happy to see a feast being prepared.

Pandavas and other people were so happy to see Bhima alive and cancelled the funeral feast. This decision made Bhima unhappy.

Bhima said that one should not waste vegetables and spices and offered to cook a meal with it. He mixed all the vegetables and added some spices and lot of coconut and prepared a dish – which later became popular as Aviyal.

Note – Bhima who was thrown into the river was rescued by Nagas who lived in rivers. They were adept in removing poison from the body.