The Origin of "Aviyal"

During the one year of ajnata-vasam of Pandavas, Bhima was working
as a cook in the palace Virata. Since he had no
eexpertise in cooking he cut many vegetables and
mixed them and produced the avial.

Another Version

Thiruvananthapuram is the capital of the state of
Travancore. The kingdom was ruled by one or
other of Kshatriyas with Varma as their surname.
They had a free feeding place in the capital for
Brahmins which is called uuttu-pura. One Ramayyan
(a Tamil Brahmin) joined the force of cooks. He was
stiil not an adult and that is how he was called Ramayyan
and not Ramayyar. In those days Brahmin boys were
employed in Namputhitri Illams and Kovilakams of Kings
who were called kutti-pattars.

One day the cooks found that they had a big surplus
of vegetables and did not know what to do. Then
Ramayyan suggested that all surplus vegetables
may be cut to small lengthy pieces and boiled.
Then broken curd (i.e.mor or buttermik) may be added along
with scrapped coconut and coconut oil. This mixture
was called aviyal - meaning a mixture in Tamil/

Then Ramayyan became the Head Cook. The
Maharaja was impressed with his intellegience
and appointed him in his court. Later he became
the Dalava of the King. Dalava means Minister.
So Ramayyan became Ramayyan Dalava.

Source: Venkatesh Iyer

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