The main meal of Keralites is their lunch consumed in the afternoon. Rice is the main component of this meal. To wolf that rice down, people need one or more curries which have a lot of gravy. Sambar is such a preparation and that is why it is a main ingredient in all feasts. There are other vegetable preparations like aviyal, which contain many of the ingredients of sambar but they are prepared without much gravy and so is deemed unfit to be the primary curry that goes with rice. It may be tasty but it is only a simple curry or upadamsam and so is only a secondary dish. Keralites enjoy gravy-curries like sambar even with their breakfast dishes like idli and dosa.