Avial – a mixed vegetable curry in a spiced coconut and yogurt sauce, is a very quintessential Kerala dish that is made for Sadya (a feast)! It also features very regularly in everyday meals in Kerala.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information on this, please refer to my Affiliate and Advertising Disclosure here.
My love-not so much love-hate relationships with certain food has changed over the years. Things I hated when I was a kid, I have grown to love it. Some things I loved before, not so much now. Some foods have always been meh and they still are very much meh. I am sure this happens to most of us.
The food that I did not like a lot but have started to tolerate now could be because I appreciate the effort that goes into making that food. Or maybe I always got to eat that certain food and now not so much, so I miss it at some level, which makes me think I like it?
I believe it is all the life experiences that changes these likes and dislikes with food and possibly with other things too. It need not necessarily be the reasons I said, but I am sure it is somewhere in those lines.
Avial has always been a favorite – then and now. Amma’s avial was something that everyone in the family asked her to make for any kind of get together and sometimes even when we travelled by trains. Someone will bring some puliyodharai (tamarind rice), someone else would bring curd rice and it was amma’s turn (always) to bring avial.
Have I told you what awesome combination avial and curd rice makes? These just made those train journeys so much more worth it. Aside from the coffee and other fun things. I will keep that for another post.
This Avial recipe is a little different from how my amma makes it, she uses tamarind as a souring agent, which is a common practice in the Southern parts of Kerala where as I have used yogurt as the souring agent, which is how it is made in the Central and Northern parts of Kerala. Some also use sour raw green mango as the souring agent for this curry.
I love both recipes, as they have their special taste to it. I tend to gravitate more towards the yogurt base as it is easier to just dump some yogurt while you are grinding the coconut, versus, soaking the tamarind, taking the pulp out and then cooking the vegetables in it.
If you are looking for more Sadya recipes, here is our collection of over 40 Kerala Sadya recipes.
Looking to make this in the Instant Pot? Here is the recipe for Instant Pot Avial.
Ingredients for Avial
- Mixed Vegetables, cut into 3 inch long strips - Raw Plantain, Elephant Yam, Yellow Cucumber, Carrot, Potato, Drumstick, Chayote Squash are more commonly used.
- Turmeric powder
- Freshly grated coconut
- Cumin seeds
- Thai green chillies
- Curry leaves
- Coconut Oil
How to make Avial
Cook the vegetables in the water with the turmeric powder, till soft. Check the drumstick to see if it is soft, if so all other vegetables should be cooked. Drumstick takes the longest to cook. Add salt to this once the vegetables are cooked.
Grind together the coconut, cumin, green chillies and yogurt to a fine paste.
Add this paste to the cooked vegetables.
Garnish/season with the coconut oil and curry leaves.
Tips for making Avial
- You can use other vegetables like the small eggplant, other squashes or melons etc.
- Yogurt is used as the souring agent here. In certain parts of Kerala, tamarind or sour raw green mango is used as the souring agent instead. If using tamarind, use a lime sized ball, soak in water and take out the pulp. Add this to the vegetables when they are cooking. If using raw green mango, use it like any of the other vegetables in the curry.
- If using frozen coconut, microwave the frozen grated coconut for 30 secs or so. This way the coconut grinds better without having fat solids stuck in the mixer/food processor.
If you love simple vegetable curries like this, here are a few more that you may want to try:
Avial - Kerala Mixed Vegetable Curry with Coconut and Yogurt
- 2 cups Mixed Vegetables - Raw Plantain, Elephant Yam, Yellow Cucumber, Carrot, Potato, Drumstick, Chayote Squash, cut into 3 inch long strips (peel the plantain, yam, cucumber, potato)
- 1 cup Water just enough to cook the vegetables
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
To grind to a paste:
- ½ cup Grated coconut I use freshly frozen that I buy from our local Indian store
- ¼ cup Yogurt
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 2 Thai green chillies
- 10 Curry leaves
- 2 teaspoon Coconut Oil
- Cover and cook the vegetables in the water with the turmeric powder, till soft. Check the drumstick to see if it is soft, if so all other vegetables should be cooked. Drumstick takes the longest to cook. Add salt to this once the vegetables are cooked.
- Grind together the coconut, cumin, green chillies and yogurt to a fine paste.
- Add this paste to the cooked vegetables.
- Garnish/season with the coconut oil and curry leaves.
Yogurt is used as the souring agent here. In certain parts of Kerala, tamarind is used as the souring agent instead. If using tamarind, use a lime sized ball, soak in water and take out the pulp. Add this to the vegetables when they are cooking. Skip the yogurt. Grind the coconut with a little water instead.
If using frozen coconut, microwave the frozen grated coconut for 30 secs or so. This way the coconut seems to grind better without having fat solids stuck in the mixer/food processor.
This post originally appeared on my old blog, Mirch Masala.
I bet the house smells so fabulous while this is cooking. Those flavors sound great.
This looks like something that I would love to try. I am a huge fan of authentic tasting foods like this.
linda spiker says
Prairie Gal Cookin says
I've never tried curry before, but I need to after seeing this - Yummy!!
Alice Beef says
Your recipes look so yummy and amazing. I try it for my son and he loves to eat so much. Thank you a lot for your creative and sharing.
Phoenix Cooks says
Wow,it looks delicious.I really love curry. Thank you for sharing. I will try to make this curry for my family. I believe my family will like this very much. Love so much.