Avial (South Indian Mix Veg Coconut Curry)

A Traditional South Indian Style Mix Veg Curry loaded with fresh coconut, yoghurt & minimal spices. Simple Everyday Cooking!

Avial (South Indian Mix Veg Coconut Curry)

Avial (South Indian Style Mix Veg Curry)

Avial has appeared on the blog earlier last month, as part of an accompaniment to the Milagu Jeera Adai (Pepper and Cumin spiced Mixed Lentils Pancakes). However, I thought the dish didn’t receive a standing ovation that it deserves. That is precisely the reason, I thought I should blog this vegetable or curry separately. Of course, for any Keralite including me, Avial is pure love, comfort!

Avial or the South Indian Mix Veg Coconut Curry though has been described in detail in my earlier post, has been made slightly in a different way here. The Avial you find here has more coconut and curd gravy than the other version.

According to Hindu Mythology, this Avial recipe is supposed to have been invented by Bhima (Pandavas) during their exile period. During the exile, Bhima was working as a cook in a palace and when told to cook and serve a dish, chopped up many mixed vegetables, boiled them and added grated coconut and presented a lovely dish to the King, which later became popular as Avial.

Avial is also one of the key curries or vegetable served during Vishu and Onam, the two key South Indian Festivals celebrated in Kerala.

Avial can be made with a variety of vegetables ranging from pumpkins (white and yellow), beans, cluster beans, papdi or sem, Plantain, Jimikand or Suran, carrots, drumsticks, cucumbers etc.

Personally, we love this kinda Avial, the one with loads of coconut, the slight hint of sourness from yoghurt and the spice kick from fresh green chillies. This is a perfect meal not only to be accompanied with rice but is a good side dish for rotis or parathas as well. All you need is a good batch of mixed veggies, ash gourd or white pumpkin being the most important one. The Recipe is Gluten Free but not Vegan (curd). You can however, opt for a vegan curd and try this dish at home. 

South Indian Avial Recipe

South Indian Households all over make Avial in different ways. Some add tempering of mustard seeds while some don’t (as in my case too), some use tamarind paste instead of yoghurt for the slight tang to the gravy etc. Some even add onions. Personally I love the simple traditional method that has no tempering, just a generous drizzle of coconut oil on top and served with some piping hot rice and sambar or rasam. These are dishes that I have grown up and would not add any twists or innovations. Somethings are meant to bring nostalgia, warmth and comfort, Avial does just that!

With summers approaching in many parts of the world, this is an ideal dish that has yoghurt for gravy along with mixed vegetables that provide the perfect health and taste balance. Not to mention, this dish doesn’t require you to toil for long in the kitchen. Check out the recipe below and prepare this lipsmacking dish from my part of the world, Kerala!

Recipe for Avial (South Indian Mix Veg Coconut Curry) – Step by Step pics below

Prep Time – 15 mins

Cook Time – 20 mins

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    • Ash Gourd – 150 gms skin peeled and cut into thick slices
    • Pumpkin – 150 gms skin peeled and cut into thick slices
    • Plantain – 1 nos. skin peeled and cut into thick slices
    • Snake gourd – Deseed and cut into thick slices
    • Suran or Jimikand – 150 gms skin peeled and cut into thick slices
    • Coconut Grated or cut into pieces – ½ a shell
    • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
    • Green chillies – 2 nos.
  • Thick Yoghurt / curd – 3 tblsps
  • Salt as per taste
  • Few sprigs of curry leaves
  • Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Method

  • In a vessel (suitable for pressure cooking), add all these washed and chopped vegetables along with turmeric powder and salt. Drain excess water and close the vessel with the lid.
  • Pressure cook for atleast 2-3 whistles. The vegetables should be soft but shouldn’t turn all mushy.
  • In the meanwhile, grate the coconut or in my case, I resort to cutting pieces and then grind them along with some green chillies. Don’t add water. It should be a dry masala mix.
  • Once the cooking is done and the pressure is released, place the cooked vegetables in a heavy bottom pan on medium heat. Add few sprigs of curry leaves and then the coconut and the green chilli mixture. Stir well, check and adjust for the salt and then switch off the flame.
  • Add the yoghurt (whip it well before adding to avoid lumps) and mix well. 
  • Drizzle the coconut oil and close it with a lid until serving them piping hot.

 Recipe notes –

    • This is a no-onion and no-garlic dish as done by Palakkad Iyers.
    • You need not pressure cook and rather choose to cook the veggies over direct flame in a kadhai or heavy bottom pan. Ensure you don’t add too much water or let the vegetables overcook.
    • You can make a thicker version of Aviyal too called “Getti Avial” – Getti translated as tight in Tamil. Its just that you don’t add water during cooking and make it like a dry vegetable.
    • However, I prefer a little gravy / sauce like version of Avial that can easily be accompanied with adai or even dosas or phulkas.
    • Addition of half a coconut is very important as it lends the thickness and the taste to the dish.
  • Yoghurt should be added only after the flame has been switched off and the avial is off the heat, else it would split and make your avial too runny. Some add sour yoghurt to the avial but I prefer adding thick fresh curds that are not sour at all. 
  • There is no tadka or tempering for this dish. Just a drizzle of coconut oil for the aroma and flavor.

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Vidya Narayan

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Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 50 Comments

    1. I know about Shukto as I love Bengali cuisine a lot esp the Mishti. Glad you liked it!

  1. Amazing. I love aviyal with Adai or Hot rice. Lovely recipe. . Delicious

    1. Its the same here actually Ruchi.. I actually dont need any sambar or rasam .. Just a huge serving of this is enough.

  2. This mixed veg avial looks amazing and I agree that it is a dish fit for royalty.

  3. Avial has been on my to try list for a long time! I love this amazing recipe! Saving it to try . I might not find all the mentioned vegetables here so will try to make do with what I find.

    1. Glad you liked it Sonal! The beauty of Avial is that can be made with a mix of just 2-3 veggies too.

  4. Absolutely tempting Avial. My family’s favourite and we generally serve with Rasam rice. Loved yours !

    1. Rasam Rice is an unbeatable combo with Avial and it was loved by my Ma too. Thanks dear.

  5. This is such a simple yet classic recipe. Thanks for sharing it in such detail. It’s surely gonna help people like me!

  6. Avial always remains me of my neighbor in pune, she use to always send me the bowl of goodness whenever she made. Its been i ate avial, thank for such easy recipe i will make some for myself soon.

    1. Glad it brought back memories for you. Hope you like it. Thanks dear.

  7. I would love to make this south Indian delicacy one day, such a detailed and delicious looking recipe. Bookmarking this 🙂 Hey BTW I tried your lauki sabji with sambhar powder and turned out superb:)

    1. Oh is it? Thank you so much for trying the recipe and liking it too. Do try the avial too, I am sure you would love it.

  8. I made this avial once. WIth rice it taste great.

  9. As you habve mentioned, this is another kind of aviyal. I make it slightly different. Looks delicious Vidya.

    1. Thanks dear, each home has a different variation yet delicious!

  10. Avial looks delicious. Have not eating a lot of it but tasted at a restaurant and liked it a lot. 😊

  11. Avial is one of my fav South Indian curry. Love the use of coconut and mild spices in the gravy.

  12. I love Aviyal…though I make it different way this looks delicious…glad to know that you are also from Kerala 😊

    1. Thanks dear and to tell you the fact, the very same Avial I have tasted in different parts of Kerala and they taste completely different from each other. Incredible India and Indian Cuisine. Pleasure in knowing you too dear.

  13. Omg! So many veggies! one thing good about blogging is I’m exposed to such an array of dishes I never knew before. To we Punjabis, South Indian food means idli, dosa and sambar. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Ha Ha… So true about the blogging experience! Not only you, the whole world thinks SI food is all about Idlis and dosas. Glad if I could make a small change and show everyone, there is much more than just idlis!

  14. What a lovely and delicious this curry is, the yoghurt and the coconut must have given it a delicious thick gravy.

  15. This is such a simple yet stunner recipe…absolutely love this❤❤

  16. My favourite!Love the way u have presented it!

  17. I’ve had this super duper curry on my to do list for a long time.Your preparation looks so delicious.

  18. Yes I have heard about the aviyal story!! Gimme a bowl of this yumm aviyal anyday, I will be like a happy kid in a toy store . Simple recipe, amazing flavors!!

    1. Happy kid in a toy store – So me this sounds! I actually eat this with a slice of bread too like pav bhaji but south indian style with a dollop of vadu manga pickle on top!! Absolutely delish

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