Avial recipe is delicious made with a bundle of vegetables, plus super satisfying thanks to the addition of creamy coconut. Plus, it makes you feel positive for the entire rest of the day, for you and the people fed by you. Learn how to make easy and best avial with step by step pictures and video.
This vegetable avial curry is one of the authentic veg recipes in the Indian states, Kerala and Tamilnadu. Furthermore, the avial recipe is packed multiple vegetables with creamy yogurt and coconut at every bite.
Without this Kerala style Avial recipe, ‘Onam’ festival becomes incomplete. Coconut and curd play a significant role in Kerala and Tamilnadu cuisine. No wonder, how avial became the signature dish of these South Indian states.
Regional curry recipes have a more important place for its local vegetables. So the basic ingredients for this easy avial recipe are coconut which is abundant in Kerala.
When speaking about the vegetables, drumstick, plantain, ash gourd are considered as primary ingredients, but in its absence, it can be substituted with closely related vegetables that we discuss in this post.
What is avial?
The word avial can directly translate as mixed vegetable curry. One of the traditional divine side dishes belongs to South Indian cuisine espicilally to the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Aviyal recipe is all about the technique of cooking multiple vegetables in different cooking times. Furthermore, combining together in a single dish with a blend of creamy coconut.
The final ingredients the freshly ground coconut paste, the coconut oil, and the curry leaves glorify this Kerala aviyal a lot more different from other world cuisines.
The preparation of avial recipe is straightforward. And tastes creamy and with the refreshing aroma of coconut oil which is very well balanced with the fragrance of curry leaves.
Enjoy the same way you enjoy with other vegetarian side dishes of rice. Serve a liberal quantity of avial along with sambar and rice.
Are you searching for similar authentic South Indian side dishes, please you may refer the following,
- Rajma masala
- Dosakkaya pappu
- Indian madras lentils
- Roasted cauliflower curry
- Chettinad egg gravy
- Potato peas curry
The vegetables of Avial
We can make with the avial with any vegetable of our choice, according to the availability and individual preference. And this simple and straightforward avial recipe tastes extremely good when made with a minimum of 5 vegetables.
The veggie choices are many, and everyone in our family has love or hate towards this fresh produce. Some of you might have confused now, in choosing the vegetables in this vegetarian recipe.
Authentic choices. There is a wide range of choices to choose from. To name some drumstick, eggplant, green beans, carrot, plantain, green peas, potato, ash gourd, elephant foot yam(suran). And the list lengthens furthermore.
How to choose vegetables
For the perfect avial recipe, we need three types of vegetables according to their cooking time. Hard to cook, medium to cook and easy to cook vegetables. And this gives fabulous texture to the Kerala avial curry and this character makes this unique among the others.
Choosing the vegetables according to their cooking time gives you great control over the dish. Not only in this recipe but in overall cooking as well. And this planning behind the recipe makes us a real chef and to be more confident in the kitchen.
Choose two vegetables of your choice according to their cook time. And this gives a tremendous texture and taste to the avial recipe.
Longer cooking time. Hard to cook vegetables, like drumstick, green beans, artichoke will fall in this category. This takes longer when compared to other vegetables. Like drumstick takes 10-15 minutes to cook because of the thick rough skin.
Medium cooking time. Eggplant, potato, pumpkin, ash gourd takes 7-10 minutes for cooking. These vegetables have thin skin and get cooked easily.
Least cooking time. Some vegetables need a few minutes to cook. It gets cooked as soon as it gets entered into hot water. And some vegetable has soft texture does not need a cooking time that we can eat as raw.
Vegetables like plantain, cucumber, the carrot have the least cooking time.
Avoid beetroot, okra, and bitter gourd are they heavily impact the color and taste of the vegetable avial.
How to cut the vegetables for avial
The avial recipe generally calls for Julian to cut vegetables. That is cutting the vegetables to the size of matchstick thin. This gives the visual pleasure of the rainbow of colors of veggies. Additionally, it is easy to scoop with the hands while eating.
Always wash, rinse and then peel the vegetables. Washing, rinsing, and peeling is the ideal steps of cleaning, this is my personal choice. And others may differ in it.
Slice the vegetables crosswise evenly and consistently. Arrange some of the slices together and cut perpendicularly to get matchstick thin veggies. Repeat for all the other vegetables.
Ingredients of avial Recipe
Veggies. As we have discussed above, choose two vegetables from each of these categories-from hard to cook, medium to cook and easy to cook vegetables. But traditionally this is made with, drumstick, ash gourd, carrot, green beans, plantain, green peas and more.
Curd/Yogurt. Thick, creamy curd/yogurt would be a great addition to this recipe. You may use greek yogurt or plain yogurt. But make sure that it is fresh and non-sour. I personally use the homemade yogurt.
Coconut paste. This the most variable and vulnerable in South Indian cuisine. We need rightly matured coconut. More matured coconut will bring a strong nutty flavor, and young coconut will not bring consistency to the curry.
How to select the perfectly matured coconut? this is so tricky, you know your luck only after you break open the coconut. If you are in Southern Indian, no worries. Your stores already carry the right one for you.
But for people like me who reside outside India, it definitely a problem in getting the reasonable quality coconut.
So, what is a reliable method? I always buy the grated coconut from the Indian stores. Which costs around $3 and can last for 4-5 months upon freezing. I use coconut a lot, for my family it lasts for at least a month.
Whenever, needed take a small portion, microwave for 30 seconds. I use my heavy-duty blender to make it a smooth fine paste. This is working for me here in the United States. Guessing this information helps you as well.
If you are reading this recipe, I can understand your love for Indian cooking. And guessing Indian stores are accessible to you. Please make a visit to the nearby store and get the frozen grated coconut. And you will wonder how the coconut paste tastes creamy than you thought of.
Curry leaves. These are the gems you can get it from the Indian stores. The aroma that creates in the Kerala avial recipe is incredible. No close substitutions available for this, but you may skip if you do not have it. The absence will not break the recipe.
Green chili. This adds heat and a mild noticeable flavor. You can use Thai green chilies, serrano peppers. Adjust the quantity according to your preference. This avial recipe with curd tastes mild and creamy. So, keeping subtle and minimum is good for the dish.
If you prefer, you may deseed green chili for less heat.
Cumin seeds. These are aromatic and gives a great taste.
Coconut oil. Nowadays, most grocery stores carry, coconut oil. Cold press, organic and Non-GMO version. Choose according to your choice and wallet. We add it in the very final stages of cooking like a garnish. But the aroma adds to this dish is unbelievable.
Turmeric powder/optional. Some family adds it. I opted out of turmeric powder as I wanted Avial to look in beautiful creamy color, but adding turmeric powder would also bring out an equally good yellow color to the dish. So, it is ultimately you to decide on this factor. This is a choice for your individual preference.
Best to Serve
This authentic Kerala avial recipe tastes delicious with rice. It is best to pair with the following.
Make-ahead and Storing ideas
- Chopping the vegetables is a real burden. Allow some extra time, just to cut the vegetables. No gain comes without pain. Good healthy food needs some extra effort. Glad you are on the right path.
- You can chop the vegetables ahead of time, say a day before. Secure and refrigerate them in the airtight containers. So that the nutrients will not get lost in the due course.
How to make Avial
Chop all the vegetables to matchstick thin size.
Grind grated coconut, cumin, and green chili to a fine paste and keep aside.
Whisk yogurt and keep aside.
Avial is a mixture of vegetables with varied cooking time. so we are dividing the vegetables to three according to their cooking time. First, we add it hard to cook vegetables. Once it is half done, we add the medium to cook veggies, and finally easy to cook vegetables. This may sound very difficult, but very easy once you understand the idea behind this.
In a pan add 3 cups of water and combine the veggies according to their cooking time.
Here, I have added drumstick first.
Once the drumstick is cooked 25% add salt, spring beans, chayote, potato.
Adding salt while you add the medium to cook vegetables, helps for even spreading.
Once veggies are half done, add easy to cook vegetables like plantain, carrot, green peas.
Cook until vegetables are done, that is should stay in shape and should be smashed, if pressed in between the fingers.
Stir in ground coconut paste, curry leaves and allow to boil for another 3-4 minutes.
Combine whisked yogurt and coconut oil allow it to cook for a minute.
Switch off the stove and stir gently. Serve hot with rice.
Avial Recipe - Kerala Vegetable Curry
- ½ cup grated coconut
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 2 green chili /serrano pepper
- ¼ cup water
- 3 cups water
- 1 drumstick drumstick, carrot, green beans, chayote, green peas, plantain
- 1 cup green bean julienne cut
- 1 cup chayote /white pumpkin-julienne cut
- 1 cup potato julienne cut
- 1 cup green banana julienne cut
- 1 cup carrot julienne cut
- 1 cup green peas julienne cut
- 1 tsp salt or as required
- ½ cup yogurt or curd-whisked
- 8 curry leaves
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- To the spice jar, add grated coconut, cumin seeds, green chili, and water.
- Grind to a smooth and fine paste. Set aside.
- Over medium heat in a pan stir in 3 cups of water. Add vegetables according to their cooking time.
- 1 stage-add drumstick and cook for 10 minutes. Or until it becomes soft in the center.
- 2 stage-add green beans, chayote, and potato. And cook for 7 minutes
- 3 stage-add easy to cook vegetables like, green banana, carrot, and green peas.
- Add salt and cook for 5 minutes.
- Now stir in the ground coconut paste and cook for 3 minutes.
- Then add yogurt, curry leaves, and coconut oil. Combine well.
- Remove from the heat and serve hot with rice.
- If the gravy is thinner then dilute cornflour in water. Add and allow it to boil for 3-4 min until it gets thickens.
- Add more stilted green chilies for more hot version.