Thursday, 20 February 2014

Avial | Kerala Speciality | Veggies in Coconut and Yoghurt gravy

From the time I have started blogging I have been wanting to post this recipe. I make this dish rarely and the until now the photos were not good. So I had to postpone publishing this recipe. But this time I made this avial with the intention of taking good pictures and I was satisfied with the outcome. So here goes the recipe...

Avial is a yummy blend of different veggies in a spicy coconut and yoghurt gravy flavored with coconut oil. It makes use of vegetables like, Ashgourd, pumpkin, raw banana, yam, drumstick, yard long beans, snake gourd, carrots and French beans. Some people even add eggplants or brinjals. But I don’t add it. My mom says avial should not be made without raw banana and yam. Some people prefer to substitute yoghurt with raw mango or tamarind pulp. During mango seasons I do make avials with raw mangoes otherwise its yoghurt. Avial is made in two ways, one has more gravy and can be mixed with rice, just like Mor Kuzhambu, we call it Avial Kootan and the other is Gatti Avial, which is slightly thicker in consistency and acts more like a side dish for Sambar or Molagootal.

There is an interesting story about how avial came into being which my grandparents (in Kerala) often tell.The king of Travancore, conducted poojas, (there is some specific name - which I don't remember) for a specified period of days, every year, in which a many vedic scholars participated. One year, it so happened that there were no vegetables left for the last day of this pooja. A small quantity of different vegetables left over from the previous days was available. So the head cook, used all these left over vegetables and prepared a dish and he named it avial, which means a combination of this and that. This dish was liked very much by the king and all. The cook was handsomely rewarded and avial became a regular fare in any feast. 


Ashgourd – 100 gms
Pumpkin – 100gms
Raw banana – 1
Yam – 100gms
Carrot – 1 Medium
Drumstick – 2
Beans – 75 grams
Potato – 1 small
Salt to taste
Yoghurt – 1/4 cup slightly sour
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves a few

To Grind:
Scraped Coconut – 1 ½ cups
Green chillies – 5 ( adjust according to taste)


  • Wash peel and cut all vegetables lengthwise into about 2” sized pieces.
  • In a heavy bottom Kadai, add the Yam, plantains, beans, potato at the bottom (since these veggies take slightly longer time to cook) and then add the other veggies. Add salt to taste. Add about 1 cup of water and cook covered until the vegetables are just done. They should not get mushy. If after the veggies get cooked there is lot of water remaining, cook uncovered till the moisture has almost dried up.
  • I do it differently sometimes - I cook the vegetables (which take longer time to cook) in a pressure cooker just for one whistle and the others in a kadai with little water and then later merge both.
  • In the meanwhile, grind fresh scraped coconuts with the green chillies into a fine paste using very little water.
  • Add the ground paste and the sour yoghurt. Mix slowly without mashing the vegetables. Add curry leaves and drizzle the coconut oil. Mix carefully until the veggies are coated with the coconut and yogurt. Remove from heat.
  • Yummy gatti avial is ready. This can be used as a side dish for Sambar and rice or with Molagootal.
  • To make Avial Kootan, i.e avial of pouring consistency, use more of yoghurts and do not let the water evaporate while cooking the vegetables. This is best had with papads.

The famous combination is Adai and avial. Check the recipe for adai here.

Other vegetables that can be added are
chayotte (chow-chow)
long beans
Tindora (Kovakkai)

Linking this to "Walk through Memory Lane" event happening at Motions and Emotions conducted by Gayathriscookspot

Linking this recipe to the event South-Indian Cooking conducted by anuzhealthykitchen and hosted by nandooskitchen.


  1. yummy avial!!!!!!! my style is different i will add cumin n shallota for grinding