Thursday, September 22, 2011


From the time my blog has come into being I have been wanting to post this recipe. But somehow I never got together to do it. A day before Onam, a friend of mine was casually speaking to me about Onam feast preparation and avial came into picture. She wanted to know how to make it and she just told me that she’ll look up my blog for the recipe and that’s when I had to tell her that I have not yet got a post on Avial. She was very surprised ‘cos, the name of my blog is Palakkad Chamayal, and avial is a very regular feature in a Palakkad Iyer’s Kitchen. So that’s when I decided it’s high time for me to post this specialty dish from Kerala.

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. Some people prefer to substitute yoghurt with raw mango or tamarind pulp. 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.
Actually preparing avial has become a rarity at my place since we moved to Hyderabad. The reason being, that we find it very difficult to get ashgourd and pumpkin, which are one of the main ingredients in the local shops around our locality. So for this Onam, I made sure I got all the required vegetables from the raithu bazaar, and prepared it for our Onam Sadhya.

A few months back, when I had gone to Trivandrum to visit my brother’s child, I happened to visit the Anantha Padmanabhaswamy Temple. My brother’s BIL, who is born and brought up at TVM, and is very attached to the temple took us to a guided tour of the temple. Then he narrated this incident about how avial came into being. The king of Travancore, conducted poojas, called Murajapam 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 the Murajapam. 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.

I have to mention here, that Adai is my Husband’s the most favorite dish. And he loves the combo of Adai with Avial. So whenever we have Avial for lunch, the dinner menu gets fixed immediately as Adai.
This has become an unexpectedly long post. So now let’s just get to the recipe.

Serves: 4

What you’ll need

1.       Ashgourd – 100 gms
2.       Pumpkin – 100gms
3.       Raw banana – ½
4.       Yam – 100gms
5.       Carrot – 1 Medium
6.       Drumstick – 1
7.       Beans – 4 – 5
8.       Potato – 1 small
9.       Turmeric Powder – a pinch
10.   Salt to taste
11.   Yoghurt – ½ cup slightly sour
12.   Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
13.   Curry Leaves a few

To Grind

1.       Scraped Coconut – 1 ½ cups
2.       Green chillies – 4 – 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, ashgourd, at the bottom (since these veggies take slightly longer time to cook) and then add the other veggies. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and 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.

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 slightly 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. Or as I mentioned with Adai.

To make Avial Kootan, i.e aviyal of pouring consistency, use more of yoghurts and do not let the water evaporate while cooking the vegetables. This is best had with pappadms.

If using raw mangoes, need not use yoghurt or just use a little bit of fresh yoghurt.

Linking this to Kerala Kitchen hosted by Divya and toFlavors of South India hosted by Nayana and to Food Palette Series -Finale Rainbow Colors


Pushpa said...

Love avial so very much looks delectable,can't find those authentic kerala papadums here.

Hari Chandana P said...

Very delicious and authentic recipe.. looks perfect.. thanks for sharing dear :)
Indian Cuisine

divya said...

Omg, wat a fabulous javial,seriously makes me hungry..

Tina said...

My all time fav veg dish..Looks yummy.

chef and her kitchen said...

love this coconutty curry..looks yumm

Puja said...

Very delicious ~ feel like digging in :)

Prathima Rao said...

Avial looks delicious!!!
Prathima Rao
Prats Corner

Nithya said...

Avial looks perfect :) loving it :)

Unknown said...

awesome recipe dear....i love it as I can use lot of vegetables in it!

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Unknown said...

Avial looked super by itself but the plate with rice and appalam is surely to make me hungry, I think ;))

Reshmi Mahesh said...

Hey I dint know the story behind This yummy dish..:)..Avial looks super..

Suja Manoj said...

Comfort food,delicious favorite

Gopika Ram said...

One of my fav with rice. Looks perfect dear :D

Torviewtoronto said...

thank you for linking this delicious looking vegetable
looks wonderful

Unknown said...

wow delicious avial dear,love to have it with Adai:)

Panchamrutham said...

Perfect Avial....Look to have it any day

Unknown said...

Finally my favorite avial. Looks so perfect and yummm!!!


Priya Suresh said...

Wat an authentic dish, lovely dish looks super tempting..

Priya Sreeram said...

loved the story behind how avial came in to being- nice post kaveri !

Vidhya said...

My all time favorite dish.Aviyal looks so tempting.

Neha said...

Lovely recipe...I have never had Avial before and so much want to eat it now...

Sobha Shyam said...

my fav dish, aviyal looks delicious, nice to knw abt the origin of the dish..

Padhu Sankar said...

My family's fav dish .Looks great

Jayanthy Kumaran said...

sounds delicious..:)
Tasty Appetite

Jeyashris Kitchen said...

after a long time my problem got resolved and i can comment in ur blog..Thanks for visiting me regularly. Mouthwatering avial and nicely done

Nandinis food said...

It is very healthy and tasty! It makes a great and filling side dish!

Aarthi said...

One of my favorite dish is avial....Love it all time..I am new to your blog...Love your blog name..Bacause i love everything about kerala and keralan foods...Yummy..Following your blog straightaway...Thanks for sharing dear.. If you have time do check my blog too…


soujanya said...

very new to me....looks very inviting...

Anonymous said...

love.. love.. how your avial looks.. yummy!! :-)

Unknown said...

Perfectly done.. Looks very tempting !!

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Hi Kaveri

i have started a blog viz. rasavinsuvai.

Jayandhi Krishnan said...

Wow Avial is my favourite. I am also a palakkadian and I enjoy making it very often. As you said it is yummy with fried pappadams or with brinjal fry (mezhukkuperatti)

Kanni Swami said...

I always love Avial and avial is one of my favourite

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