Of Flavours & Tastes…

Avial/അവിയല്‍ !! (A Mixed vegetable preparation from kerala)

There are several stories related to the origin of Avial,Kerala’s own vegetable treat.The one which I found logical is this:Once dehannakkaar(special chefs for preparing sadya),after preparing sadya, have left up with lots of vegetables and in order to make use of them they have come up with a mixed dish. Ha-ha..then the coconut part,as you may be knowing,we Keralites can’t think of something without coconut.Anyway folks,I salute all those foodie ancestors whose efforts have resulted in such a healthy and tasty dish !! 


3 cups  of vegetables cut into two inch length pieces.(Vegetables I used are plantains/ethakka,papaya,potato,string beans,beans,drumstick,carrot)
1/2 cup shallots cut into two
1 piece of ginger crushed
4 cloves of garlic sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilly powder
1/2 cup tamarind water/tamarind juice (soak lemon size tamarind in half cup water and squeeze.But the sourness varies with the type of tamarind you use)

To crush
1 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chilly

To Garnish
2 sprig curry leaves
2 tsp coconut oil


  • Marinate the vegetables adding shallots,ginger,garlic,tamarind water,turmeric and chilly powders and salt.Mix it well with your hand and keep for half an hour.
  • Pressure cook the vegetables till two whistles.
  • Open the lid and shake the cooker well to mix up.Don’t use spoon.
  • Add the crushed ingredients to this and bring to a boil.Reduce the flame and cook it for 2-3 mts till everything is mixed well.
  • Check the salt and switch off the stove.Now Sprinkle the coconut oil.Drop the curry leaves and close the lid.Keep it like that to absorb the flavours for another half an hour.This Avial is somewhat dry.Not too watery.

Few things I would like to share :

1.Avial is made in several different styles in different parts of Kerala.The difference comes mainly in the vegetables used,the souring agent selected and the thickness of the gravy.

2.Souring agent used are yoghurt,tamarind or sour mango pieces.If you are using mangoes you may cook them with vegetables.In case you prefer yoghurt,after cooking vegetables you can add the same and then mix up with coconut paste.

3.Regarding the vegetables,what I have found in South Kerala is that they use brinjal,tomatoes and onions.In central Kerala,they usually depend on the vegetables like papaya and payar/string beas which are readily available at home.The main difference if you travel to Palakkad is that they use bitter gourd in avial and only use yogurt as souring agent.

4.The gravy part is other variation.Some prepare it as a curry and so will have a loose gravy where as others convert it to a semi dry preparation so that can be used as a side dish.

5.Traditionally,Avial is made in Man paathram/an erathern pot .If you opt to prepare avial in a traditional way,then arrange the vegetables which needs more time to cook down and then the others.Cook well adding little more water and other methods are similar.

6.The vegetables should not be overcooked.They should be intact,still cooked.

*Avial is the star dish in Sadya.


5 comments on “Avial/അവിയല്‍ !! (A Mixed vegetable preparation from kerala)

  1. Viki's Kitchen
    April 25, 2011

    Avial is one I never get tired of:) Yours make me crave.


  2. Vidhya
    April 25, 2011

    Avial is one curry that I can have every day and still enjoy it.We in Thrissur side make this using curd.Will try this version one day that I don't have sour curd.


  3. Swathi
    April 25, 2011

    Avial adipoli. We don't add any ginger garlic to avial.


  4. Nandini
    April 26, 2011

    Very different type of avial. I'm gonna try this one day. Bookmarked!


  5. Priya
    April 26, 2011

    Super inviting and delicious aviyal..irresistible..


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This entry was posted on April 25, 2011 by in kerala food, Sadya (സദ്യ), veg curry.


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