Avial is an unique traditional South Indian vegetarian dish made with mixed veggies & cooked in coconut yogurt gravy. Tastes delicious with steamed rice.
Avial as its popularly known in Southern India is loaded with different kinds of vegetables and cooked in curd & coconut paste gravy, topped with edible coconut oil. It’s a favorite of many, hence it’s one of the main dishes to be served at grand occasions like weddings or festivals. It also has an interesting story behind it. I got to know from my father-in-law that Avial was invented by one of the Pandavas – Bheem from the famous mythology Mahabharata. So the legend goes that while the Pandavas were in exile, they took turns to cook. So once when it was Bheem’s turn, there wasn’t any one vegetable enough to serve them all so he just mixed and boiled whatever veggies he had available and added curd and coconut in it to make this dish. I do not know the authenticity of this story, however it was a fun fact for me.
Avial was part of my husband’s holiday week menu which he wanted me to make. Now I had only watched my mom and then my mother-in-law make it before. I had never made it by myself. So when I took down the recipe from my MIL, I was still little skeptical if I could match the taste and do justice to this awesome dish. Thankfully according to KR, I did! The specialty of this dish is that, you need not add any boiled lentils in it like you do in Sambhar or Rasam so the process is very quick, also the primary method used in making this recipe is boiling, so you use very little oil in the bargain plus some of the veggies used in this recipe are not eaten on a regular basis so this recipe brings in new flavors. Now even in South, each state has its own version of this recipe. For example, we make dish without adding turmeric powder thus retaining its white color. Whereas, in some places, they make this in yellow color and the veggies may also differ. It’s literally a 2 step process. Yes, that easy. This was our Sunday brunch and both of us enjoyed it to the core.
You need to grind the fresh coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies to a fine paste. In a cooking pan, add water and the mix veggies along with little salt. Bring it to a boil. The veggies must be nearly done. While the veggies are getting cooked, add curd to the ground paste. Mix it well and once the veggies are done, add the paste to it. Mix it well and cook for another 5 minutes. Drizzle edible coconut oil. Give a tadka/temper of mustard and cumin seeds and add it to this. You are done!
Serve it hot with white rice and enjoy your meal. The curd and coconut along with veggies bring in lot of flavors to this curry, making it very different. Plus it is a very easy and simple recipe to make. If you are lazy to make this yourself, make sure to ask your South Indian friend to invite you over next time they make Avial – Mixed veggies cooked in curd & coconut gravy! 🙂 I would love to hear from you, please leave your comments below and share your cooking stories with me. If you do try this recipe, please do share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This will keep me motivated to develop more interesting recipes. Click a pic and post it with the hashtag #cookiliciousveg . I would love to see your pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!
Step-by-step Recipe to make Avial
- 2 cups of mixed veggies - drumsticks yam suran, cucumber, snake gourd, long beans, carrots, raw mango, potatoes,curry leaves
- 4 cups water
- Salt as required
- 1 cup fresh coconut
- 1 cup thick curd/yogurt
- 2 tbsp cumin seeds
- 4-5 green chillies
- 1 tbsp edible coconut oil
- For tempering
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coconut oil
You need to grind the fresh coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies to a fine paste. Empty it into a bowl and add yogurt to it. Whisk it together. Keep it aside for now. In a cooking pan, add water and the mix veggies along with little salt. Bring it to a boil. The veggies must be nearly done.
While the veggies are getting cooked, add the coconut yogurt paste to it. Mix it well and cook for another 5 minutes. Drizzle edible coconut oil over it. Give a tadka/temper of mustard and cumin seeds and add it to this. You are done!
Giving a tadka is an optional step. Some like it without the tadka but in our family we always give tadka to avial. Also some add turmeric powder to the gravy. You can add if you wish to.
Fan of South Indian recipes? Then do try these ones out – Easy South Indian Coconut Chutney Recipe, South Indian Medu Wada | Lentil Fritters, South Indian Spinach & Lentils Keerai | Kootu | Curry, Vegan South Indian Lemon & Chickpea Rice and South Indian Spicy Potato Fry Curry.