Aviyal is a dish cooking mixed country vegetables in coconut based gravy. It is a signature dish of Kerala region. While in the rest of the world, Aviyal is made with mixed vegetables, authentic Keralite dishes are made simply of any one of the vegetables of Aviyal. Aviyal is an important food item of lavish Onam Sadhya spread.
At my mother’s place Aviyal is a regular dish. We had 4 coconut trees in the house and she makes many of these yummy dishes and sweets with coconut. But my mother’s Aviyal would be runny and used to become soar when she packs it. Later in a meal at Sanjeevanam I tasted yummy Aviyal. But their version was thicker than “Kootu”. After few tries in my kitchen, now I make perfect Aviyal.
Aviyal is widely believed to be the creation of Pandava brother Bheema. According to a story, when pandavas were on exile, Bhima took name as Ballav. He served as cook in the kitchen of Virata king. Once there were unplanned guests in the royal palace. And there was no sufficient vegetable of single kind to prepare curry. Hence Ballav mixed all vegetables and made Aviyal with a dash of coconut spicing. Next time when you eat Aviyal, do remember this story (Source: Wiki)
I make this often, because it is quite easy to make and mixed vegetables make it healthy. The only problem with Aviyal is that given the addition of many vegetables it results in good volume. I hence make aviyal for morning meal (we have rice in the morning followed by afternoon tiffin) and make Adai in the afternoon to which Aviyal is a nice side dish.
Aviyal as I told before has many versions and variation in texture. I prefer Aviyal that is slightly thicker than Kootu. I recommend Aviyal for any beginner cooks as spice and salt levels of Aviyal can always be adjusted with curd later. That way Aviyal is very versatile and fool proof recipe.
Here is the recipe for creamy aviyal.
- 200 grams Ash Gourd
- 1 Nos Potato
- 1 Nos Carrot
- 6 Nos Beans
- 3 Nos Avarakkai
- 1 Nos Drumstick
- 2 Tsp Coconut oil
- 1 Tsp Salt Adjust to taste
- 4 Tbsp Curd Fresh, thich and Creamy
- 3 Tbsp Coconut
- 3 Nos Green Chilli
- 1 Tsp Jeera
Cut the vegetables into thin strips of equal length. I had listed only the vegetables I had used. You can use Yam, Raw banana, Brinjal, green peas also to make Aviyal.
Add them into pressure cooker with few tablespoon of water and cook till done. I had used pressure cooker, but you can use Kadai also and cook covered. When adding pressure cooker, add the vegetables that are take time to cook at the bottom. Generally pumpkin and carrots take longer time to cook than potatoes, yam, raw banana. This would ensure even cooking.
Once done, take the vegetable out and drain water. Keep the water aside.
In a mixer add only the coconut and grind it turns into smooth paste. Whenever you are grinding coconut for chutney or Avial grind the coconut alone well till milk is extracted. This would result in sweeter paste. Then add green chillies and grind well. Finally add the jeera and give it only a whisk. Jeera should only be crushed and it should not be ground as a paste. The grinding gives it nice texture and taste.
Now heat a kadai and add coconut oil. Add the ground paste to the oil in low flame and cook till raw smell disappears. Cook in low flame and paste should not change color. Now add the drained vegetable and salt. Mix gently to ensure the vegetables are evenly coated with paste. If needed, add the drained water to ensure even coating.
The aviyal is ready. While serving add curd if needed.
*The ground paste gives it a texture. Ensure that paste is smooth and well ground.
*Cooking in coconut oil gives it nice aroma. Coconut oil is good for health.
*After adding paste, lower the flame. Coconut should not change color. If in doubt, add a spoon of water.
*Vegetables can be of your choice. But veggies should be of country origin. Vegetables like Ladies finger, radish, capsicum, cabbage, Arbi that either have strong aroma or have mucus do not go well with Aviyal and hence avoid them.
*Always use fresh, thick and creamy curd. I generally eat it without curd with rice.
Aviyal – Step by Step instruction
*Chop the vegetables lengthwise evenly and boil them till done.
*In a mixer grind coconut followed by green chillies and then jeera into fine paste.
*Heat coconut oil in a kadai and add ground paste. Cook in low flame till raw smell disappears.
*Add cooked veggies and salt to the paste. Gently flip to ensure the veggies are evenly coated.
*While serving add curd to the aviyal, as needed.
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