Avial ( Kerala-style)

Avial is a vegetarian dish which is a thick mixture of vegetables and coconut, seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. It is believed to have been originated from the Indian state of Kerala and is also popular in Tamilnadu, Udupi cuisine.

When I searched about Avial in wikipedia, I found many interesting ancient stories about it. Avial is believed to be invented by King Bheema( Pandavas) during the 13th year of exile to satisfy King Virata when he had an unexpected visit by the Rishi Durvasa.

Bheema had a task of preparing a delicious meal for the Rishi to avoid his rage. Bheema quickly got down by preparing with whatever vegetables left in the kitchen and made Avial. Rishi was pleased by the immense taste of the dish. Later on, Avial became popular among other Kings too.

Onam Sadhya, a feast of Kerala origin is incomplete without Avial consisting of traditional vegetarian dishes usually served on a banana leaf as lunch.

Avial is traditionally made with the mixture of 13 vegetables. For the recipe today, I could collect 8 vegetables. It can be made with any vegetable of your choice and drumstick is a must for this recipe.

Traditionally, it is made with coconut and seasoned finally with coconut oil and curry leaves. Today’s recipe is going to be made with coconut and yogurt/curd based. If you do not prefer yogurt/curd, tamarind paste can be used. I will come with a separate recipe for this.

Regarding curd, homemade thick fresh curd works good. We are adding equal amount of coconut and curd/yogurt in this recipe. If your curd is too sour, reduce the quantity to half. Yogurt works good normally.

I wanted to add something here- I make avial atleast once a week and we all love this dish!! It goes well as a side dish with rice or adai dosa.

Let’s check the recipe of this easy-to-make, lip-smacking Kerala-style Avial❤


The vegetables and the quantity used.

  • Cucumber, Green beans(12), Carrot(1), Drumstick(1), Raw plantain(1,small), Yam, Potato(1,small), Brinjal(1, small)- 2 cups, 400 ml. each ( cups heaped) cut into 3-inch lengthwise
  • Curry leaves- 1 sprig
  • Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt- as needed.

To grind:

  • Grated coconut- 1/2 cup ( 200 ml.)
  • Green chilli- 4
  • Yogurt/curd- 200 ml. ( if curd is too sour, use 100 ml.), I used 200 ml. yogurt
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp.


Clean all the vegetables welll. Peal the skin of carrot, potato, raw plantain, cucumber and yam. Cut all the vegetables to 3-inch lengthwise. Raw plantain and brinjal should be immersed in water and kept aside. Cut the drumstick lengthy.

If the vegetable quantity is LITTLE above the quantity mentioned, it is fine.

Take all the cut vegetables in a pressure cooker.
Add 250 ml. of water. This much water was enough for cooking. You can add your own desired quantity but do not add more water or the vegetables should be boiled for a longer time to reduce the water level.
Add half tsp of turmeric powder and needed salt. Close the pressure cooker and cook it for one whistle. One whistle is enough. After one whistle, move it from flame and wait for the pressure to release. It can be cooked in a vessel too by covering with a lid on top.
You could see the vegetables are cooked well. They will have little water left out.
Grind grated coconut, 200 ml. of yogurt/curd, green chillies and cumin seeds to fine paste. If curd used is too sour, use 100 ml. of curd and add little water to grind.
The coconut, yogurt paste is ready.
Add the coconut, yogurt/curd paste to the cooked vegetables.
Cook everything for 2 more minutes. You could see the gravy boiling on top. Do not stir often. Stir carefully from bottom to top or vegetables might split.
Meanwhile, take 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add curry leaves.
Season the vegetables with coconut oil and curry leaves on top. Switch off the flame. Ready.


  • If using curd, use fresh curd. Adding 200 ml. of curd gives good taste to this dish. Better to go with yogurt.
  • If you cannot use yogurt/curd, use a lemon sized tamarind. Extract the pulp and use it.
  • Any vegetable of your preference can be used. Raw mango, pumpkin, snake guard can be used. Drumstick is a must.
  • Fresh coconut tastes better. If using frozen one, soak it in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes before using it.
  • If using raw green mango, reduce the quantity of yogurt/curd.
  • Coconut oil is used traditionally. If you are allergic to it, anyother oil can be used.
  • Mustard seeds are not used traditionally.
  • Avial gets thick a little later. Adjust water consistency accordingly.
  • Do not add yogurt/curd without beating.