avial recipe – how to make avial recipe – step by step avial recipe

avial recipe: kerala avial recipe

avial – another favorite recipe made from mix vegetables, coconut and curd. avial is a traditional recipe of kerala and an essential dish of sadya.

this avial recipe is not the way it is authentically made in kerala. basically, avial is a dry dish and this avial recipe which i am posting is a curry version but a delicious one.

avial was a regular dish at my home. this is my mom’s recipe and my mother would make it once a week with sambar. i guess my mother has learned this avial recipe from her in laws based in thrissur, kerala. as in some parts of thrissur, avial is made in curry version.

since i often make avial to be served as a main dish with rice, so i like this delicious curry version of avial.

avial dish was invented by Bhima – one of the five pandavas, during their exile. this is what the wikipedia mentions:

It is supposed to have been invented by Bhima (one of the Pandava brothers) during their exile. According to the legend, when Ballav (Bhima’s name during this time) assumed his duties as the cook in the kitchen of Virata, did not know how to cook. One of the first things he did was to chop up many different vegetables, boil them together and top the dish with grated coconut. 

There is a mythology variation. Bheema is said to have prepared Avial, when there were unexpected guests for King Virata and he needed to serve meals for them. There was no sufficient vegetables to cook any single recipe for side dish, so Bheema used what ever available vegetables to make a new dish, which came to know as Avial.


in avial, we use mix vegetables, but of a different kind. not the usual cauliflower, carrot, peas, beans combo. the vegetables that are generally added to avial are:

  • drumsticks/phalli
  • carrots
  • cucumber – the oblong cucumber used in sambar
  • raw plaintain
  • pumpkin/kaddu
  • ash gourd/petha
  • green beans – any variety can be used. we have used chawli (snake beans) and gavar (cluster beans)
  • tendli/tindora (gherkins)
  • suran/elephant yam
  • arvi/colocasia
  • snake gourd

you can always go for your own combinations of veggies depending on the availability and your choice.


lets start step by step avial recipe:

1. firstly chop all the vegetables and keep aside.


2. keep the chopped colocasia in salted water for 20 minutes to reduce the sliminess.


3. keep the chopped plantain in salted water for some minutes to avoid discoloration before cooking.


4. begin to cook the vegetables with curry leaves in water with some salt added to it. as we have used curry leaves at this step, we have not added curry leaves in the tempering. but you if you don’t add curry leaves now, you must fry them when making the tempering.


5. whilst the veggies are cooking we prepare the ground coconut masala – ingredients as shown in pic below.


6. grind the coconut, cumin and green chilies with little water to a coarse paste.


7. by now the veggies will be half cooked,


8. so its time to add some bright yellow color to the avial – turmeric powder…


9. stir the turmeric with the rest of the half cooked veggies.


10. after a minute, add the ground coconut paste.


11. stir the paste with the rest of the cooked veggies.


12. let the mixture simmer for some more minutes till the veggies are completely cooked. take beaten curd in a bowl or cup.


13. when all the veggies are cooked, add the curd.


14. stir and simmer the avial for a minute and close the fire.


15. now comes the seasoning. in hot coconut oil, add the seasoning ingredients and when they sizzle.


16. pour the hot seasoning on the avial.


17. as soon as you finish pouring the seasoning, cover the pan with a lid for 3-5 minutes so that the aromas and flavors are absorbed. later, stir well the seasoning with the rest of the avial.


serve the hot avial with rice and some papads.


if you are looking for more similar recipes then do check mix vegetable recipe, bengali shukto, fried mix vegetables recipe and sweet & sour vegetables.

disclaimer – this avial recipe is a my mom’s recipe and her own variation to the recipe. the recipe is different than what is authentically made in kerala as far as the consistency and tempering is concerned. no where it is mentioned that this is an authentic kerala avial recipe.

avial recipe details below:

avial recipe
avial is a traditional kerala recipe made from mix vegetables, coconut and curd.
CUISINE: kerala, indian
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
The Veggies:
  • 1 cup chopped pumpkin/kaddu
  • 1 cup chopped yam/suran
  • 1 cup chopped colocasia/arbi
  • 1 cup chopped raw plantain
  • ½ cup chopped ash gourd/petha
  • ½ cup chopped tendli/gherkins
  • ½ cup chopped snake beans/chawli
  • ½ cup chopped cluster beans/gavar
  • 2 stalks of curry leaves/kadi patta
The Coconut Masala:
  • 1 and ½ cup grated coconut
  • 2 green chilies/hari mirch
  • 1 tsp cumin/jeera
Tempering Ingredients:
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds/rai
  • 2-3 dry red chilies or kashmiri red chilies
Other Ingredients:
  • 1 cup beaten curd/yogurt
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • 3 cups water
  • salt
Preparing the veggies:
  1. Chop all the veggies. Cook the veggies and curry leaves in water in a covered pan. Also add salt to the water.
Preparing the ground coconut masala:
  1. Grind the coconut, green chilies and cumin with little water to a coarse paste.
Continuing with the veggies:
  1. When the veggies are half cooked, add turmeric powder and mix the mixture well.
  2. After a minute, add the ground coconut paste.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Simmer the veggies till they are fully cooked.
  5. Once they are fully cooked, add the beaten curd.
  6. Stir and simmer for a minute. Close the fire.
Preparing the Tempering:
  1. In another pan, heat coconut oil.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and broken red chilies
  3. Let them and sizzle. When the crackling sound is over, pour the tempering into the avial.
  4. Cover with a lid for 5 minutes and then stir.
  5. Serve the avial with rice and sambar.

{ 28 Responses }

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  1. Shruti says

    Hi there…I just went through most of your recipes and loved the way you have photographed the most. But here me being a Keralite would like to tell you its so not the right way of making Avial. Its such an authentic Kerala dish before putting up in the blog you should have at least googled it you would have got the right recipe. Tempering in Avial just make the whole dish into something else and also the consistency is quite thick not something to be poured over rice. It is not like any other dish that we can do our own alterations, but yeah of course we can if we are just making it for ourselves and not putting up it on a blog. Its just a dish with a wrong name you have put up here.

    • says

      Hi Shruti

      this is the way, my mother makes the avial and it is clearly mentioned in the post. this is the only recipe in the blog where i get such comments. i am sorry to say, i am getting this feeling that some people are not flexible as far as this recipe is concerned.

      i have seen so many north indian recipes which are wrongly made and are put in many food blogs but no one objects about them and few of those new variations of north indian recipes are admired by the readers since they are good in taste.

      since this is how my mother makes it and i find it delicious thats why i am sharing this avial recipe.

      you are most welcome to try this avial version and share your feedback here… plus you can share authentic kerala avial recipe made in your home in the comments so as to benefit other readers also.


  2. Ranjana says

    1) Normally and traditionally cumin seeds are not using in avial. For more taste after putting coconut paste you just add coconut oil with curry leaves without boiling…
    2)Never put this much water on avial. It a semi gravy preparation. Just add 1/3 glass of water with vegetables and the it will boil with the water that extract from the vegetables.
    I am not trying to demotivate you…Pls dn’t take it otherwise….

    • says

      not at all. actually this is my mother’s recipe and this is how she makes it. her own variation. hence i have not modified anything in her recipe. i know the way avial is made. your tips are welcomed.

  3. renu says

    hi dassana.. i was just reading the recipes on ur blog and came to my home state section…just wanted to tell u that we make avial at home regularly but we do not do the tadka.. we just put curry leaves in coconut oil and pour it over the avial..

  4. Shahina Rahman says


    I have tried your recipe. It is soo good I make it quite frequently. Me being a bengalee it is quite awesome to have the recipe from Kerala.

    Shahina Rahman

  5. LAKSHMI says

    Hi Dassana,
    Y’day I was browsing for simple Aloo Baingan recipe and I stumbled on your recipe from this blog.
    OMG !!!!! this blog is a Bounty of Treasure for me !!
    Avial is one of my favourite dishes and I have never been getting the taste right.
    Tonight am going to try your recipe and am very sure it will be lip-smacking !!!!

    The aloo baingan turned out sooooo yuuuummmmmyyyy !!!

    Thank you so much for all your hardwork in putting so many Vegetarian Recipes together.
    and as everyone else observed you have such a simple and easy way of expressing yourself :):):) and you make the dishes sound so easy to make !!!!!

    Living in New York though we do find a lot of readymade masalas there is a big difference in the taste and aromas between ready made stuff and home made stuff.
    I had to wait for some one to travel from India and request them to bring home made masalas.
    Now – with the help of this blog – am going to enjoy home made masalas !!!! mmmmmmmmmmmm……. the aroma is already hitting my nose :):):)

    Thank you so much once again…..

    • says

      thanks thanks lakshmi. sure do try the avial recipe – it is my mom’s way of making the recipe. also let me know your feedback.

      i do agree with you that the masalas one gets abroad or for that matter in india too is always different than the homemade ones. you can easily make the masalas that we use for indian cooking at home.

      • LAKSHMI says

        I tried the Avial last night…..and guess what ?I thought I had prepared enough to last for 2 meals…but it lasted only for one meal !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very Yummy !!!!!
        I didn’t have coconut oil at home for tempering but that did not bother me as the dish itself was very tasty. Next time I will ensure to use coconut oil.

        Please continue to keep up this good work ..especially for people like me who are away from home and longing for authentic Indian Vegetarian food !!!

        • says

          thanks lakshmi. when i saw in my inbox that i have received a comment on the avial post, i was sure it was yours. so glad to know that you and your family liked the avial… more so coz it is my mom’s recipe and a bit different in consistency than the regular avial. i have grown up having this avial and it is a hit at my in law’s place as well.

          on the blog there are many good vegetarian recipes that won’t make you miss home :-) do try them out.

          i just reworked on my categories/tags yesterday & realized that there are many indian dals, curries and sabzis that i still have not posted. so will be posting some more vegetarian recipes.

  6. Ramana says

    grt receipe, very tasty , have tried many times during my visit to kerala, especially when you have kerala veg meals, since then became a big fan of this curry.. at last i am going to try this by myself..hope it will come out as exptd..
    Thanks for the details given..

  7. bhargavi says

    your step by step pictorial presentation is nice but we dont use tempering for AVIAL… finally just add coconut oil and curry leaves… the end!!

  8. says

    Thanks for this excellent recipe. Tried it and vow it came out awesome!! Your step by step instructions, makes it really easy for anyone to follow this recipe. Can’t wait to pass this delicious recipe, to all my friends. Best wishes, and keep posting to me such great recipes.

  9. Asha says

    Nice recipe. But I have some suggestions..
    In Kerala Style, you can use shallot and Jeera (cumin) to make the coconut paste. No need to add green chilly to make coconut masala. Instead of that you can add green chilly at the time of boiling the vegetable. Try to avoid water when grinding coconut.
    Use little water for cooking the vegetables. Do not use seasoning. When the Avial is complete just pour some coconut oil on it. Add some curry leaves. Close the lid of the vessel for some time.
    Actually the pictures of your “Avail” remind me, my mother’s “Pineapple Pullisserry” preparation. Just search for the recipe.

    Thank you

    • dassana says

      thanks asha for your inputs and suggestions. this will surely help the readers who will make the recipe at home.

      i googled images for pineapple pullissery and weird the images are so similar :-)

  10. Neela says

    Dassana for traditional avial, vegetables like gherkins and colacasia is never used and for grinding only green chillies and lots of coconut is used which has to be grinded into a smooth paste, red chillies a big no no and the coconut oil is to be added lastly then only the flavour lasts. If you add cumin the taste will overpower the aroma of the other ingredients, but i must say that you have really taken pains to post the pictures , blogs and the step by step measurements of all receipes diligently, hats off to you. My good wishes to you, keep posting.

    • dassana says

      thanks neela for your inputs on the preparation of traditional avial. this will surely help the readers.

      this avial recipe is the way my mother makes it and has been making it for many years now.

      also thanks for all your positive and encouraging comments.

  11. says

    Oh wow, this sounds amazing and I love all your step by step pictures they are beautiful and useful!! Kerala is the top of my wish list of places to visit, for the food and the beauty of the place.