Avial is an exotic dish in any south-Indian Sadya (vegetarian feast). There are different variations of avail. A home -made version is make avail with gravy and will be served with rice.

Vegetables commonly used in avial are elephant yam, green plantain, carrots, beans, egg plant, cucumber, drum sticks and snake gourd. Carrots, french beans and other English vegetables are also introduced into avail during the British rule. Some parts of  Kerala, especially the northern part includes bitter gourd too.

When there are no sufficient vegetables to cook any single dish all by itself, for side dish, the use what ever available vegetables to make a dish resulted in making avail. The vessel made with granite stone is best to prepare avail as shown in the picture, or else, you can use clay pottery too.

The vegetable which actually makes this dish tasty is the use of drumsticks, curry leaves and coconut oil. 🙂

Prep time : 15 mts

Cooking time : 20 mts

Serves : 6

Ingredients: (cut all the vegetables lengthwise in 2″ pieces)

  • Winter melon – 150 g
  • Carrot – 1
  • Yam / potato – 1
  • French beans – 5
  • Drumsticks – 2
  • Curry leaves – 6-7 stems
  • Green chilli – 5 (split in the middle, to control the heat)
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Tamarind / curd – 1 table spoon (If you are using fresh tamarind, soak it in 1/2 cup of water and strain and use half the amount at first and if needed you can add the rest, since every batch of tamarind can be different. )
  • Coconut oil – 4 table spoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – 3/4 tsp

Ingredients for grinding :

  • Fresh grated coconut – 1 cup
  • Green chilli – 2
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 stem

Method :

  1. Cut all the vegetables lengthwise and drumsticks halved.
  2. The rule is to give a good wash of the vegetables for the avail before and after cutting to remove any sand which is trapped in between.
  3. In a thick bottom pan add all the vegetables, turmeric powder and salt and give it a good mix.
  4. Add curry leaves and 1/2 amount of coconut oil and water.
  5.  Keep it in the fire for cooking closed with a lid.
  6. In the mean time, in a blender add all  ingredients for grinding and pulse a few times with out adding water. Do not run the blender for a long time. A few pulsing will be enough to break down the coconut and other ingredients. If you want the avail to have gravy add 1/2 cup of water to the mixture.
  7. When the vegetables starts to soften, add in the crushed coconut mixture and fold to combine.
  8. Now add in the tamarind or curd (this will give you only a very slight sourness) and combine very carefully without breaking the vegetables.
  9. Once combined add rest of the coconut oil and a few curry leaves and close the pan tightly with a lid and switch off the flame.
  10. The residual heat is enough to cook the avail further.
  11. Open only 1/2 an hr later.
  12. If you’re making avail with gravy, allow the avail to come to a boil before closing it with a lid.