Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Recipe: AVIAL (அவியல்)

This is yet another traditional recipe from Tamil Nadu and I have seen my grandmother and mother making this 2-3 times in a year. This is a rich dish and as it used to be made only on rare occasions, I had always thought that it is difficult to make.

My sister Lakshmi de-mystified my beliefs and showed me how simple preparing Avial is. This is basically a mix of many vegetables (usually those grown in Tamil Nadu), coconut paste and beaten curd.


Note: Vegetables - try to cut them all in even sizes – 1” pieces. This ensures that the Avial is a treat to the eyes too.

Peel and cut the following:

1. Pumpkin (பூஷணிக்காய்) (सफ़ेद भोपला) – 250 gm
2. Yellow Pumpkin (பரங்கிக்காய்) (पीला भोपला) – 250 gm
3. Carrot (காரட்) (गाजर) – 1
4. Elephant foot Yam (சேனைகிழங்கு) (सुरन) – 200 gm
5. Green Bananas (வாழைக்காய்) (कच्चा केला) – 2 small
6. Yam (சேப்பங்கிழங்கு) (अर्भी) – 6 medium
7. Potato (உருளைகிழங்கு) (बटाटा) – 2 medium

Also add these:

1. Small Brinjal (சின்ன கத்தரிக்காய்) (छोटा बैंगन) – 2
2. Indian Bean Seeds (மொச்சை கொட்டை) (पोव्टा) – 200 gm


1. Green Chillies (பச்சை மிளகாய்) (हरी मिर्ची) – 6-8 (depending on how spicy you like your food)
2. Grated coconut (திருவிய தேங்காய்) (नारियल) – 1 large cup
3. Rice (அரிசி) (चावल) – 2 tsp

Avial with Tamarind Rice & Coconut Rice

1. Curd (தயிர்) (dahi) – 1 large cup
2. Coconut oil (தேங்காய் எண்ணெய்) (कोपरे का तेल) – 4 tbsp
3. Curry Leaves (கருவேப்பிலை) (कदिपत्ता) – a handful
4. Salt to taste (உப்பு தேவையான அளவு) (नमक स्वाद अनुसार)


1. Soak the rice in water for about half an hour.
2. Take a large thick bottomed vessel or saucepan and keep it on the gas.
3. Wash all the vegetables and add them to the pan. Sprinkle salt on it, add 2-3 glasses of water and cook it on a slow fire.
4. This might take a while. Stir from time to time making sure that the vegetables don’t get smashed. I am not too keen on pressure cooking the vegetables as they all get smashed beyond recognition.
5. Grind the three ingredients (green chillies, coconut and soaked rice) for the gravy after adding some water. This should be a smooth paste. Add this to the cooked vegetables and allow it to boil for 3-4 minutes.
6. Beat the curd in the mixer and add this also to the vegetables and cook for two more minutes.
7. Add coconut oil and curry leaves to the Avial and mix well before switching off the gas.

This super-duper mixed vegetable from Tamil Nadu called Avial tastes absolutely delicious along with Tamarind Rice and Coconut Rice. It tastes fabulous with Ven Pongal too. Avial can also be used as a side dish with rotis or puris.


  1. avialukku chiragam vendama. not used in your house?

    1. Nope! This is typical Thanjavur style and jeeragam is not used. Never heard it in Tirunelveli or Paalakkadu style either. Jeeragam is used in regular kootu. Not in this! Do you use it?

    2. Ya we always add cheeragam and we are of tirunelveli origin. Now I understand the reason behind the difference in taste in avial I eat outside. koottukku pachai milagai araichu vida mattom.

    3. Hey, this is a great exchange of ideas. So many different flavours in Tamil Nadu cuisine itself. Generally for kootu, we also use red chillies, but we use pachai milagai in some cases like Parangikkai. My mom-in-law was from Tirunelveli. I vaguely remember her using sour curds in avial which is a strict no-no in Tanjore. But I don't remember her using jeeragam. Nice to be in touch. Pl do check today's post too and give me a feedback Tirunelveli style! Puthaandu Nal Vazhthukkal! :)

  2. If you use cheeragam, it will give morkuzhambu taste. Using pachai milagai for all koottus is good for health.
    Chandra Manni.