Avial – pronounced Aveeyel is a delicious mixed vegetable stew simmered in a creamy coconut sauce that’s popular in Southern India. A very healthy curry that’s easy to make that requires hardly any oil if any.
A wonderful recipe shared by Amma
Folks, making avial is so easy that I’m just excited to share this amazing recipe which was shared with me by my dear friend Radhika’s Mom, whom we affectionately call Amma (Amma means Mom in Tamil).
Avial is a very popular South Indian mixed vegetable curry that’s so easy to make that I was surprised that I don’t make it more often. Growing up avial was considered a festive dish meaning it was made mostly during festivals and for special occasions. Naturally if its made for special occasions I assumed it’s probably hard to make – NOT SO!
In actuality it was considered a special dish because the dish has a wide variety of vegetables – anything from squash, to beans, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, taro, potato and so on.
There are many variations of avial depending on the area in Southern India. From Kerala, to Karnataka and Tamilnadu slight variations occur such as adding turmeric for a slight yellow color to adding yogurt for a slight tang. One thing remains the same however, avial is made with steamed mixed vegetables and coconut based sauce.
Tamil Avial in three easy steps
This recipe is a Tamil way of making avial which does not use turmeric, however if you like that pale golden color go ahead and add a pinch.
First parboil a variety of veggies. Second make the coconut gravy by blending together shredded coconut, curry leaves, green chilies and cumin seeds. Once the veggies are cooked add the coconut sauce. Then add yogurt for some tang or squeeze of lemon juice. Top with a little warm coconut oil but not required. How easy is that?
For a delicious and healthy vegetable curry give this South Indian Avial a try.
South Indian Mixed Vegetable Stew in Coconut Sauce
recipe contributed by Amma
1 bunch broccoli florets
1-2 carrots cut into 2 inch long pieces
Golden beets – about 2-3 peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 zucchini cut into long chunks
Green beans trimmed and cut into pieces (if you have)
1 large potato cut into thick chunks
1 can navy beans (drained and rinsed) – for protein
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh cilantro for garnish
For the coconut sauce:
1 cup shredded coconut
1-2 green chilies
6-8 curry leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
Cook’s Notes: Feel free to use any combination of veggies – you can add squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, peas, etc.
Parboil all the veggies with a little salt and a little water until the veggies are tender.
Place the shredded coconut, chili, curry leaves and cumin seeds in a blender. Add 1/2 cup coconut milk and blend into a smooth paste.
Add the coconut sauce to the cooked veggies. Add the can of navy beans plus a few more fresh curry leaves. Simmer for about 3-5 minutes, adding more water if it gets too thick.
Warm 2 tbsp coconut oil and drizzle over the avial and stir in. Add juice of 1 lemon. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Avial is ready.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with basmati rice.