Avial or aviyal is a yogurt-based delicacy made of mixed vegetables from Kerala and Udupi regions of India. Some of the commonly used vegetables in this dish are yam, plantain, dosakai (i.e. Kerala cucumber), pumpkin, long beans, green peas, drumsticks, eggplant (i.e. brinjal), ivy gourd (i.e. tindora), and snake gourd. You can use what is available, and even substitute some of these vegetables with those that are readily available. Since dosakai is not always easy to find, I usually replace it with zucchini. The gravy in avial is generally very thick. This dish tastes best when coconut oil is used for seasoning (i.e. tadka).
Avial | Mixed Vegetables in Cumin Flavored Coconut Gravy Recipe
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
4 cups mixed vegetables cut into 1 inch-long pieces (I have used tindora/ivy gourd, raw plantain/banana, long beans, green peas, dosakai, and carrot)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/3 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cumin/jeera
1 green chili
1/3 cup yogurt, beaten
1 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard
1 red chili, broken
6-8 curry leaves
A pinch of hing/asafoetida
Cook the cut vegetables in water with 1/2 tsp salt and turmeric powder until soft but not mushy. This should take about 15 minutes on medium heat under a half-closed lid.
Grind grated coconut with cumin, green chili and some water to obtain a coarse paste. Add this paste to the cooked vegetables, mix and continue cooking on medium-low heat until the mixture boils. Turn off heat, add the beaten yogurt and mix well. At this time, taste the mixture and add salt as desired.
In a small wok, heat the oil for seasoning. Add mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add curry leaves, red chili, and asafoetida. Pour the hot seasoning over the prepared avial and mix well.
Serve with hot rice.
To prevent yogurt from splitting, I let the avial cool for a while and then add the yogurt.