Aviyal

Aviyal is a popular Southern Indian dish that combines vegetables, spices, coconut and curry leaves and is served at most cultural feasts and celebrations in Kerala

Servings

5

Ready In:

30min

Doshas:

Vata, Pitta, Kapha

Good For:

Lunch, Dinner

About Aviyal

By: Sre Krishnan Nair

Growing up in Kerala, aviyal was part of every major cultural feast and festival. It would be served on a banana leaf, alongside other dishes such as rice, yoghurt and pickles. Like everything, we would eat aviyal with our right hand – mixing all of the flavours and textures together until we had the perfect blend to scoop into our mouth.

The combination of vegetables, coconut and spices makes aviyal a delicious, healthy, nourishing food that is not only my favourite food, but also my go-to when I need some comfort food or a taste of home.

 

There’s a big story behind this recipe stemming from Mahabharatham (a ancient Indian epic), when Bhima quickly had to prepare food for unexpected guests of King Virata. He didn’t have enough vegetables for a single recipe so used whatever veggies were available, creating a new dish now known as aviyal. 

Aviyal is always a hit at our cooking classes, when people discover a new and creative way to incorporate more vegetables into their diet. Even our toddler loves it!

Below you can find both the traditional ingredients that are available at most Indian or Asian supermarkets, as well as a customised recipe with vegetables that are commonly found in most Western supermarkets.

Aviyal is balancing for all doshas – but those with a predominance of Kapha should eat it in moderation due to the root vegetables and coconut.  

 

Ingredients – traditional recipe

  • 1 x carrot
  • 1 x potato (large)
  • 1 x plantain (green banana)
  • 1 x taro (small to medium)
  • 1 x drumstick (muringakka)
  • 5 x snake beans
  • 1/2 vellari (indian cucumber)
  • 1/2 snake gourd
  • 2 x shallot onions
  • 1 x green chilli
  • 2 x curry leaf sprigs (20 leaves)
  • 300gm shredded coconut
  • 2 x tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 x tsp black peper
  • 2 x tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 x tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

Ingredients – customised recipe

  • 1 x carrot
  • 1 x broccoli
  • 2 x zucchini
  • 1/2 cauliflower
  • 300g green beans
  • 2 x shallot onions
  • 1 x green chilli
  • 2 x curry leaf sprigs (20 leaves)
  • 300gm shredded coconut
  • 2 x tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 x tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 x tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Wash the vegetables, and then cut them into finger sized pieces (long and thin). 

Step 2

Place the vegetables into a large pot with the veggies that take longer to cook, such as potato, on the bottom closest to the heat. 

Step 3

On a low heat, add 1 cup of boiled water, coconut oil, 1 sprig of curry leaves, chilli, 1/2 of the cumin seeds, salt, pepper and turmeric. Cover with lid a simmer until the vegetables are 3/4 cooked (around 10-15 minutes). Add more water if required. 

Step 4

 While the vegetables are cooking, combine the shredded coconut, chopped shallots and the remaining cumin seeds and curry leaves in a food processor and lightly blend until the ingredients are combined (but not mushy).

Step 5

Add coconut mix to the pot of vegetables and slowly combine. After 1 min, turn off the stove and allow the aviyal to sit for 5-10min before serving.  

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