Earlier this year, I had posted an Adai-Avial combo recipe, but I thought Avial deserved its own post!
Avial (pronounced uh-vee-yal) is a traditional dish with roots in the state of Kerala, although very popular in other parts of South India as well. It is a mélange of veggies in a simple but flavorful coconut-chili yogurt sauce, served with rice or Adai (a lentil crepe). I usually make it with green beans, chayote and carrot, but you could use any vegetables of your choice, including red pumpkin and drumsticks.
I use Greek yogurt as a simple swap to make this recipe higher-protein! Substitute your favorite plant-based yogurt for the Greek yogurt to make this recipe vegan.
- 7 oz [200g] green beans, trimmed
- 2 large carrots [150g], peeled and trimmed
- 1 medium chayote [250g], peeled
- 2 ½ cups [600ml] water
- 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ⅓ cup [60g] fresh or frozen shredded coconut
- 3-4 small green chilis (sub jalapeno or thai chili)
- ¾ cup [170g] whole milk plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp avocado oil or coconut oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp asafetida (hing)
- 1 dry red Indian chilli
- 10 fresh curry leaves
Cut vegetables longitudinally, about 1.5"/4cm in length. Bring 2.5 cups water to a boil. Add salt, turmeric and vegetables and boil for 15 mins until soft. Drain but reserve the water. Grind the coconut and chilis together, adding 3-4 tablespoons of the reserved water, until it forms a coarse paste. Add the paste, yogurt and 2-3 Tbsp. of the reserved water to the vegetables and mix well. Add salt to taste.
Heat a small pan on medium high. When hot, add oil and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds pop, add chilis, curry leaves and asafetida and cook for a minute. Turn off the stove, pour over the vegetables and yogurt mixture and serve.
The traditional Kerala aviyal does not have tadka - just a drizzle of coconut oil with fresh curry leaves. I like this variation though it will change the flavor for purists :)