What to do with all those vegetables languishing at the back of the fridge, at the bottom of the vegetable tray? Some people bung it all in a frittata – a big baked omlette with some sausages and meat. Also a good way to go. If you want to go the South Indian way, avial is definitely light, refreshing and very healthy. It’s one of those healthy dishes that takes no time to make and tastes like it should be fatty but is not. Hopefully you have been convinced…

This post is largely inspired by the number of times I’ve made this dish this month. I really liked the pictures I took of it, in my kerala style earthen pot.


Incredibly quick to make, 15 mins tops. You will need:

– vegetables of your choice, cut up into chunks

– 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

– half  a ground coconut

– mustard seeds

– curry leaf

– curds/yoghurt, watery and little sour is best.

Boil in water a mix of any type of vegetables – carrots, beans, brinjals, potatoes, cauliflower, drumsticks. Put vegetables that take longer to cook, in first.

While they are boiling, grate half a coconut. In a mixie, spice or coffee grinder add the grated coconut, 3 to 4 green chillies and 1/2tsp whole cumin seeds and 1/2 tsp of salt. Add a little water to make it in to a paste.

When the vegetables have softened, add 1/2 tsp of salt add the coconut- green chilli paste, and yoghurt to the vegetables. Add as much yoghurt as you want to make it either more dry or wet. In a separate small pan, splutter some mustard seeds and add 5 or 6 curry leaves and add to the vegetables.. You can actually leave this step out-  I often do and it doesn’t change the taste that much. Taste and add more salt if required.

I don’t think that the earthen pot adds any secret flavour to the dish, you’d like to think it does though. I bought it in small lane in Jagabamba, Vizag (just after the first Jagabamba traffic light approaching from Hotel Green Park, on your left) where  there is a motley assortment of dry cleaners, tailors who stitch only sari falls, ayurvedic and homeopathic medicine shops and a few roadside nurseries.

Jagadamba earthen pots gully



About nonsense girl

Galley slave, qualitative researcher working in development, married my best friend, writing about my life, my family, my dog, TV, Indian culture, astronomy and my garden. www.nonsensegirl.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to Avial

  1. gkorula says:

    I guess the salt was implied… But i’ve added it in to the recipe for benefit of those in Category 2

  2. Deepa says:

    I can vouch that this is as tasty as it is claimed to be. I had no idea that the recipe was so simple. In my opinion, the world is divided into 2 kinds of cooks – the ones who will casually “toss in what comes to hand” (and it will always be delicious) and the ones like me, who will ask “what about the salt – you didn’t say when or how much to put in” The latter kind are doomed to stay like that for the rest of their lives! Perhaps it is a learned helplessness – it gives you (me, I mean) the perfect excuse to vacuum in the products of those from Category I, while never having to slave over a hot stove!

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