Thursday, September 07, 2006

Recipe: Aviyal

Aviyal again is a dish prepared with as many vegetables as one can get. There is a legend about this dish. The maharaja of Travencore used to perform Murajapam everyyear, a vedic seminar, in which a large number of vedic scholars participated. One year it so happened that there was no vegetables left on the last day of the Murajapam.. Only few pieces of various vegetables left over from the previous days were available. The cook cut all the left overs into long thin pieces and prepared "Aviyal." The king liked the dish so much and presented him with a gold bracelet so much and ordered that this dish be served every year since then. All vegetables go in it, except perhaps, some mushy vegetables, like, tomato, brinjal, ladies fingers, cabbage, cauliflower, beetroot (it stains the dish), radish, turnip, onion, sweet potato, etc. Otherwise, all the following vegetables can be used, depending on the availability.
Raw Green plantain
Elephant yam (amorphopallus is the botanical name, Chena in Malayalam, chenai kizhangu in Tamil, Suvarna
in Kannada, Jameenkhand in Hindi),
Chembu (colocasia, cheppam kizhangu in Tamil, arvi in
Snake gourd (Trichosanthes Anguina)
Ash gourd
Avarakkai (Saem in Hindi))
Chow Chow (Sechium edule, Bangalore Kathrikkai in
Malayalam and Tamil, Seeme badanakkaye in Kannada)
Thondekkai ( kova kkai in Tamil)
Lobia (payar in Malayalam, Karamani in Tamil, Halasinde in Kannada)
Green mango (raw)
Raw jackfruit
A small quantity of bitter gourd can be used to give a tinge of bitterness

Since a variety of vegetables are used, we will need only very small quantity of each of them and also it is very difficult to prepare 2 servings or 4 servings. However, even if the prepared quantity is more than can be consumed, it keeps well for a couple of days under refrigeration. This can be frozen also.

Now for the recipe:
The preparation of aviyal is very simple.

Vegetables: 250 gms of mixed vegetables.
Turmeric powder: 1tsp.
Grated fresh coconut :1½ cups
Green chillies: 5 to 8 nos. according to taste
Curds 3-4 tbsp lightly sour (if using raw mango, do not use curds)
Salt to taste
Curry leaves : a few
Coconut oil 2 tbsp. (it is the coconut oil which gives aviyal the aroma and taste, hence do not substitute)
Wash and cut all the vegetables lengthwise into 2" pieces(stick shape). Boil the vegetables until just done, with turmeric powder and salt. One should be careful not to overcook the vegetables: they should remain crisp.(There are some vegetables which cook very fast and some which take a long time. Keep adding the vegetables to the boiling water according to the cooking time, the longer cooking vegetables first and the quicker ones last) Grind the coconut with green chillies, without using water. Drain the vegetables. Put them in a wide mouthed large pan in mild heat, add the coconut mixture, beaten curds, curry leaves and coconut oil and gently toss for few minutes, until all the vegetables are coated with coconut and coconut oil. If using a spoon, be careful not to mash the vegetables. Remove from heat add fresh curry leaves.

This aviyal can be used as a side dish for sambar rice or any other rice. If this has to be used as a main dish for rice, make the aviyal with a little more of beaten curds to get a gravy. One can use the water used for cooking the vegetable to make the gravy, if short of curds. Aviyal can be eaten with rice, dosa, chappathi or Poori. Our son relishes pooris with refrigerated aviyal.

Suggested accompaniments: Pappad


E.N.Kay said...

The recipe is good.
But our patti has taught us not to use chembu(Aruvi)and Baingan (Kathrikya,Brinjal)is used.
Please consult your parents and confirm.

E.N.Kay said...

the recipe for parippu pradhaman was needed. i have always been looking for it.
thank you

Ammupatti said...

thanx. glad u liked it.
the same recipe can be made using dalia(wheat germs and parippu or wheat germs only)


Ammupatti said...

Letting alone for the moment, that I'm probably old enough to be your mother:

the key to aviyal is the crisp veggies in it. Along with the sour taste, the crisp texture makes it divine. This is why it is important how long you cook it. As I have said, do not overcook it. If you overcook it, it will become a mush with the rest of the aviyal and lose its essential texture.

If only for that reason brinjals are a no-no. Brinjals will overcook and you lose a uniform texture in the aviyal. When you look at all the other vegetables in aviyal you see that they are all crisp. That is why chembu is also one of the acceptable vegetables in it.

Anonymous said...

where have you been all these days. no new additions after onam?

enkay said...

no reply no new postings?

Ammupatti said...

enkay: please see the reply to your question above. new postings on the way.

Pushpa said...

Dear Ammupatti,

Thanks a billion for making aviyal seem so simple. Thanks to you my husband enjoyed the aviyal and appidiya sapitara maami, not as a side dish ... this is one of his favorite dishes, and I felt extremely happy!!!... thank you, keep up the good work :)

Ammupatti said...

Hi Pushpa

I am glad ur hubby liked it and u r happy about it.

Happy cooking!

Ramki said...


I've blogged your Aviyal as a model recipe in the 1001 South Indian curry cookbook at

/Thanks for the detailed recipe


Preetha said...


ususally when we make aviyal we used to grind cumin seeds along with coconut and gree chillies..

Ammupatti said...

Hi Preetha

I have heard some people grind jeera along with coconut and green chillies, but most of the Kerala Iyers dont follow this. May be because this will give the aviyal, the taste of Molakootal.

Anonymous said...

Just terrific avial. I love avial and always ask my wife to make it for me. She also makes great avial. Now that she is on vacation back in India, I couldn't resist making it...and ammupatti made my day!

Thanks much

Ammupatti said...

Hi anonymous

Thanks. I am sure by the time your wife returns you would have become an excellent cook. Beware!

Happy cooking!

Ananya said...

Dear Ammuppaati,
Thanks for the detailed nice recipe. My mother does make Aviyal but it is quite a bit different from how they make it in Kerala. Esp the consistency. You have taken small things into account and made me understand why i wasnt successful enough. Now that I have known the trick, I am going to surprise my husband with the same. :)
Also Can I ask you the recipe for Kootukkari as they make in Kerala? For vishu we recd some dishes from our neighbour. It had Vazhaikkai, karuppu kadalai and chenai most probably with mild spices and had a coconut coating on it. It was one of the yummiest recipes I have ever tasted. Any idea what it is called and how to make this?
Thanks in advance
Ananya Mahadevan

Ammupatti said...

Hi Ananya

I am glad you have learnt the intricacies of making aviyal and I am sure you must have made a perfect aviyal for your hubby dear.

The dish you mentioned must be kootukari and it is one of my favourite dishes as well. Shall post the recipe soon.


Ananya said...

Dear Ammuppaati,
I finally succeeded in making the perfect aviyal as per your detailed instructions. The best part is My husband accepted it as aviyal. Everytime we (me and my mil) make it he wud reject it. This is the first time he said nannairukku kettiya and thoroughly enjoyed the dish.
Thankyou from the bottom of my heart. Everytime I make aviyal it goes without saying that I will think of you.
I sent an email to your id given here in the blog. Not sure if you check it.

Ananya Mahadevan

Ammupatti said...

Hi Ananya

I am glad your aviyal turned out to the satisfaction of all. BTW your mail did reach me but it was in the spam folder and as is my practice I deleted all spam messages, when I just saw there was a mail from ananya. Suffice to say I couldn't get to read your mail.Really sorry. Could you please resend it.

Good Pediatrician in Ashok Nagar said...

Ramya, this is such a authentic and a tasty dish!!! looks very creamy and I am a fan of this dish!!! We make this very often and use coconut oil!!!

? said...

Perfect! We make it this way and ditto on the kind of vegetables used in this dish.

Rama said...

Hello patti,
We are kerela iyers, and my mom makes Avial a little differently. I am told by my patti as well that English vegetables are not used in Avial traditionally. We use Vazhakkai, Chenai, yezhavan... never carrot, beans and potato. I love Adai with avial. Even the grinding of the coconut is different. For thottukal, coconut is not ground smooth, but for pesanjakaradhu we grind the cocunut-chilli into a smooth paste..
Some thoughts. Like your blog.

maya said...

ammu patti ur recipe seems good. but draining water after cooking vegs is not a good practice

Gayatri said...

Hi Ammupatti, hope you are doing great! I made this recipe today. Used the cooking water and made thick gravy. Fantastic! I served it with matta rice(I was so happy to find it here at the Indian store) and cabbage poriyal. My family loved it. In India, we used to eat this with koorkai upperi, but koorkai is hard to find here.
Thank you so much for this recipe.

cherryblossom said...

Hi Ammupatti,
Thanks a lot for the AVIAL recipe.... I'm a christian girl married to a Hindu. Tomorrow is Thirukarthigai and my husband asked me to prepare Adai and Avial. I've eaten both these...but I've never seen anyone cook.I was huting for an authentic Avial recipe...your recipe seems simple and even an amateur like me can prepare it blindfolded. Tomorrow's breakfast is Adai and Avial...hope it comes out well. I'll update you on the same. I guess I'll visit your blog regularly for some real recipes. Thanks again :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ammupatti!

Thanks for the avial recipe. It's my favourite dish in the world and your recipe helped me make it myself for the first time!

I'll be back for more! :D