Friday, August 28, 2009

Aviyal ~ The Coconut based Mixed Vegetable Curry of God's own Country!..

Onappattin thalam thullum thumba poove
Ninne thazhukanai kulirkattin kunyikaikal..

Onavillil oonjaladum vannathikkiliye
Ninne pulkanay kothiyoorum marikkarum...

Onam is just round the corner, another year of festivity, pomp and delight for the people of God's own country, the dear subjects of Mahabali...

Yet another year of Ona Pattu, Puthu kkodi, Ona Pookalam, and Ona Sadya..

viyal, as you all might know, is a thick coconut based curry of the down South of our country and can be regarded as a speciality in Kerala cuisine.
The mildly spiced vegetable stew goes well with rice and a must serve for the Sadhya related to Onam.The very own nadan vegetables(vegetables that grow locally) of the state goes into it which is said to impart the exact authentic taste to the same.

The Mythology of this "Mixed Vegetable Curry", according to wiki, goes…

"It is supposed to have been invented by Bheema (one of the Pandava brothers) during his agnaatha vaasa. According to the legend, Ballav (Bheema's name during this time) when he assumed his duties as the cook in the kitchen of Virata, did not know how to cook. One of the first things he did was to chop up many different vegetables, boil them together and top the dish with grated coconut".

Now, let's get ready with the ingredients, that goes to the stove in order :

The Vegetables:

Drumstick-1 (cut into 3 inch pcs)
Cucumber/vellarikka-cut-a cup
Jackfruit seeds/chakka kuru- 5-6
Yam/chena-a small piece-which yields a cup when cut
Gherkins/ivy gourd/kovakka-5-6
Raw banana/vazhakka-1
Snake gourd-small-1/2
Long string beans/Achinga payar - 4(optional)
Raw green mango-sour variety-1/2 (use a whole small mango if less sour)

To Pulse:
Green chillies - 2
Cumin seeds/jeerakam -1/2 tsp-jeera powder can also be substituted

Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste

Freshly grated coconut- 1 ½ cups
Coconut oil/pacha velichenna- 2 tbsp
Curry leaves-2 sprigs

  • Cut the vegetables lengthwise, a little chunky, to one inch pieces.
  • Transfer them to a broad and wide pan,except the raw mango(as the acidity in it interferes with the cooking of the other vegetables) with just enough water.Close with a lid and ensure even cooking by turning them now and then for a few minutes or till 1/4th done.
  • Crush/pulse green chillies, jeera and shallots coarsely.Add this to the vegetables along with turmeric powder and salt.
  • Grind coconut, not too smooth, adding a little water.Keep aside.

  • Now, rinse the pulser/mixer with ½ cup of water.Add this to the vegetables on the stove and stir carefully not to break the pieces as would have almost cooked or half done, at this stage.Ensure the ‘hard to cook’ vegetables like yam has turned soft.
  • Add the ground coconut and raw mango pieces.Let it simmer for 5 mins.Check salt and *sourness.Make sure the Aviyal has reached the right semi solid consistency.

  • Turn off fire.Coconut oil and curry leaves are to be added last.

  • Press the Aviyal gently and close with the lid of the pan, so that the aroma of the coconut oil and curry leaves seeps in, to give the very own flavour to the authentic dish. :)

*-.If you fail to grab the raw mango, feel free to use curd/tamarind extract for sourness.

  • The traditional aviyal doesn’t call for veggies like carrots and beans. Yet I compromise on carrots as they always improve the taste of the final curry.
  • Since Vellarikka or that fat yellow cucumber we get in Kerala is not common in Tamil Nadu, ash-gourd/poosanikkai can be used instead.
  • According to Archana, "Zucchini act as substitute snake gourd in an avial". :)
Vaninnevam asuya valarthi
Vazka maveli mangalamoorthy.."

'Long live Maveli, provider of peace and prosperity, inciting jealousy in the heavenly beings!'.

Wishing you all a Very Happy, Peaceful and a Prosperous Onam!!..

Other Recipes for the Onam Feast..

Banana ChipsTender Mango Pickle Nadan Parippu CurryDrumsticks SambharA Simple Kerala Lunch with Fish Fry OlanMango SaladVendakka ThoranUlli ThoranPapaya ThoranStir-fried TindorasStir-fried Green PapayaIdichakka MezhukkupurattiGhee Fried BananasAda PradhamanChakka VarattiCherupayar parippu PayasamSemia/Vermicelli Payasam


  1. My favourite mom used to do avial very often ... u added kovakkai ,chakka kotai ...sounds yum Bharathy....Happy Onam ....

  2. My second fav kerala dish first being always adaiprathaman :)

  3. I have heard a different story as to how avial came into being....will share that some day on my blog.
    You don't get vellarikka at your place? It is available here almost all through the year, but especially during Onam and Vishu.

  4. எங்கள் வீட்டில் அம்மா அடிக்கடி செய்வாங்க...அனைவருக்கும் மிகவும் விருப்பம்...

    எதோ இதுநாள் வரை , நான் இங்கு இதனை சமைக்கவில்லை..

    இந்த வாரம் செய்து பார்க்கவேண்டும்..

    ஆசையாக உள்ளது

  5. Yummy and such a delicious and tempting curry..

  6. Have tagged u dear......pls collect it from my blog ......

  7. Hi bharathy,
    happy onam:)
    wow...i like avial with combo:)

  8. The coconut oil and curry leaves gives a divine flavor!! Looks perfect!!!

    Can I take a laddle for my Adai ??!!

  9. ஹே பாரதி சூப்பர்பா...எனக்கு அவியல்னா ரொம்ப ரொம்ப பிடிக்கும்..பருப்பு சாதத்தில் நெய் விட்டு பிசினசு அவியல் தொட்டு எங்க அம்மா ஊட்டி விடுவாங்க:-)பழைய நினைவுக்கு கொண்டு போய்டீங்க..கண்டிப்பா இந்த வாரம் உங்க மேதட்ல செய்து பார்ப்பேன்:)


  10. Onam evide vare ayi ? I am more than willing to eat avail three times day. Looks good.

  11. Hey,

    Thats a great post. Brings in the feel of Onam very beautifully.

    I find it most difficult to make Aviyal properly because it has some secret to get it to taste right. Even after years of trying, I feel that I don't get it right. Any tips for me, please?

  12. OMG!!! what a delicious recipe.. looks very tempting..Nice clicks.. Thanks for sharing!!

  13. avial has always been an all time favourite .. nice to see the long spread for the onasadhya :)
    i am not able to see your avial snap:(

  14. Poovili poovili ponnonamayi...:)

    I miss not being in Kerala during Onam:(.Though the newspapers are filled with promos for Onam Sadya in Chennai,to have it,I would really have to -kaanam vittum Onam unnanam:)

    Onashamsakal,in advance:)

  15. awesome post sis! amma made this last week when i was there, with lots of chakkakkuru :)

  16. Yep dear , u can see the Tag below my bean sprout kuttu recipe.... ...... sorry for not informing u properly .....u can collect that from my blog.....

  17. Fantastic curry..i too made a mixed veggie with coconut curry but with completely different sets of vegetable, i'll try this and let u know :)

  18. Delicious looking avial bharathy.. First time here, loved ur recipies and especially ur pictures! I'm following you! Do check my blog..!:)

  19. Yummy! I love aviyal and that too its such a delight with papadam choru

  20. I didn't eat proper aviyal :( You or your sister can invite me home and make all kerala delicacies, wassay?
    Can we start online classes for telugu?:P

  21. Looks mouth you n all Happy Onam

  22. Onamaashamsakal!! Hope you and your family have a happy and prosperous Onam..

  23. my goodness..its so mouthwatering to see the snap...since that it has been almost 6-7 months since i had avial!!:-(

  24. Bharathy,
    Avial is one of my favorites..I tried it..i have a picture in my blog..


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