Avial – a traditional South Indian dish

Avial is synonymous with South Indian wedding or festival menu collections. It has a very distinct flavor from the Yoghurt base that it is cooked in and goes easy on the palate.

avial photo

Though it is served as an ‘after thought’ in a South Indian menu it packs enough taste for it to be a leading dish of its own. Typically, it is enjoyed with a piping hot plate of steamed rice.

There is mixed opinion as to where it originated but many believe that this is native to Kerala and is an essential part of the Kerala Sadya menu. However, it is also a staple dish in Iyer-style cooking of Tamil Nadu.

The basic variation of Avial (that is made in our homes) almost always had drumstick

Avial Recipe

Avial - a traditional South Indian dish

0 from 0 votes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 4 People


  • 1 cup Cubed White Squash pumpkin
  • 1 cup Chopped French Beans Cauliflower,Drumstick, Bell Pepper, Potato -- 3 cups(mixed together)
  • 4 Nos. Green Chilies medium sized
  • 2 cups Plain Yoghurt
  • 1 cup Grated Fresh Coconut
  • 10 Nos. Curry Leaves
  • 4 teaspoon coriander leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon Mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 cup Cooking oil
  • 2 Nos. Fried Red Chilies
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon Split Black Gram
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • salt to taste

How to make:

  • In a deep pot boil the mixed vegetables in a cup of water until tender. Keep aside.
  • If there is any water left in the pot, do not discard it.
  • In a blender, blend yogurt, sugar, cumin, grated coconut, turmeric, salt, coriander leaves, a cup of water until well mixed.
  • Pour this mixture into the pot containing the vegetables and keep it on medium heat.
  • Add the green chilies sliced lengthwise and simmer the contents for ten minutes.
  • Remember to stir frequently, as yogurt tends to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove from heat and keep aside.
  • In a wide skillet heat oil on medium.
  • When oil is hot add dry red peppers and fry for one minute.
  • Then add mustard seeds, black gram and curry
  • leaves. When the mustard seeds pop, add asafoetida.
  • Immediately add the vegetables and sauce from the pot.
  • Cook for a minute or two, and then remove from heat.
  • Serve with plain white rice, pita, paratha, puri.


Remember to use fresh Yogurt / curd otherwise the end result may turn out to more sour that you'd expect. Also, fresh curd will not leave the layers that a sat-in curd does. Make sure the vegetables are properly cooked but not overcooked. Avial's success lies in just the right amount of cooking the veggies.
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