Traditional Avial

As a kid growing up I never liked South-Indian food a lot even though I’m one myself. My mother is an amazing cook and whatever cuisine she cooks; it just tastes brilliant. Being away from home and surviving on canteen food isn’t always possible. One thing that boarding school and living away from home all these years has changed in me is that I’m not picky about what I eat anymore. I love trying food from various cultures as well as replicating them albeit not always perfectly.

I’m with a man who is a somewhat picky eater, loves his curd rice and dosa and well, every meal is a fight between my choices and his. For his birthday, I made him a special meal. I got a ‘this is almost as good as the one my mother makes’ and I’m very proud of that. Hey, I did make the dish for the first time and that too with limited knowledge of how those flavours worked! Anyway, I highly recommend this recipe so, let’s get to it!


½ cup each of vegetables of your choice

I used drumstick, raw banana, carrot, yam, pumpkin, ash gourd, beans and potato

1 teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste

For the paste

1 cup freshly grated coconut

2 heaped tablespoons sour yoghurt

5 green chillies (reduce it to 2 or 3 if you don’t like it too spicy)

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

5 shallots

For the garnish

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Curry leaves


  1. Boil all the vegetables in 1 ½ cups of water. Add in turmeric and salt. Cook uncovered on high flame for 5 minutes and then covered on a medium flame for 10 minutes.
  2. Grind up all the ingredients into a coarse paste. Don’t add any extra water to the paste.
  3. Add paste to the boiled vegetables and mix thoroughly.
  4. Heat the coconut oil, once hot add the curry leaves. Once the curry leaves wilt slightly, take it off the heat and garnish the avial.
  5. Serve with steamed rice and sambar!

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