Indian Vegetable and coconut Stew Recipe
This recipe has been in my drafts for a long time. Well, 7 months to be more specific. It is quite a tragedy when you have 40+ drafts (a.k.a recipes) with photos ready but you have no time to post them! Yes - that's my life at the moment. Deadlines at work, a little energetic bundle of joy and life in general is freaking fast paced and hectic. It seems like just yesterday when my mother was here whipping up delicious dishes in my kitchen. Sigh! Good stuff always whizz past like a bullet train. This is my mom's recipe. She made this for me so that I can keep this blog going but which I promptly am posting now (!!) :)
Indian Vegetable and coconut Stew Recipe
This is such a ridiculously easy recipe with delicious results. Avial or Aviyal is a South Indian stew of vegetables, coconut and curd. The garnish of curry leaves in coconut oil gives it that distinctive and addictive taste. Enjoyed and owned by the cuisines of Kerala, Tamil and Udipi its a popular Indian dish, down South. I was amazed to know that it has its origin in the epic Mahabharata era where this dish was supposedly invented by one of the Pandava brothers - the well built Bhima. Interesting! Growing up, this was not a common dish in our household since my father for health reasons avoided coconut. So my mother never made it. She also never added coconut to any of our dishes and so by force of habit, I continued the same after marriage too. It was only when one day, my husband remarked in passing that he enjoyed one particular dish with coconut that I was like - waitaminute - Why am I NOT adding coconut? From then on coconut and me have lived happily ever after :)
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 2 people
  • 1/2 cup curd/yogurt (*)
  • 3-4 cups of mixed vegetables (**)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 green chillies, or as per taste
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh coconut, tightly packed (frozen works too, though fresh preferable)
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • few curry leaves for garnish
(*) Sour curd is normally used but here we used fat free Greek yogurt since that's what I always have in hand and it worked equally well.
(**)You can use any vegetables available. For this recipe we used potatoes, taro root,pumpkin,carrots and brinjal. Other vegetables that you can use are beans, cluster beans, plantains or any other variety of potatoes.
1. Grind the coconut, chillies and cumin seed together into a paste.
2. You can grind them together like how we did or grind the coconut and chillies together first and then add the cumin to blend into a paste. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile in a pan take the chopped vegetables and boil them in water (that is sufficient enough to cover them). If using taro root, you would have to boil it separately, peel, chop into chunks and then add it to this water (after the rest of the vegetables become soft). We had some leftover boiled taro root, hence it was perfect for this recipe.  The other vegetables can be added together with a pinch of turmeric and boiled until soft. Once soft, add salt.
4. Add the coconut paste to this water and bring it to a boil.
5. While that's coming to a boil, take another small pan. Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil and saute the curry leaves. Once the aroma starts wafting
6. drop the leaves to the coconut-vegetable (aviyal) mixture.
7. Remove from heat. Once it has cooled down to room temperature, add the yogurt
8. and give it a good mix.
Delicious coconut and vegetable stew ready! Its normally enjoyed along with rice - as part of 3-4 course meal. Indian Vegetable and coconut Stew Recipe

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2 Member Reviews

By Prairie on Nov 18, 2011

I was a bit intimidated by the taro root, but I loved the slightly sweet taste, when mixed in with the other veggies.  The only thing is, I like crunchy, and this is a bit of a mush.  So I topped it with store-bought bhujia (fried noodles of gram flour) and it was perfect.  The prep time is a lot longer for me because of the vegetable preparation, and I don't cook consistently, so it takes me time to get it all together.  But this is an easy recipe to follow. many thanks!!!! :-)

By Monica on Jul 13, 2011

my hubby loved it !!!!


By haridurgaprasad on May 27, 2016

Enjoyed To hear about this recipe...I will Definitely try to make in my home....Loved it

By Bini on Oct 1, 2014

Really ThNkx For Ur poSt ....iT hElped mE inToday's lunch ....waiting for others to taste the yummy avial . :-D :wink:

By Ramanan on Feb 26, 2014

Isn't the procedure (except for mixed vegetables) almost identical to mor kuzhambu? What, if any, is the differemce? R.

By Viji on Jan 31, 2014

This is exactly how I make it, except I am super picky about the veggies :wink:

By Nila on Nov 30, 2013

I love your recipes and the style of your reading. :)

Thank you so much :) --DK

By Sandhya on Oct 23, 2012

Love your website!! Very well conceived, written and presented. Quick question - I have some sour cream sitting in my fridge for a while, souring away. do you think it would work in Aviyal? Thanks!

Oh yes you can. Replace either half or equal parts Yogurt. Just like yogurt, dont boil it. The end result will be much more creamier and richer. Thank you Sandhya for the kind word about the site :)--DK

By RAGA on Jun 26, 2012

nice :)

By Usha on Mar 16, 2012

Made this recipe now. Came out good. Since I did not have cooking coconut oil, I used ghee for the tempering. Also I used lauki,carrots,beans, raw banana, drumstick and pumpkin for the veggies. The pumpkin pieces got a little soggy should the veggies taste? Cooked or aldente? Mine were cooked totally. I liked it though.thanks for sharing the recipe.

By Allison on Mar 4, 2012

I have to admit, I was skeptical at first when I made this recipe tonight... There's not a lot to it! But it really is SO good, and so tasty! We made it with green beans and snow peas, because that's what we had in the house... Can't wait for leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

By akanksha on Jan 15, 2012

Can we use coconut milk instead of shredded coconut? Not a fan of the coconut fibres but love the coconut taste. I am also very lazy. :-D

By leena on Nov 24, 2011

Hi! I prepared for lunch today and enjoyed having it with my family. Thanks

By sudha on Jul 5, 2011

wonderful site, beautiful images and very well written post!! you guys rock!!

By FLORENCE EZEKIEL on Jul 5, 2011

This is hmmmmmmmmmm... I think i will try this.

By on Jul 4, 2011

Vaaav, I like this recipe very much. curds . . . coconut. . . vegitables . . . what a combination! to-day itself i go for this. thank you.

By malini on Jun 30, 2011

suuuper, so nice and lovely. i will try this.

By Keralan on Jun 30, 2011

You made avial appear so easy. REcipe is easy but lot of pre-preparation is required. 15 minutes preparation time is quoted too low. cutting veggies,boiling,grinding coconut involves good time. This dish need lot of devotion, after all it is most auspicious and healthy recipe from Kerala.

Well for 2 ppl, with the veggies I used and with multitasking (while water is boiling, chopping veggies, while veggies are boiling, grind coconut paste etc etc), the prep time was indeed lesser than 15 minutes. Any recipe for that matter if there is going to be modification from mine, like adding more veggies etc will increase the time. But I guess you are right - I would have to increase to accommodate average cook's timing so will surely increase the timing :) --DK

By kiran singh on Jun 29, 2011

:-) i love it.

By Parvathy on Jun 29, 2011

I make it with a variation.Instead of curds, i boil the vaggies in tamarind water and salt.Well its my mils version) though my mm makes it the way u make it... Mmm hubby dear loves wat his mommy makes.. so i have got used to this way :)

By anushruti on Jun 28, 2011

And wishing you luck to tackle the daunting aspects of motherhood and good wishes to enjoy the boundless joy it brings!

By anushruti on Jun 28, 2011

This makes me nostalgic too. This is also what exactly my mother did to keep my site going when I was expecting and had just delivered. Love aviyal and love your site!

By Deepti on Jun 28, 2011

Looks Yummy :lol: will go well with adai

By Divya Vikram on Jun 28, 2011

One of my favorite way to eat veggies. Looks delicious DK.

By Cooking Foodie on Jun 28, 2011

One of my favorites at a SI buffet!

By harini-jaya on Jun 28, 2011

I love the recipe and as you mentioned, coconut is/was sparingly used in my mom's kitchen. But after I got married, I have extensively used coconut but Aviyal never made entry to my kitchen with gr8 results. It seems to be getting a sweet flavor which keeps my husband away :)

By Priya on Jun 28, 2011

Very inviting and tempting aviyal..yumm!

By Vimitha on Jun 27, 2011

My favorite side dish for sambar saadam... Creamy and yummy...

By Hari Chandana on Jun 27, 2011

Looks too good and perfect.. Delicious !! Indian Cuisine

By Vardhini on Jun 27, 2011

I recently thought about aviyal when I made adai. Lovely pictures. Vardhini Event: Dish it Out - Spinach and Garlic Event: Healthy Lunchbox Ideas - Broccoli