Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Different types of avial or aviyal recipes and cooking tips


Onam is so close and I am posting series of avial recipes from last few days. When I think of onam series, I felt,  it will be better to introduce the different ways of making the same category in different region. So I selected avail recipes from Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. All these three states have their own avial recipes, but prepared in their own way. Before going to the main section, I would like to wish you all a happy and prosperous onam.

Avial is basically a vegetable based coconut dish seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. This is one of the most popular vegetarian dishes of Kerala and TamilNadu. It served as side dish for rice especially in lunch. An onam sadya is said to be incomplete with out an Avial.

Avial is one such dish we make frequently at home. It can be made with any leftover vegetables in your kitchen. There are a few things should be noted while preparing an avial.

  1. Most importantly, all the vegetables should be in equal size. It not only make it appealing but also aid uniform cooking.
  2. If using vegetables with different texture, first cook the vegetables like yam, carrots, etc which take longer time to cook. Then only you have to add the soft vegetables like ash gourd, mangoes, etc.
  3. We can't imagine a vegetable avial without drumsticks, so do put one or two.
  4. The coconut should not be pasted, it should be crushed without adding water. 
We have so many varieties of avial in Kerala both veg and non-veg. Among them, the mixed vegetable avial is the most popular one. It is a thick mixture of vegetables and coconut seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. In some area, loose avials are also common, if so, you can increase the amount of water while cooking the vegetables. Still, I think, the thick avial is the tastier one.

While discussing about avial, we should not forget the Mahabharata story (A Hindu epic text )about its origin. It is believed that Bhima, (son of the King Pandu and Kundi) made this yummy dish with vegetable peelings during their exile. He made this dish for King Virata for saving the vegetable scraps. He cooked all the vegetables, mixed with coconut, curd and spices. Then seasoned with coconut oil. I don't know the reliability of this story, anyways, we prepare avial in the same way in our home.

In this post, we will discuss various types of avials available in Kerala, please go through it.

 Mixed vegetable avial



This is one of the most commonly prepared avial recipe in Kerala. It is a mandatory item of Kerala Sadya. You will find this dish in both Onam and Vishu sadyas. It is the typical dish made by Bhima during his exile. It uses mixed vegetables, coconut, spices and coconut oil.





Easy avial in pressure cooker



This is the modern version of the above one, quite easy and quick recipe. This is the method I usually follows, but take care, not to mash the vegetables. Sometimes, due to excess water, vegetables gets mashed up easily and the avial turn mushy. Still, easy, tasty and a quick recipe.






Cheera avial 



This is one of the rare avials of Kerala made with fresh green amaranth and vegetables.  Green and red amaranth is a very commonly used vegetable of Kerala houses. Making this avial is a little bit tricky as there is high chances of getting mushy. But a really tasty one, if you taste it at least once, you will not forget its taste.


I don't know whether this dish can be called a avial. Even though only one vegetable is used here, this recipe follows the typical avial style of preparation. I am included this, as I found it easy and tasty. But don't feel as much tastier as vegetable avial. Anyway, just for an information, I am sharing this post.








 Vendakka avial




This is an another example of avial with a single vegetable. Little bit tricky preparation, but absolutely delicious. The key in avial preparation is to get rid of the stickiness without disturbing the crunchiness of ladyfinger.






Kerala Egg Avial





This is an example of non veg avial. A very popular dish of Trivandrum, usually served with chapathi and ada dosai. An easy avial recipe with potatoes, eggs and drumsticks.






Tamil style avial





It is believed that Kerala adopted the avial recipe from Tamil Nadu, surprisingly avial is more popular in Kerala than Tamil Nadu. Even after the same origin, the recipe of both states differs considerably in taste, texture and appearance.






Karnataka mixed vegetable aviyal



This recipe is from Udupi / Mangalore region of Karnataka state. Gravy type avial, slightly different from Tamil and Kerala avial.







Chicken avial




The most delicious one among all other non-vegetarian avials. It is made in the usual way of avial preparation. Try this tasty dish made with chicken and vegetables.