Avial (Coconut Vegetable Stew)

Avial 3

Avial is a traditional stew from Kerala and Tamil of boiled vegetables with ground coconut and yogurt. I often find that boiled vegetables don’t have much flavor, but cooked this way in avial, they are delicious! I read that avial actually means boiled.

I was really excited to use the coconut grinder I got from my mother in law. It was pretty easy to use too. If you don’t have an easy way to grind coconut, frozen will work.

I tried to make adai (South Indian lentil crepes) to go with the avial but didn’t think they came out that great so I’m not posting the recipe today.

I adapted this recipe from Chef In You’s blog and Padhu’s Kitchen blog. I wanted the avial to be pretty dry, but my husband wanted more gravy and so I added a little more yogurt and water for his part. The recipe below is for the dry version.


A few cups of vegetables cut into long chunks (I used potatoes, carrots, green beans, eggplant, drumsticks (frozen), and cucumber- other popular vegetables in this dish are plantains, pumpkin, ash gourd and snake gourd)
1/2 cup coconut shredded (fresh or frozen)
2 green chilis
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
5-6 curry leaves

  1. Boil all the vegetables until tender, being careful not to overcook. I added the potato to the boiling water first, then the carrots and green beans after a couple of minutes, then once those were tender, the eggplant, drumstick, then finally the cucumber. Drain and add back to the pan.
  2. Toast the cumin just a little, cool, then grind with the coconut and green chilis (I used a ginder, but a coffee grinder or food processor would work). Add to the vegetables along with the yogurt, water and salt, and  heat until warmed.
  3. In a tadka or other small pan, add the coconut oil. Once heated add the curry leaves. Throw into the vegetables and stir. Serve with rice or adai (lentil crepes).

Avial 2

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