Vegetables In Coconut


Avial is a thick, mixed vegetable dish in which the vegetables are chopped and parboiled, flavoured with yogurt, and then cooked in coconut milk (you can use any combination of vegetables). The avial also forms part of a vegetarian feast in Kerala known as the “sadya”.

bar Vegetables In Coconut
The method of serving a sadya is very precise. Only after all 11 or so dishes- pickles, stews, lentils, and other delicately spiced curries and rice- are placed on a banana leaf does the person begin eating.

Picture by Werner Van Peppen


500g mixed vegetables (courgettes, green bananas, sprouts cut into 2.5 cm/1/2 inch pieces; peeled potatoes cut into 1.25cm/½ inch cubes; sliced carrots and aubergines; and trimmed green beans)
¼ tsp turmeric
1½ tsp ground cumin
4 green finger chillies, chopped
125g grated fresh coconut
1 onion, chopped
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp natural unsweetened yogurt
¼ tsp tamarind concentrate
8-10 curry leaves


Place all the vegetables in a heavy-based pan. Add 250ml boiling water and the turmeric and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile grind the cumin, green chillies, 100g coconut, the onion, salt together in a pestle and mortar, or blender, with about 6tbsp cold water to make a coarse paste. Add the paste and yogurt to the cooked vegetables and stir. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the tamarind and simmer for 4 minutes more. Garnish with the curry leaves and the remaining coconut and serve hot with plain basmati rice.


(c) 2012