Kerala / Palakkad Recipes. · No Need of Onions!!! · Poriyals / Kootu Varieties.

Avial – (Vegetables simmered in Coconut Yoghurt Gravy.)

Avial, a kerala dish, was always a favorite of mine.  There are many different ways of making this simple dish, but I love the way my grandmother used to make it. She had no methods and proportions, but all her dishes would be extremely tasty and very well done. I dont ever remember even a single incident where she felt that her salt was more or less or the dish was not well done. Her cooking was perfected over years and years of practice. As I lived with her during my student  years, I had learnt this dish from her first hand!!  Traditionally, Avial is made either as a side in a slightly thick form, or as a “kuzhambu”  form where its slightly more thinner.

Normally, Avial, is a choice when I see I  have a lot of leftover vegetables at the end of the week. It could be made with a variety of gourds and roots so its pretty versatile. Typically, its made with ash gourd, yam, potatoes, drumstick, carrots and raw plantains and some times even mango! . I am posting this simple recipe for the benefit of all my friends who have been wanting to try this for a long long time. In Tamil Nadu, people pair “Avial”  with “Adai” for a filling evening tiffin or dinner.



Ash Gourd          – 1/2 pound.

Yam                       – 1/4 pound

Raw Plantain      –  1 Medium sized

Potatoes               –  1 Big sized or 2 Medium Sized

Carrots                  – 1 Long

Long Eggplant    – 1

Tamarind Water- 1/4 cup

Thick Yoghurt    – 1/2 cup.


Coconut                 – 1/3 cup

Green Chillis        – 6-7

Turmeric               – A pinch.


  • Arrange the heavier root vegetables like the carrots, potatoes, yam and plantains at the bottom of the vessel, and the more  lighter ones like the gourds and eggplant on the top.
  • Sprinkle salt and turmeric powder and pour the tamarind water over the veggies and allow to cook in the cooker for JUST ONE WHISTLE.
  • Do not overcook the vegetables as this would make them mushy.
  • Pulse the chillies and the coconut to a smooth paste.
  • Take a heavy bottomed vessel and move the cooked veggies to it.
  • Swich on the stove and  add the ground coconut paste.
  • Stir in the paste carefully to avoid breaking the cooked vegetables.
  • After simmering for 5-6 mins, add the thick curds and salt.
  • Stir again to mix in the yoghurt, add curry leaves, 3-4 drops of coconut oil and switch off the stove.
  • Serve HOT!! with Vethal Kuzhambu.
Pickles & Thokku.

Manga Oorgai (Quick Mango Pickle.)

Mangaa Curry.
Mangaa Curry.

All my childhood summers, were spent in my grandmother`s home in madras, where all our cousins would meet up and have such a blast.Of course, those were the days of no tv, no mega serials and no countdowns, but we would be allowed to read a lot of novels, play chess and scrabble, make believe” games, hide and seek and the like. Mangoes are an essential part of Madras summers in all their forms. We would be busy grating mangoes to help make “Mango Thokku” which is a pickled form of raw grated mangoes. Then we would get the small baby mangoes called “Vadu Manga” and madurai amma would soak them in salty brine and preserve them for us to eat all year long. This Manga Curry is a quick one to two day use of raw mangoes to go with “Curd Rice”.


Raw Mango          – 1 chopped in to fine pieces.

Salt                          – 1 spoon

Turmeric               – A pinch.

Chilli Powder      – 1 spoon heaped.

Hing                        – A pinch.


Oil, Mustard,Hing,Curry Leaves.


  • Take the finely chopped mangoes preferably  in a ceramic/glass container.
  • Add the turmeric,salt, red chilli powder and hing.
  • Keep a Tadka ladle on the stove, add 1 spoon of gingely oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add mustard, hing and curry leaves and pour it on the mangoes, when its spluttering.
  • Mix well and enjoy the aroma of the mango pickle.
  • Enjoy with Curd Rice.