Gravy, Sizzling Tastebuds


A dish that is common to Udupi, Kerala and Tamil cuisine. A dish that is believed to have been ‘invented’ by Bhima while he donned the role of “Ballav the cook” during the exile in the Mahabharata.. and its word also being used to denote an assortment or a mixture—this sense being derived from the way today’s blogpost is cooke : Avial – a slightly tangy coconut-gravy-curd mixture filled with veggies and nutrition, and yes, a riot of colours right on ur plate. 

I heard from a friend’s mom who once said that the real ‘Sadhana‘ (devotion) we have towards food comes from observing the medley of colours of the dishes that are put on our plate – be it the green colour of okra, the yellow of dal, the red of rasam, the white of curd : Wonder how many of us do that even once a month / year , let alone on an everyday basis. This is a great side dish to plain Steamed rice or even Adai Dosa (Lentil Savoury Pancakes)


Now, that’s truly food for thought..

Back to today’s Avial.  My family loves this loaded with veggies, therefore used 3 cups of chopped vegetables. You may increase or decrease the quantity and adjust the masala gravy accordingly.

Preparation time: 15 – 30 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins, Serves : 4


  • Mixed Vegetables – Cut into 2 inch long batons {Commonly used veggies are: Drumsticks, Raw banana, arbi (Colocasia), White pumpkin,  Yellow Pumpkin , Carrots, French beans, flat beans etc } – 3 cups
  • Slightly sour thick curd – 2 cups
  • Salt to taste


For the masala: 

  • Freshly grated coconut – 3 tbsp
  • Jeera (Cumin seeds) – 1 tbsp
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Black Pepper – 4 or 5(optional)
  • Dry Red chilly – 2
  • Green chilly – 2
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tbsp
  • Green Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp

For the tempering: 

  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp



1) Wash, peel and chop all veggies and boil them in water with a pinch of salt till 85% done. Drain and rest.

2) Grind all the masala ingredients into a smooth paste .

3) Beat curd well and add the masala paste and make into a smooth flowing gravy.

4) in a skillet, make the tempering, add the veggies, salt and add the masala curd paste. Simmer on a slow flame for about 3 – 4 mins, not more.

5) Serve hot with steamed rice and roasted papad.



Avial served with Adai 


  • If the gravy turns too watery, mix some 2 tsp of rice flour in 1 tbsp of water, and add this to the gravy. In fact, many households grind 1 tbsp of soaked rice in the masala paste itself, thereby adding an invisible thickening agent.
  • If the curd is not sour enough, and you need some tang, add 1/4 lemon sized tamarind to the masala paste.
  • Make sure you drain the water from the boiled veggies, else you will end up with a very watery gravy which will dilute the masala and the curd mixture will lose its texture.

Updating this post for Foodies_Redoing Old Posts#22 where we revisit / revamp old posts with new pics / recipe updates etc. 





  1. Shanthi Krishnakumar

    Looks wonderful and a nice space. Keep rocking

  2. THank you so much for sharing my fav. dish……

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