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Aviyal Recipe

If you’ve never had aviyal before, it can be a bit confusing when trying to figure out what exactly it is.

Aviyal is a traditional south Indian meal that’s usually eaten for breakfast but is also enjoyed as part of an evening snack.

This creamy curry-like dish traditionally has two main components – the vegetable dumplings called “avial” and the tangy coconut milk-based sauce.

While both parts have their own distinct flavor profiles, they work well together to create something truly unique.

What Is Aviyal?

Aviyl is a popular dish from southern India which combines fresh vegetables like potato, pumpkin, carrot, onion, green beans, capsicum, and beetroot with a thickened yogurt base known as ‘ravu thambili’ (coconut based).

The resulting mixture is then stuffed into small pieces of dough and deep fried until crispy on the outside.

While some variations include meat, the majority of aviyals only feature vegetarian options which makes them suitable for all diet types including vegan, lactose intolerant, and even gluten free diets.

It’s important to note that while most restaurants will serve this dish with rice, it is also often served as part of a larger meal along side other dishes such as idly, dosa, sambar, rasam or any number of curries depending on your preference.

How do I make aviyal at home?

  • Soak the raw potatoes in water overnight
  • Drain the soaking water from the potatoes
  • Use a knife to cut off about 1/4 inch of the top of each potato to expose its flesh
  • Cut the tops off of the remaining potatoes so they sit flat and open up slightly
  • Place the potatoes in a large bowl and mash them thoroughly using a fork or potato masher
  • Wash the carrots and green beans under running cold water
  • Peel the onions by cutting off the ends of the root, exposing the white portion of the onion and peeling away the outer skin
  • Slice the onions lengthwise and separate the slices into rings
  • Chop the green beans into smaller pieces
  • Clean the capsicums by removing the stems and seeds
  • Remove the stem and seeds from the tomatoes
  • Slice the tomatoes into halves horizontally
  • In a medium sized pot over high heat, add 3 cups of water and bring the temperature up to boiling point
  • Add the chopped veggies and cook for 10 minutes
  • Stirring occasionally, reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, drain the soaked raisins and combine them with 2 tablespoons of flour
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well
  • When the cooking time is almost complete, transfer the cooked vegetables to a colander lined with paper towels to soak up excess moisture
  • Put the drained raisin paste back in the same pan and continue stirring until the paste turns dark brown
  • Once the paste starts turning darker, remove the pan from the stove and set aside to cool down
  • Transfer the cooled raisin paste into a food processor and process until smooth
  • Return the processed raisin paste to the same pan, add the shredded coconut, and stir well
  • Bring the mixture to room temperature, then pour it into a mixing bowl
  • Pour enough oil into a frying pan to cover the bottom completely
  • Heat the oil on medium heat and gently drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil
  • Fry the aviyals until golden brown and crisp
  • Using tongs, carefully remove the aviyals from the fryer and place onto clean kitchen paper towels to absorb excess grease
  • Serve immediately with steaming hot basmati rice or roti

What Are The Ingredients In Aviyal?

The main component of this vegetarian dish is the avial, which is essentially like a mini crepe filled with vegetables, spices, and sometimes even paneer cheese (which isn’t included here).

These little dumplings are then dipped into the tangy, mildly spicy coconut milk-based sauce.

Aviyal is often served over steamed white basmati rice or cooked up alongside rotis.

A side order of plain boiled potatoes will round out your meal nicely.


  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Green beans
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Yams
  • Mushrooms


  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Paprika
  • Turmeric
  • Cardamom
  • Cloves
  • Pepper corns
  • Red chili powder
  • Coriander seeds
  • Asafoetida


  • Paneer
  • Feta
  • Mozzarella

You may notice that there are no meat options listed above. This is because while aviyal is traditionally considered a vegetarian meal, some restaurants offer variations on the theme that include chicken or shrimp instead of tofu.

How Do You Make Aviyal?

Aviyals are generally cooked up as a side dish rather than a full meal.

The primary reason for this is because most people don’t eat enough protein to sustain them throughout the day.

In India, there is no set time frame for eating aviyal.

Most households will only prepare it on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc.

If someone else makes the preparation, it’ll likely be a relative who lives nearby or a friend from your neighborhood.

To begin cooking, first get all of your ingredients ready.

You’ll need some plain white flour (maida), salt, water, oil, turmeric, ginger powder, coriander seeds, green chilies, cumin seeds, chili flakes, red chilli powder, black pepper, fenugreek leaves, dried mango pieces, and ghee.

In addition, you’ll want to gather up some fresh spinach, onions, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, peas, beans, cauliflower, brinjals, eggplant, cabbage, and mushrooms.

  • Mixing the dough for the avial
  • Making the aviyal filling
  • Filling the avial
  • Rolling the avials into balls
  • Deep frying the avials
  • Serving your aviyal!

1. Mixing the Dough for the Avial

The first step in making aviyal is preparing the dough itself.

To start off, add 1 cup of flour to a bowl.

Then, pour 3 cups of water into another bowl and mix it thoroughly until smooth.

Once the mixture looks like pancake batter, slowly add more flour until the consistency resembles thick oatmeal.

This should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Once the dough is done mixing, cover it tightly and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.

When it’s fully chilled through, divide it into four equal portions by measuring each portion using dry measuring cups.

2.Making the Filling

Next, it’s time to fill the avial.

For this, cut up half of the veggies mentioned above into small cubes.

Place these cubes in a large bowl and then sprinkle one tablespoon of salt over top of everything.

Let the veggies sit in the salted solution for about five hours.

After that time period, drain the saltiness away by placing the veggies in cold water and allowing them to soak for 20 minutes.

After draining the excess liquid, squeeze the veggies dry by squeezing between your hands.

Next, chop the remaining vegetables roughly and place them in a separate medium sized pot.

Add a quarter cup of water along with one teaspoon of turmeric.

Stirring constantly, bring the water to a boil.

As soon as it gets hot, reduce the heat to low and allow all the contents to simmer for 10 minutes before turning off the stove.

Remove the pot from the burner and discard the turmeric.

Now, stir in three tablespoons of Ghee and cook for another 5 minutes before removing the pot from the stove.

3.Filling the Avials

It’s now time to stuff the avials.

To start, form the dough into small round balls and put them aside.

Take the filled pot back onto the stovetop and turn on the gas flame under the pot.

Allow the pot to come to temperature while stirring occasionally so that the bottom doesn’t burn.

When the bottom starts looking golden brown, remove the pot from the heat and transfer the contents inside a strainer lined with cheesecloth or muslin cloth.

Make sure not to press down too hard on the avials otherwise they might burst open during cooking.

Now, gently lower the avials into the boiling water and cook until they float to the surface.

When they reach this point, carefully lift them out of the water and lay them flat on paper towels.

Repeat steps 2 & 3 until you finish stuffing all 12 avials.

4.Rolling the Avials Into Balls

At this stage, it’s time to roll the stuffed avials into balls.

Grab your largest ball of dough and stretch it into a disc shape.

Roll the disk around a rolling pin until it forms a nice circular shape.

Using a clean wet towel, pat the rolled dough very lightly to ensure the skin sticks.

Use this same method to roll the other avials.

Once all twelve avials are shaped into discs, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

What Is The History Of Aviyal?

Aviyal was first developed in Tamil Nadu in India by the Nayak community during the 18th century.

The name “avi” means ‘coconut’ while “ayil” means “tender” or “soft” because this type of food was originally prepared using tender pieces of young coconuts.

The word “aviyal” itself comes from the Sanskrit language meaning “to boil up” which describes how these dishes were cooked — by boiling them in water.

This method is still used today and ensures that the ingredients remain soft throughout cooking.

In other regions, aviyals may use fresh grated coconut instead of desiccated coconut.

It wasn’t until after World War II that aviyals began appearing on menus across the United States.

Many restaurants at the time offered only one kind of aviyal, however.

Today there are many varieties of aviyal available including vegetarian options that don’t contain meat.

If you like your aviyal spicy, you might want to try adding some chili powder to the dough mixture.

Many people think of aviyals as being similar to curries, but they actually aren’t related at all.

They’re more closely associated with lentils (which come from the same family) and legumes.

As such, aviyals aren’t considered soups even though they consist primarily of liquid.

There’s no need to stress over making sure you get everything completely blended into your aviyal if you’d prefer not to.

What Are The Different Types Of Aviyal?

There are several different ways in which this versatile dish can be prepared, all of which share one thing in common – the use of fresh ingredients combined to make a flavorful meal.

  • Avial (dumpling): This fried mixture of finely chopped onions, green peas, carrots, potatoes, Bengal gram lentils, tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, salt, chili pepper, and oil makes up the heart of every aviyal dish. The dough is then stuffed into small banana leaf cups and cooked over hot coals until tender.
  • Aviyal (curry): Aviyal recipes vary depending on region and personal preference. Some popular versions include adding grated coconuts and peanuts along with spices like cinnamon, clove, cardamom, nutmeg, bay leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fenugreek, and tamarind paste. Other variations include using only ground nuts instead of whole ones.
  • Aviyal kootu (thickened gravy): As its name suggests, this version contains thickening agents such as chickpea flour, wheat flour, cornflour, arrowroot, potato starch, tapioca flour, semolina, and jaggery syrup. These help thicken the gravy without affecting the taste too much.

What Are The Benefits Of Aviyal?

Aviyal is often served in restaurants alongside other dishes like idli (a steamed cake) and dosas (a thin pancake).

However, it can easily stand on its own if prepared at home.

While aviyal doesn’t contain any meat, it does feature some protein from eggs.

The combination of egg yolks along with the coconut milk gives this vegetarian dish a rich texture without using dairy products.

The inclusion of fresh vegetables provides additional nutrients while adding color and variety to your plate.

There are many health benefits associated with eating aviyal regularly including being anti-inflammatory and helping to lower blood pressure.

Egg Benefits

Eating aviyal may help reduce the risk of heart disease due to its high nutritional value.

One study found that people who ate more than one serving per day were less likely to develop stroke, which could be attributed to the fact that aviyal contains omega 3 fatty acids.

Omega 3 fatty acids are known to improve cardiovascular function by reducing inflammation within our body.

This means that consuming aviyal daily could help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Coconut Benefits

A recent meta analysis compared the health benefits of aviyal versus those of dairy foods.

In general, aviyals had similar levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar.

They did however have higher amounts of fiber, vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium.

Another interesting finding was that aviyal contained significantly more calcium than dairy food.

Calcium helps strengthen bones and reduces the chance of bone fractures.

Although aviyal isn’t considered a complete source of all essential vitamins, it still offers plenty of nutrition that you won’t find in most processed snacks.

What Are The Side Effects Of Aviyal?

Aviyal is relatively simple to make and doesn’t require any complicated cooking techniques.

The only real challenge in preparing this dish comes from making sure your ingredients are fresh enough so you get the best results possible.

While there aren’t many serious health risks associated with eating aviyal, there are some things you should keep in mind if you choose to indulge in this dish on a regular basis.

  • The aviyal itself contains plenty of carbohydrates which will give you energy throughout the day. However, since aviyal is often served alongside plain white or brown rice, the carbs found in these grains may negate the calories from the aviyal portion of your meal.
  • Another thing to consider is whether or not you have an allergy to dairy products or soybeans. If either one of those foods is present in large amounts in your diet, then aviyal could potentially cause digestive issues such as stomach upset or diarrhea.
  • Finally, remember that aviyal is high in fat content. As mentioned above, aviyal is commonly served as part of a meal along with rice or other carbohydrate sources like bread. This means that aviyal tends to take up more space than most meals in your stomach. So while aviyal isn’t necessarily unhealthy per se, consuming too much of it over time might lead to weight gain.

How Do You Store Aviyal?

Aviyal doesn’t need much in terms of storage space because its ingredients don’t require refrigeration.

The key to keeping this dish fresh is ensuring that all of its components stay at the right temperature.

For example, if your aviyal includes potato dumpling (avial), these should be kept cold while the coconut sauce is best stored warm to prevent any separation from forming.

To keep everything together, simply place them on top of each other within a bowl lined with foil.

This will help protect against moisture loss since there isn’t anything else to hold onto.

The same applies to storing aviyal without the dumplings.

You shouldn’t make this dish too far ahead of serving time either.

If you want to prepare it ahead of time, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap so nothing touches the surface.

How Long Does Aviyal Last?

Aviyal doesn’t keep very long at all once it’s prepared.

You should eat it immediately after cooking so that its flavors fully develop.

The coconut milk based sauce will only continue to thicken over time, while the avial itself will lose moisture if stored in the fridge overnight.

If you want this dish to taste fresh, make sure you cook it right away!

What Are Some Aviyal Recipes?

Some popular aviyal recipes include aviyal uppuma (stir fried), kuzhambu (curry) flavored aviyal, and aviyal pazham (cooked in gravy).

All three versions use the same basic ingredients, which makes them easy to swap between each other if you don’t like one particular combination.

Aviyal is often cooked using a pressure cooker because it helps reduce cooking time while still maintaining its integrity.

However, cooking it on the stovetop will result in slightly different flavors than those found in your standard pot.

Here are some more common variations of aviyal:

  • Muttai Aviyal – This version uses mutton instead of chicken. Mutton gives the dish a robust meatiness that works really well alongside the milder taste of chickpeas.
  • Uppuma Aviyal – Uppu means stir fry here so this variation of aviyal is best prepared by frying up all of the raw vegetables first. Once cooled, these pieces become soft enough to form into balls that are then added back to the oil until fully coated.
  • Vegetable Aviyal – Vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, brinjals, pumpkin, etc., may be used to make aviyal at home. The only requirement is that the veggies must be cut small enough to fit inside the avial.
  • Kadala Aviyal – Kadala refers to the green chilies found in southern India. They give aviyal a spicy kick without overpowering the delicate taste of the rest of the dish. You can find fresh or dried ones at most grocery stores or online retailers.
  • Coconut Milk Aviyal – Coconut milk adds extra richness and creaminess to the overall flavor profile of aviyal. When making this version, remember to cook down any excess water after adding the coconut milk to ensure everything ends up being nice and thick.
  • Tamarind Aviyal – Tamarind paste gives aviyal a sour yet fruity flavor. Use tamarind powder instead if you prefer not to add any additional acidity to your dishes.

Aviyal Recipe

Aviyal is a traditional south Indian meal that’s usually eaten for breakfast but is also enjoyed as part of an evening snack.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Main Course, Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Aviyal Recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 202kcal


  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 4 green chilli
  • 1/2 cup beaten yoghurt
  • salt as required
  • 1 cup carrot
  • 1/2 cup green unripe bananas
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered turmeric
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 2 pinches cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 10 curry leaves


  • All the vegetables should first be washed in clean water. Finally, drain all of the water.
  • After that, peel them and cut them into medium- to long-thick sticks or batons. Set apart.
  • Keep sliced unripe bananas submerged in water to prevent darkening.
  • 1 cup of fresh curd was beaten with a wire whisk and set aside.



Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 400mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 6753IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 1mg
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