Archive for the 'Curries' Category



Avial has a special place in Kerala Cuisine. It is a thick mixture curd and coconut, with lots of vegetables. It is seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. Common vegetables that are used to make aviyal are yam, plantains, drumsticks, carrots etc. Some people prefer to substitute curd with raw mango or tamarind pulp. This dish can be made into a gravy and eaten with rice or be made into a semi-solid side dish. The word “avial” means assortment or a mixture – different kinds of vegetables mixed with simple sauce. I learnt this recipe from my mother-in-law.


1/4 cup carrot (diced)
1/2 cup french beans
Drumstick (2 no’s cut into 2″ length)
Raw bananas (cubed)
1/2 cup banglore/bengaluru vankaya also called Chayote
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1 medium potato
1/4th cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Curry leaves
1 tbsp Coconut oil / vegetable oil.


For Gravy

1/2 fresh grated coconut
1/2 cup fresh curd ( preferably sour)
Green chillies 5 nos
Cumin seeds 1/2tsp


Coarsely grind the curd, grated coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds. Keep the mixture aside. Heat 1 tbsps of coconut oil/vegetable oil in a pan, add curry leaves and remove the pan from the heat.

Clean the vegetables, peel and cube into pieces ( lenght wise) . Slightly boil the drum sticks with salt. Boil little water and add remaning vegetables , turmeric and salt to it. Simmer on a low flame for 10 minutes. Cook vegetables till 3/4th done and add cubed plantains, drums sticks and cook for 5-8 minutes, add coconut paste mixture and stir well. Remove from stove top. Mix the remaining coconut oil and curry leaves to the dish as a garnish.

Serve with rice.


Notes and Tips

You can also use ( substitute curd for) raw mangoes peices for sour or juice of lemon/lime or tamarid paste. You can also use Yams, Ash gourd, Snake gourd and other commonly available vegetables. Do not over cook the vegetables. The curry will become mushy.You can even steam your vegetables. Turn off the heat after you add coconut paste otherwise it will curdle.


Aloo methi

Methi – Fenugreek.


Fenugreek leaves and its dried seeds are most commonly used as an ingredient in indian cooking. In general Methi has a strong taste to it. These seeds are most commonly used in pickles. They give a very strong flavor to the pickle. To mellow down the bitterness, of methi leaves, they are often cooked with lentils and vegetables, and are usually served as a side dish along with rice and Roti (Indian Bread). Dried leaves, either whole or ground, are called kasuri methi ( used in sukhe aloo, and pulao), and they’re a good substitute for fresh leaves. Fenugreek leaves are rich in iron, vitamins, and minerals. It contains vitamins A, B, C and E, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and potassium. Aloo methi is a very common side dish in our house.


1 bunch fresh methi
3 potatoes ( cooked )
1 medium tomato ( chopped)
1 whole dry red chilli
1 Tsp cumin seeds
1 Tsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 green chillies, (slit)
1/4 Tsp turmeric powder
1 Tsp coriander-cumin powder
1/2 Tsp garam masala
Red chilli powder ( optional)
Curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp oil


Clean and seperate the methi leaves from stems and chop. Peel and dice cooked potatoes. Heat a pan, add oil and add the red chilli and cumin seeds. When they crackle add the ginger garlic paste and green chillies, curry leaves and fry again for a few seconds. Add the potatoes and sauté for a few minutes. Add all the dry spices (turmeric powder, coriander-cumin powder and garam masala). Mix them well. To this mixture add chopped tomatoes. Cook for few minutes on medium heat with the pan covered. Add the methi leaves, and salt and mix well,and cook till methi leaves are soft, adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle some water to cook the methi leaves evenly.

Serve with rice or roti.

Notes and tips

You can use frozen methi leaves instead of fresh. Defrost methi leaves and squeeze excess water. Pat dry and add to the dish.


Stuffed Brinjal [Menthi Vankaya Koora]

The words “stuffed brinjal” does not really say alot about this very common and delicious curry. But the words “Menthi Vankaya” is more specific. Menthi means Methi seeds and Vanakaya is brinjal in telugu. This curry is very common at my home and one of favorites. This dish is prepared using Indian brinjals, which are small and purple in color.


8 small fresh tender brinjals.
5 – 6 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

For stuffing
10-15 dry red chillies
1/4 cup urad dal
2 tbsp coriander seeds (dhaniya)
1 tbsp chana dal
1/2 tbsp methi seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
4 pinches hing (asafoetida)
2 tbsp oil

Stuffing procedure

Heat oil in a pan. Add red chillies and fry for a minute. Add urad dal, chana dal and fry them till they start turning golden brown. Add coriander seeds and methi seeds fry till all of them turn to golden brown on medium flame. Add mustard seeds and hing atlast. Allow mustard seeds to crack. Remove from heat, let the mixture cool and grind in a blender into smooth powder. After the powder cools down, shift into a tight container and store in a cool dry place.


Curry procedure

Add salt to 10 spoons of this powder and mix well. Wash brinjals and remove the stem. Make 2 perpendicular slits on bottom side and stuff it with sufficent powder. Heat oil in a deep pan. Add the stuffed Brinjals and fry for 5-10 mins on medium heat. Cover the pan with lid and keep turning the brinjals to avoid burning, cook till done. Add 2 teaspoons of powder at the end and cook for a minute on low flame and remove from heat.

Serve with rice.


Notes & Tips

The stuffing(powder) can be used with other vegetables like Tindora, Ridge gourd (beera kaya). Add more red chillies if you want it little spicy. If the powder is too spicy for you, grind with fried peanuts/puffed chana dal before using it in a curry.You can add little bit of tamarind to the stuffing mixture while grinding if you like.