Instant Pot Avial (Kerala Mixed Vegetable Curry)

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Avial, a mixed vegetable curry, is a simple recipe made even simpler thanks to the instant pot.

Instant Pot Avial by myheartbeets.com

What is Avial?

If you’ve never heard of avial before, it’s a delicious veggie-packed recipe cooked in coconut oil and flavored with aromatic curry leaves. All the vegetables are coated in a sauce made with grated coconut and yogurt.

You can easily make this recipe dairy-free, paleo, whole30, or vegan by using coconut yogurt instead of regular yogurt – it’s a perfect substitute! I’ve tried this dish many times using regular yogurt and coconut yogurt, and trust me, it’s a winner either way.

The great thing about making avial in an instant pot is that you can cook all the vegetables together in the same amount of time, and they turn out perfectly. I love making this easy mixed vegetable dish whenever we have guests over – it always seems to impress friends who aren’t used to eating a variety of Indian vegetables. And that brings me to my next point…

What Vegetables to Use in Avial?

Avial is typically made with assorted vegetables such as unripe plantain, unripe green mango, carrots, green beans, cucumber, pumpkin, taro root, potatoes.

It’s also often made with moringa, which is better known as “drumstick.” If you use drumsticks in this recipe, you are to eat the soft pulpy inside and then discard the fibrous exterior – it’s similar to eating artichoke leaves.

You can find drumsticks and a variety of other Indian vegetables in the frozen aisle of any Indian grocery store. You can also find frozen unsweetened grated coconut at your local Indian store.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to veggies, so feel free to use what you have/like.

“My first ever time making avial. Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me make this. Never thought it could be this simple and more importantly it tasted so good. This is such a lifesaver!”

SA
Instant Pot Avial by myheartbeets.com

Avial is a Must During Keralite festivals!

While you can (and should) make and enjoy avial any time, this dish is a must during special occasions or festivals. It’s always served during Onam, a big harvest festival, as part of the sadya, a vegetarian feast typically served on a banana leaf. Here’s a picture of my little family during Tony’s first Onam festival at the temple in Pittsburgh.

My husband (who is Keralite) considers avial to be his favorite vegetarian dish (he likes it even more than Green Bean Thoran, which is saying a lot). It’s a childhood favorite of his, so whenever I make it, it makes his day. Thankfully, the instant pot allows me to make his day pretty often. I hope you all love it as much as he does!

Instant Pot Avial by myheartbeets.com

Instant Pot Avial (Kerala Mixed Vegetable Curry)

Instant Pot Avial by myheartbeets.com

Instant Pot Avial (Kerala Mixed Vegetable Curry)

I love this mixed vegetable dish because it’s so easy to make and it always seems to impress guests who aren’t used to eating a variety of Indian vegetables (such as green plantain, taro root or drumsticks). You can easily find a variety of Indian vegetables as well as grated coconut in the frozen aisle of any Indian grocery store.
5 from 20 reviews
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Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds*
  • 30 curry leaves
  • 4 cups assorted vegetables** cut lengthwise (2-inch long pieces)
  • ½ cup grated coconut***
  • cup water
  • 1 Serrano pepper or green chili slit in half but still intact
  • 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ cup yogurt regular or dairy-free coconut yogurt works!

Instructions
 

  • Press the sauté button then add the coconut oil. Once it melts, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the remaining ingredients to the pot except for the yogurt.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 4 minutes at high pressure.
  • Open the valve to quick release the pressure.
  • Stir in the yogurt and serve immediately or at room temperature.

Notes

  • *You can leave the black mustard seeds out if you’d like. Some use black mustard seeds when making avial and some do not – I personally like the flavor so I use them but it’s not necessary.
  • **This dish is typically made with assorted vegetables such as unripe plaintan, unripe green mango, carrots, green beans, cucumber, pumpkin, taro root, potatoes. It is also often made with moringa, which is better known as drumstick. If you use drumsticks in this recipe, you are to eat the inside and then discard the fibrous exterior. You can find drumsticks as well as a variety of other Indian vegetables in the frozen aisle of any Indian grocery store.
  • ***Find frozen unsweetened grated coconut at your local Indian grocery store.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Priya Nair says

    Thank you Ashley, you are a life saver. Kitchen renovations mean no kitchen for a month -The Instapot and your website has truly been a life saver. The aviyal, thoran, chicken curry have all turned out so well .

  2. Lakshmi says

    Hi Ashley,
    I absolutely love all your recipes but none as much as I did this avial. Growing up in Australia to two South Indian parents, I crave this food as an adult. It was a staple in our home. Your recipe was fool proof and absolutely delicious and perfect! I used desiccated coconut (as I didn’t have any fresh in the freezer). It was so good!! Can’t wait to make it for my mum!! Thank you so much xxx

  3. SA says

    My first ever time making avial. Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me make this. Never thought it could be this simple and more importantly it tasted so good. This is such a lifesaver!

  4. Ayra says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley, thanks for such a super quick yummy recipe! I have made this a few times, on a weeknight and as a side dish for a dinner party. The first time I used frozen avial mix and didn’t realise the mix had green chilli already, the double green chilli was too much for me! Read your about section today and had to comment, I’m Punjabi and my husband is Keralite as well! Keen to try your other recipes.

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