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

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 should I 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.

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 16 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.
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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. Preetha says

    5 stars
    Hey, my husband and I tried this recipe yesterday. It’s super easy to make and it ended up looking exactly like the picture. It was on the mild side, though.I have to think about how we could make the taste pop more. But overall, a great dish and would certainly appeal to those who don’t eat a lot of spicy (or hot) foods. Thanks for the recipe! 🙂

  2. Raj says

    5 stars
    I made this twice and it worked out very well. I added plantains, tindora, frozen jackfruit, carrots, potatoes, green beans and suran. I also added drumsticks the first time, but that was not nice. Second time, I added a few whole black peppers, and I had the whole dish to myself :-(. I’ll be trying to make Pav Bhaji next.

    It would be nice if your website had a section the described the vegetable and dals with pictures. For example, what does ‘Louki’ look like in the grocery store? What does Masoor dal look like vs Thoor dal. It would help avoid having to ask embarrassing questions to the grandma shoppers in the store.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Raj, I’m so glad you liked this! Hope you like the pav bhaji too. And that’s helpful feedback – I’m moving toward including videos for all recipes, which I hope will be helpful. I’ll try to go back through old posts and link to products or update with images if I can. Thanks!

  3. Gini says

    Hi Ashley
    I tried this with frozen aviyal mix, but the vegetables remained uncooked. Should I increase the cook time?
    Thanks

  4. Cassandra says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this exactly following the recipe and really enjoyed it! With the current pandemic and being under a shelter in place order, we are now stuck with only bags of frozen vegetables and nothing fresh and interesting like plantains and curry leaves. I went ahead and made this anyway with 4 cups of frozen mixed veggies, worried that it would make my taste buds sad, yet desperate to try to make the veggies more palatable. It turned out pretty good! Thank you for a wonderful recipe that is easily adaptable to the sad stuff in my freezer!

  5. Anita Mehta says

    5 stars
    This came out so well. Thank you Ashley for posting easy to follow recipes. Can thisbdish be doubled, tripled for a party? How will the cooking time change?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Thanks Anita! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂 I haven’t tried doubling or tripling the recipe but I’m sure it’ll be just fine if you do. When I double a recipe I double the ingredients but keep the cook time the same (the pot makes up for the additional ingredients by taking longer to build pressure). Hope that helps!

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