Vegetables in coconut milk (Valval)

This is another popular Konkani recipe that I learnt recently. I have not seen this dish prepared in North Kanara Konkani homes, but this is one of the well known dishes for South Kanara Konkanis. This is very similar to Avial from Kerala, but does not have yogurt/curd in it.

This recipe was sent to me by my friend Aruna. This dish gets its great flavor from different vegetables, cumin and from the coconut milk. She also mentioned, “Generally we make this for lunch, because you feel a bit drowsy after eating coconut milk. It is not kept in fridge or reheated because it might cause pitta“. At our native, most of us have a habit of taking a good nap after lunch. So this suits very well in lunch, have a heavy lunch and sleep. Yeah I know, scientifically it is proven that we should not sleep immediately after heavy meals. But thats not what is followed most of the time. Did I ever say my weekends are never complete without an afternoon nap?.

This tastes great with rice. I loved the simplicity of this dish. It suits well when we are tired of having all the spicy food, very mild, very delicious. I could not find tender cashews here, so I made this without it. I am sure the tender cashews gives a very good taste to it.

1 cup thick coconut milk
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
3-4 green chilies
2 red chilies
3 cups chopped vegetables – Traditionally following are used
Magge (do not remove skin)
– Ridge gourd
– Ash Gourd
– Green beans
– Yard long beans
– Tender cashews(bibbo)

Boil the vegetables and green chilies in water (do not use cooker for this). Take care not to overcook any of these.
Add the coconut milk, salt and cook for another 5-6mins. Take off the heat.
Heat little ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they start popping, add the red chilies. Pour the seasoning in the gravy. Serve hot with rice.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 30mins

27 thoughts on “Vegetables in coconut milk (Valval)”

  1. Shilpa,

    The valval is an essential food in the konkanis in Kerala. There is a section of konkanis in Kerala who are neither North Kanara nor south Kanara. The biggest konkanki temple in India is in Cochin (check out: Our Konkani language is slightly different from both South Kanara and North Kanar konkanis. Our recipes are different as well. Valval is a recipe from Kerala konkanis and the way you described valval is not the way we prepare it. There are 4 main ingredients: ash gourd, taro, pumkin and potatoes. We also add cashews (bibo) and boil everything with salt. Towards the end, we add slit green chillies, hing and boil little more. And when you turn off the gas, add hing and some coconut oil. This is the way it is authentically prepared in Kochi and other parts of Kerala. I know about this recipe as I hail from Kochi and have my roots there. My mom is from South Kanara so I know of both South Kanara and Kochi konkani recipes. Hope this helps.


    Shilpa: Very strange A. I have never seen a Valval recipe without coconut in it, how does it gets its thickness if coconut milk/coconut is not added?. It is possible that we have more than one way of making this dish. I have heard about this before also(but din’t know exact method). I have seen a vast difference in vegetables as well as seasoning( some people add mustard and curry leaves and some don’t). Thanks for the Kochi recipe for this dish. Please let me know about coconut.

  2. it is also called yogiratna which gives the status of royal dish navratan mother adds raisins yam [ kanang] and a small piece of elephant foot [ soornu]. itreally tastes lioke a royal dish.

  3. I love having such mild soothing gravy with rice and a side of fried fish or spicy chicken… BTW, loved your panda too, sooo cute… glad you had a great Vday…

  4. Shilpa..lovely gravy with coconut milk! New dish (boiling part similar to Olan -my mil type curry,but coconut oil is poured over it towards the end along with a handful curryleaves) wow..I shall some time try for a nap post lunch, that now seems history to me 😀

  5. Wow! similarity btw Valval and Avail. I was just wondering that how people moving from one region to another – become accustomed to the culture of another region. e.g. given by “A” konkanis in Kerala or Tamilian in Kerala etc. etc…Shilpa it would be interesting if you could do some research on such recipes of different communities.
    One of the popular recipes is Sambar – Every one have their own version of Sambar – Sweet, spicy or sour

  6. Hi
    Interesting recipe — sounds very much like the “olan” we Keralites make, except that we add coconut oil n curry leaves at the end, no “tadka” of cumin seeds n red chillies. Amazing how so many regional cuisines can still have similarities. Actually – one small correction, Avial in Kerala is not made with coconut milk, its made by grinding fresh grated coconut with green chillies and cumin seeds. Yoghurt is added usually, however some areas also add tamarind instead of yoghurt. Hope that helps. Must try the valval out though-maybe I can try it with Aappams….

  7. Shilpa Bhandarkar

    Hi Shilpa,

    The valval recipe that u have posted is exactly the way it is prepared in South Kanara.
    My in-laws r from Mangalore. My Ma-in-law uses yellow pumpkin,valasaang(alsando),carrot etc.
    She also adds bibo…..cashewnuts…..
    She uses thick coconut milk(as u have mentioned)…and add’s slit green chillies to it while cooking it with the vege’s. After seasoning it with salt and letting it cook well, she seasons the valval with mustard,cumin & curry leaves….
    No hing, coconut oil etc….
    I guess Kochi Konkanis use different kind of seasoning.

    Like u said, very simple and mild…but yummy recipe.

    Shilpa. 🙂

  8. Shilpa Bhandarkar

    Hey Shilpa…

    I forgot one more vege that my ma-in-law adds to valval….and that is kanang(yam).

    I first tasted valval in Karwar, my mom’s place,during Ganpati…..

    I was totally bowled over by this gorgeous dish…and am in love with it ever since then.
    Even today when my MIL prepares it, I simple keep gobbling up valval…and forget the rest of my lunch…. 🙂


  9. Hi Shilpa,
    I have been a great fan of ur recipes, a regular visitor to ur site. I loved u for posting the masala puri recipe which is my favorite. I loved it, so did my husband.

    The valval what my mom makes has only ash gourd, pumpkin, n bibbo in it. I also make it that way. The method is the same like u mentioned in ur recipe, but we add hing to it and add a few drops of coconut oil to it. I am from north Kerala but brought up in Mangalore, so this is the recipe we follow.

    Hope this helps…

  10. Hi Shilpa, I was able to view the pics of the recipes sometime back..but now, I can’t view them..whys that? I have a firewall and I don’t want to take it off for safety issues. Is there any thing else I can do?

    Shilpa: Can you please give me details of your firewall so that I can test it here?

  11. Sorry, Shilpa..forgot to mention the cocnut milk :). The veggies are cooked in the second/third coconut milk. The thick cocnut milk is added last and the stove is switched off.. yes in kochi there is no phanna.. just adding hing and coconut oil.

    There is something similar called white humman, where there is phanna and the veggies are different, use like drumsticks, cashews, potatoes, string beans etc.


  12. Shilpa,

    This is in continuation to the comment 16 above. I use CA personal firewall (version with “high” safezone and restricted zone protection level. Do u require any other addl details?

    Shilpa: Sangeetha, thanks. Let me try out here.

  13. Hi Shilpa,
    My amma is from Alleppey in Kerala (near Cochin) and my bappama is from Bantwal in SK. In my house, what A mentions is valval, ie vegetables cooked in coconut milk with chillies, hing, no phanna. When there is phanna like you mentioned and if bibbo is added, it was called yogi-ratna. Valval was Amma’s curry and yogi ratna was what Bappama made. Must have vegetables in both were kuvale, yellow dudhe and potatoes without which neither would be made.

    I have been reading your blog for a while, but this is the first time, I am commenting. Nice blog and great recipes

  14. Hi Shilpa,
    I am a GSB residing at kochi. Have gone thru the recipe. The ingredients which we use for valval are different from the one u mentioned. we use pumpkin,ash gourd(koovale)
    mande(arbi) and potato(optional). This is first cooked in the third milk and later on second milk is added. Finally thick milk along with Hing and curry leaves are added. No phanna. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I agree with Comment 20 of Jothi Mallia Valval is made in coconut milk and does not require cumin phanna. After cooling coconut oil and hing is added to it due to which the aroma lingering in the air makes one too hungry. Its different from what is made in Mangalore and also more yummy.

  16. I finally found the book of Jaya V Shenoy which is considered as a recipe bible in Konkani homes. What is mentioned as Valval here is called Yogiratna in her book. The ingredients and the method are almost the same as mentioned by Shilpa. Just writing them here for all the confused readers who do not think twice before they type their comments and jump to conclusions.

    7-8 types of veggies (alsando, beans, ghosale, kanang, sugarcane, suran, tender cashews etc, coconut milk extracted from freshly grated coconut, green chiiles, ghee, mustard, cumin, curry leaves and salt.

    I have prepared and eaten valval several times. Since there was a lot of confusion shown my readers, i thought of posting my comment.
    There is always a difference in cooking right from Konkani’s in Goa, Karwar, Mangalore and Kerala.

  17. Hiya…

    what is the script of “amgele kaaNa jevaN” book ? Is it Kanada or devnagiri ?

    Is it available outside India ? Where exactly is this book available ?

    Am not a Kanada but need this book to cater to family preferences and demands…

    Please help…


  18. For Aarti Shenoy

    “This book is out of circulation and publishers have stopped publishing this book”, these are the words of a book store Manager from Mangalore. You can check with someone from the older generation, if they have a copy. It is called Oota Upahara in Kannada and used to be avble in English and Kannada.

  19. Hi Aarti,

    Jaya V Shenoy’s book is also available in English. I have a copy with me. It’s available in major book stores in Karnataka. I’m not sure if it’s available outside India.

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