Julie Sahni's Curried Avocado with Garlic and Green Chiles

October 21, 2014
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

The legendary author Julie Sahni writes, "The Moslems in Malabar are called moplas, meaning 'sons-in-law' or 'the honored ones.' This is because they are the descendants of the Arab settlers who came to India four hundred years ago, married the local girls, and stayed. The moplas love avocado and cook it into this heavenly spice-laden salad. It is generally enjoyed in its own right or with their famous rice flour bread. Avcadoo masial should be served with a southern meal as a side dish." Recipe adapted slightly from Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking (William Morrow & Company, 1985). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • Curried Avocado
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • Juice of 1 lime or 1 small lemon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 curry leaves (fresh or dry, optional)
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, light sesame oil, or light vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Curry Powder Master Recipe (see below)
  • 2 to 4 fresh hot green chilies, minced
  • Curry Powder Master Recipe
  • 1/2 cup coriander seeds
  • 15 dry red chili pods (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 15 to 20 curry leaves (dry or fresh, optional)
  • 3 tablespoons turmeric powder
  1. Curried Avocado
  2. Cut the avocado in half. Remove the seed and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. Chop the pulp roughly. Blend in the lime juice, cilantro, curry leaves, and salt (we did this with the same knife, on the same board). Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the mustard seeds. Keep a pot lid handy, as the seeds may spatter and fly all over. When the spattering stops, add the garlic and let sizzle for 5 seconds. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until limp (about 3 minutes). Add the curry powder and chiles, mix, and continue cooking for 1 more minute. Add the avocado mixture and turn off the heat. Stir to mix all the ingredients. Serve at room temperature.
  1. Curry Powder Master Recipe
  2. Mix coriander, chili pods, cumin, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and peppercorns in the container of an electric blender or spice mill and grind the spices to a fine powder in several batches. Pour into a bowl and combine well.
  3. If you are using fresh curry leaves, dry them in an ungreased frying pan over low heat until they have curled and gone stiff (about 5 to 10 minutes) -- this will make them easier to grind to a powder. Grind them in the blender and then add them to the spice powder in the bowl.
  4. Stir in the turmeric.
  5. Transfer the curry powder to an airtight jar, cover tightly, and store in a cool place for up to three months.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Megan Town
    Megan Town
  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
  • ana cristina mederos
    ana cristina mederos
  • Chris Glenn
    Chris Glenn
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

9 Reviews

ana C. August 10, 2018
Excellent recipe!
Chris G. April 21, 2017
To: comisccook & all:
You should cook for your own tastes and abilities to handle the heat and affects/effects of capsaicin! One thing I have learned over the years is that there are no guarantees on the heat level of any chili/chile pepper! The amount of capsaicin in a specific type of pepper depends on the type & also on the conditions it was grown under! Very hot weather and lack of water make for hotter peppers! Unless you grow your own peppers you will never know this about "each" pepper you use unless you taste a small piece of each one! Also, if you like really hot food, stuff made with Ghost peppers or Habaneros & etc. know "yea" that sooner or later the cumulative effect of abusing your digestive tract will catch up with you! (I don't claim to be an expert on this other than my own experiences (at age 70), and having worked in Southern California with some very close Hispanic friends who had similar sad tales to tell! "You eat lots of fiery hot stuff for a long time, it will get you eventually! I have no documentation for this other than shared information from a very good friends/co-workers & their comments about their family and friends that were no longer able to eat the hot foods they loved! (Black Pepper is the worst for me, but the capsaicin of chili peppers is up there too! I still eat chilies but now I lean more towards the milder versions like hatch and Anaheim Peppers for the flavor they impart.) :-)
cosmiccook August 10, 2016
Can you be more specific on what type of chili pods please? I have dried Thai, Devil eye (very hot) Arbol--size and heat differ --15 of anything of these would be off the charts for us.
peanut B. March 23, 2016
this stuff is the bees knees
Heather November 8, 2014
This is delicious over rice and I imagine it would be with naan as well (or by itself). I love the freshness of the avocado, lime and cilantro complemented by the cooked onion component. SO much more of a taste festival than just squeezing lemon on an avocado and smearing it on toast. Thank you.
Megan T. October 23, 2014
Do you use canned chiles or do you get fresh peppers? If the case of fresh, what do you recommend?
Kristen M. October 23, 2014
Thanks for asking -- I just clarified in the recipe. We used serranos, which were great, but jalapeños would work too, if they're what you can find.
rbnyc October 24, 2014
Not too hot with 4 serranos?
JohnL November 10, 2014
I made it with 2 serranos and heat-wise it was about right. 4 serranos of the size I bought and I would have had almost as much pepper as avocado in the dish -- I would not make this again.