A quick and easy stir-fry…
But make it South Indian. Can it get better than that? Welcome to the wonderful world of Poriyal recipes!
Poriyal is a nostalgic food for me. It means Baba (Dad) throwing veggies in a pan with some spices and coconut. The simple and delicious tastes and smells remind me of the comfort of home. No matter which vegetables he used, poriyal recipes never failed to satisfy.
Every culture has a go-to quick-fix recipe that everyone swears by, but South Indian cuisine has many! Poriyal recipes are quick and easy to make and crazy delicious!
What Is Poriyal?
Poriyal is a Tamil word that is used for stir-fried or sautéed vegetables. It is a quick and healthy meal that is used to make a healthy side dish with rasam rice, dal or sambar etc.
You can make poriyal with a variety of vegetables, like okra, carrots, cabbage, green or French beans, and even potatoes. It is an aromatic stir-fry mainly made of vegetables and flavored with fresh coconut, mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal, and chana dal to add a South Indian touch.
Like all other South Indian recipes, this one is also highly versatile and is made differently in different regions and homes. There are many styles of poriyal like Tamil Nadu style, french beans poriyal, carrot poriyal, yellow pumpkin poriyal, green beans and cauliflower poriyal etc.
Poriyal is the ultimate comfort food that reminds us of home wherever we are. Apart from being a very healthy meal, it is an excellent way of introducing vegetables to your kids. Even the pickiest of kids will often eat their poriyal first… Don’t ask me why!
My Choice of Three Easy Poriyal Recipes
When I was thinking of writing about my three favorite poriyal recipes, it got me into a dilemma of its own. I mean, for a vegetable lover like myself, how do you choose only three out of so many poriyal recipes?
Sometimes we do not even plan a poriyal recipe. We just walk into the kitchen and see which vegetables are available, and then we make a poriyal out of them because that is how our mothers and grandmothers did it. Comfort food is supposed to be like that. Something that does not require too much planning or a long list of ingredients to shine
However, I had to stop somewhere, so I chose three basic and easy poriyal recipes to share today. These recipes are written with instructions and step-by-step pictures to make it easy for beginners to follow.
So let’s raid our pantries and see which seasonal vegetables we can find to make a poriyal.
Simple Green Beans Poriyal Recipe
The most basic poriyal has to be a green beans poriyal or a French bean poriyal. It is healthy, crunchy, and full of flavors. This poriyal is made with a quick stir-fry that preserves the crunchy texture, vibrant colors, and healthy flavors of the green beans.
You can make it with Chinese long beans, French beans, or any beans of your choice. Some people even use green beans, green gram, or green peas to make their poriyal. Your poriyal, your choice. As long as it tastes good, we don’t see a problem.
So without discussing it further – let us dive right into the basic ingredients for this recipe.
9-10 oz fresh and tender green beans, Chinese long beans or French beans
4-5 tbsp fresh grated coconut or desiccated coconut
1-2 tbsp of oil
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp chana dal
A pinch of mustard seeds
½ tsp chili powder ( you can replace with sambar powder)
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing) – leave out for gluten free recipes
2 dry red chilies broken in half
A sprig of curry leaves
A pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
Cooking instructions for Green Bean Poriyal
This is almost like a regular vegetable stir-fry but involves a sort of reverse tempering technique with mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing, etc.
- Start the recipe by cutting off the edges of the beans and rinsing and draining them. Then chop them to almost 1 cm long pieces, or even shorter than that if you like.
- Heat oil in a wok, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Add urad dal and chana dal into the mixture and add dry red chili broken into two pieces. You can add cumin seeds too.
- Once the dals are nice and golden brown, add asafoetida and curry leaves. Leave the asafoetida out if you want it to be gluten-free.
- When the leaves are crisp, add beans with turmeric and salt and sauté at medium-high heat.
- Then cook them covered for 2-3 minutes on low flame to release the moisture.
- Cook until the beans are halfway between al dente and tender.
- Now add coconut with chili powder, green chilies, and optional sambar powder and sauté on a medium flame until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Your poriyal is ready!
Serving Green Beans Poriyal
Pour your green beans poriyal into a serving bowl and serve it hot as a healthy side dish with rasam rice or chapati / roti.
Quick Carrot Poriyal Recipe
Our next poriyal is dedicated to the unproblematic, sweet nature of carrots. Yes, we are talking about a carrot poriyal recipe, the ultimate South Indian comfort side dish to go with literally any main course.
Carrots are the most unproblematic, universal, and widely accepted vegetables I know of. They are popular with both kids and adults and can be found in grocery stores year round. This sweet orange crunchy root can be used to make desserts, salads, curries, stews, and even rice dishes. No surprise, this carrot poriyal recipe makes a quick, easy, and delicious South Indian curry dish!
Let us have a look at the ingredients to see what we need for this poriyal.
Ingredients for Carrot Poriyal Recipe
8 oz carrots (chopped or thickly grated)
2 tbsp oil or ghee
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp chana dal
2 dried red chilies broken into halves
½ tsp urad dal
A pinch of asafoetida (skip for gluten-free)
A sprig of curry leaves
1-2 chopped green chilies
1 tsp chopped garlic or ginger
A pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
4 tbsp of fresh grated coconut.
Cooking Instructions for Carrot Poriyal Recipe
Follow this step by step recipe to make carrot poriyal.
- Once you have gotten hold of all the ingredients from your kitchen for this recipe. Start by washing and peeling the carrots. Chop off their ends and then chop them into 1 cm / 1/2 inch pieces or grate them thickly.
- Do not use thinly grated carrots because you are making poriyal and not gajar ka halwa, so you don’t want it to get mushy.
- For the reverse tempering, heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Then add urad dal, chana dal and dried red chilies to the oil and wait until the dals turn a nice golden brown color.
- Now add garlic/ginger, green chilies and curry leaves and sauté them until the leaves turn crisp.
- Now add asafoetida and the carrots. Skip the asafoetida if you want the recipe to be gluten free.
- Sprinkle them with turmeric and salt and sauté for a minute or two.
- Then cover and cook for a few minutes on low flame to release moisture and make the carrots tender.
- Skip the last part if you are using grated carrots and just stir-fry them.
- When the carrots are soft, add freshly grated coconut.
- Give it all a good mix and sauté for a few minutes.
- Your carrot poriyal is ready.
Serving Carrot Poriyal
Pour your carrot poriyal into a serving bowl and serve it with sambar rice, basmati rice, or simple chapati or roti. Carrot Poriyal also goes well with other poriyals like green beans poriyal and bitter gourd poriyal, as well as, chutneys like coconut chutney and tomato chutney. It can be used as a side dish with almost any dish. Enjoy your meal and share it with love.
Best Bitter Gourd Poriyal Recipe
This next recipe is so good! If you are someone who scrunches their nose up when bitter gourd is mentioned – you need to stop right there and try this bitter gourd poriyal recipe. This recipe even coverts children to true believers.
I bet this recipe will change your perception of bitter gourd forever. Bitter gourd, commonly known as “karela” in Hindi,”kakarakaya” in Telugu, and “pavakkai” in Tamil, is a beautiful green melon that has a bitter bite to it. Improperly cooked, it will make you want to wash out your mouth and wish you never tried it. But, when you cook this beautifully bitter melon with the right spices and cooking techniques, it will become your favorite dish. Just ask my wife, and she’ll attest to this.
Bitter gourd poriyal is another one of my favorite poriyal recipes, and it is a quick cook and a nice dry curry and savory recipe. It is the perfect combination of sweet, bitter, sour, hot, fatty, and salty. It leaves no part of your tongue unstimulated.
So, let us see what you will need for this bitter gourd poriyal.
Ingredients for Bitter Gourd Poriyal
- 8 – 10 oz karela/pavakkai/bitter gourd
- 1-2 tbsp oil or ghee
- Salt as needed
- 2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2-3 tbsp jaggery
- 4 tbsp of dried or desiccated coconut
- 4-5 tbsp thin tamarind water without seeds or 2 tbsp yogurt
- A sprig of curry leaves
- A pinch of asafoetida (skip for gluten free)
- ½ tsp of cumin seeds
- A pinch of turmeric
- 1-2 tsp red chili powder
Cooking Instructions for Bitter Gourd Poriyal
This Bitter Gourd Poriyal recipe is a garlic infused dry fry with the addition of tamarind, chili, and jaggery to give your South Indian side dish a perfect hint of bitter, savory, hot, sour, and sweet.
- Start by making tamarind water. Soak a lump of tamarind in water, deseed it and squeeze the tamarind juice out of it with your hands. Alternatively, you can dissolve a 1 tsp of tamarind extract in 4 tbsp of hot water.
- Wash the bitter gourd, and, if you like the look, you can trim off its ridges. Cut it crosswise in the middle and then core out each side. The white innards and seeds have the most bitter taste in them and are best removed. Then cut each half into crosswise thin slices.
- Heat oil in a wok and add cumin seeds to splutter.
- Then add garlic and wait until it is golden brown.
- Now add the curry leaves, asafoetida (skip for gluten-free) and turmeric and sauté them.
- Then add your bitter gourd slices and stir-fry on medium high flame for about three minutes.
- Next, add a pinch of salt and add tamarind water. Alternatively, you can mix in yogurt here.
- Give it all a good mix and cook on medium flame until it is well-cooked. You want most of the moisture to have cooked away, leaving a fairly dry mix.
- Now, add red chili powder, coconut, and jaggery and stir-fry until the jaggery is completely dissolved.
- Continue to Stir-Fry it until the moisture evaporates and the bitter gourd begins to crisp up.
- Your karela poriyal is ready.
Be like bitter gourd poriyal. Forget your bitterness and combine with others. You will leave everyone bedazzled. This bitter gourd poriyal will do the same to you. You will forget all its bitterness, and embrace this tangy, spicy, and sweet vegetable stir-fry to eat with chapati/roti, sambar rice, jeera rice, or rasam.
Hi! I’m Ravi Kumar.
I am a husband, father of 4, board certified neurosurgeon, and a lover of South Indian Food!
I created PaattisKitchen.com to memorialize the most delicious foods on earth. South Indian food is easy to make and hard to mess up. So pull up your sleeves, and come with me as we explore the vibrant spices, colors, aromas, and flavors of South Indian culinary tradition.