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Vegetable Poriyal

Vegetable Poriyal 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Nov 5, 2014

Poriyal is the South Indian equivalent of a quick, dry stir-fry; a side dish intended to complement rice dishes. It's easy to make and an ideal way to cook vegetables from potatoes to broccoli to daikon.

For this recipe, blanching the vegetables with turmeric will keep them crisp and will help amp up their color. See the Variation, below, for a potato option.

Make Ahead: The poriyal can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Where to Buy: The urad dal, chana dal, hing, curry leaves, Thai chili peppers and fresh/frozen coconut needed for this recipe are available at Indian and South Asian markets.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes 2 1/2 cups

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed and diced
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (may substitute canola or vegetable oil)
  • 2 teaspoons urad dal (black matpe beans; see headnote)
  • 2 teaspoons chana dal (split chickpeas; see headnote)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed (see headnote)
  • 1 cup chopped red onion or shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing (asafetida; see headnote)
  • 20 fresh/frozen curry leaves (see headnote)
  • 1 tablespoon peeled fresh ginger root, finely chopped
  • 5 green small, whole Thai chili peppers (may substitute serrano chile peppers)
  • 1 cup grated fresh/frozen coconut (do not use dried or sweetened coconut)

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Fill a large bowl with water and ice.

Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil in a deep pot over high heat. Add a tablespoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the ground turmeric and the carrots; once the water returns to a boil, add the green beans. Cook for 7 or 8 minutes, until just crisp-tender.

Drain through a fine-mesh strainer; leave the vegetables in the strainer and immediately place it in the bowl of ice water.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is liquefied, add the urad dal and chana dal; cook, stirring a few times, until they begin to brown. Stir in the mustard seed and the red onion or shallots; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned.

Stir in the hing, curry leaves, ginger and Thai chili peppers, then the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric, the remaining teaspoon of salt and the coconut; toss to make sure the coconut is evenly distributed.

Drain the cooked vegetable mixture (in the strainer) and add it to the skillet. Cook, stirring to incorporate and heat through, for 3 or 4 minutes. Serve right away.

VARIATION: To make this recipe with potatoes, boil and skin potatoes before adding, omit the coconut and consider using cilantro, which can be substituted for the curry leaves. For broccoli, omit the onion and add toasted cashews to the mix.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Vikram Sunderam, executive chef at Rasika in the District.

Tested by Lavanya Ramanathan.

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Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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