Thengai Poriyal - This is a South Indian veggie side dish with coconut and lentils. Vegetables like green beans, cabbage, carrots, beetroots and broad-beans are steamed and stir fried; seasoned and tempered with mustard seeds, dry red chilly, and fresh grated coconut.
Thengai Poriyal - Veggies with coconut and lentils
Out of the various South Indian poriyal varieties, this is a mild and simple one. Fresh veggies and lentils, mixed with freshly grated coconut make for an amazing side dish. First, steam or boil the veggies with moong dal (split green gram) and keep them aside. Then, heat a pan, do the tempering, add the cooked veggie and finally sprinkle it with grated coconut and serve.
Click here to see other poriyal varieties and learn how to make the Veggies, the Indian style.
- 4 cups finely chopped beans, cabbage, carrots etc...
- 2 tablespoons split green gram | mung dal
- 1 to 1.5 cups water, more or less according the veggie
- 2 tablespoons tightly packed freshly grated coconut, adjust this according to your preference
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, or normal cooking oil
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 3 to 4 curry leaves, chopped
- 3 to 4 dry red chillies, adjust as per your spice preference
- 1.5 teaspoon split urad dal Split black gram (husked)
- A pinch asafeotida powder
- 1 tablespoon channa dal | split bengal gram (optional)
In a Kadai, bring water to boil and add salt. Then add the veggies and the moong dal. Cover and cook until the veggies are soft and tender. Discard any remaining water. Strain and keep aside. Try to use minimum water to cook vegetables so that you don't have to throw away.
Dry the pan and in the same pan, add coconut oil and keep it on medium flame. Once it becomes hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add curry leaves, dry red chillies, channa dal and urad dal. Keep stirring until the dal turns golden brown.
- Immediately add the cooked beans and mix well. Check for salt and adjust. Finally add the coconut gratings; mix it well and turn off the flame.
- There are several ways to cook the vegetables. You can steam them separately, boil them in water or directly add them in the pan after the tempering process. The first two methods, use the steps given in the recipe. If you are following the last method, add the vegetables; sprinkle some water; cover and cook. Keep stirring them frequently and sprinkle water as and when needed to avoid burning the beans. I use this method only when I am pressed for time.
- When cooked using the method that I have mentioned in the post, a fair argument can be made that the nutrients will be lost while discarding the water. To avoid that, I use water only as much as needed, just enough to immerse the vegetables and then add only if needed. I prefer this or the steaming method more, as it retains the flavor and the texture and shape of the vegetables more than the direct pan method.
- You can also add a teaspoon of kari powder at the end. Please refer here for the recipe as this is not the curry powder available in the market.
- Also onion is optional. In a typical tambrahm style onions are not included. But if you prefer it, sauté the onions until it turns translucent before adding the cooked vegetables, i.e. after step 2. If you add onions, skip asafeotida.