A special request has come for a few recipes to be added to TAKA, so ammas everywhere can experiment with new veggie dishes mastered by the monks. Today we present poriyal.
Poriyal is a Tamil word indicating a finely chopped vegetable dish which is served dry with a small number of ingredients. All poriyals consist of finely chopped vegetables with fried lentils. Beyond this basic starting point, there are many variations of the several vegetables which can be used to make poriyal. Typically, poriyals will be dressed with shredded coconut and fresh coriander (cilantro/dhaniya). In this recipe, we have used pumpkin. It should be mentioned that the common most poriyals are of fresh beans or potatoes. Aside from these two, in general it’s easier to use veggies which are dry to begin with such as sweet potatoes, yams, kumara, arbi (taro), etc. Wet vegetables are generally not used but can be if all the water is cooked out. This is what we have done here with pumpkin – a watery vegetable. This photo was a poriyal from our garden pumpkins. Below is how to make it.
The toor dal and green bean poriyal shown here gives a hint at the variety of color and texture you can achieve.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
500g (1 lb) pumpkin, peeled and finely chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 green chilies, minced
2 tbs fresh grated coconut
2 tsp ghee (or oil of choice)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal (split black gram)
1 tsp chana dal (split Bengal gram)
1 red chili, slit lengthwise
1/2 tsp asafoetida (hing) powder
1 small handful curry leaves
Cut off both ends of pumpkin. Cut in half widthwise and remove all the seeds and fibers with a large spoon and discard*. Chop finely the pumpkin, transfer to a colander and wash well. Steam pumpkin for about 10 minutes. When cooked, drain pumpkin in a colander and allow it to drain all the water fully and cool down.
As the pumpkin cools, heat the ghee in a heavy sauce pan. As the ghee heats up, add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, split red chili, asafoetida powder, and curry leaves.
When the mustard begins to splutter, the curry leaves crackle, and the dals brown, and the green chili and cooked pumpkin, and coconut. Stir throughly yet delicately. Cooked without stirring for about 1 minute and transfer into your serving ware. Eat it hot with rice or chapati and enjoy!
*If desired, the seeds can be saved, picked over, washed, dried, spiced to your liking, and baked for a tasty treat.