Beans poriyal is a traditional South Indian dish made with green beans/ French beans, spices, curry leaves and coconut. “Poriyal” is a Tamil word for “stir fried” or “sautéed dish” usually made of vegetables or leafy greens. It can be made with many different kinds of vegetables like carrots, cabbage, okra, bitter gourd and a lot more. This beans poriyal is delicious, healthy and makes for a great side in your everyday meal.
About beans poriyal
The most common preparation of a poriyal begins with tempering mustard seeds, red chilli, lentils and curry leaves in oil, followed by stir frying the vegetables until tender. Lastly the dish is spiced and finished with fresh grated coconut.
Though fresh grated coconut is what makes the Traditional Tamil Nadu poriyal so special, it can also be made without it. Simply use your favorite spice powder like idli podi, peanut podi or spiced coconut powder. It will still taste good. I have the details in the recipe card notes.
Here I have used green beans also known as French beans but you can also use tender Chinese long beans. A lot of times I make this beans poriyal with the Chinese long beans too. You can also add some carrots along with beans for a more colorful dish.
Choose young and tender beans as they cook faster and taste better. I have also shared the instructions to make this in the instant pot in the recipe card below.
How to make beans poriyal (stepwise photos)
1. Nip off both the ends of the beans and remove the fibrous strings if any. For tender & young beans there will be no strings on the sides. For this recipe I have used about 250 grams.
2. I usually spray some vinegar and allow them to rest for 10 mins. Then soak for another 10 mins and then wash off a few times. Drain water completely.
3. Hold a handful of beans together and begin to chop them to the desired size. If beans are not tender, then it is good to chop them to small sizes. This helps them cook faster. If using young french beans then you can chop them to almost half inch long.
4. Heat 1 to 1½ tablespoon oil in a pan or kadai. Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 broken red chili, 1 teaspoon urad dal and 1 teaspoon chana dal. Fry them until golden. If you do not have the lentils you may skip them but they impart a nutty aroma.
5. Then add 1 pinch hing and 1 sprig curry leaves. Saute for a while until the leaves turn crisp.
6. Add chopped beans, ⅛ teaspoon turmeric and ⅓ teaspoon salt. Stir fry for about 2 mins.
7. Cover and cook for 2 mins on a low flame. After 2 to 3 mins, open the lid to check if it has released any moisture.
8. If the beans look too dry, sprinkle some water, a few tablespoons would be good enough. If beans are fresh and tender they tend to get cooked with their own moisture, you may not need to add any water.
9. When the French beans are cooked completely to tender, then add ½ teaspoon chili powder or ¾ tsp sambar powder. You can also use 1 to 2 tbsp peanut podi, flax seed podi or idli podi.
10. Add fresh grated coconut.
11. Stir well and saute for a minute. Switch off the stove.
Serve beans poriyal with rice, rasam and sambar.
Green Beans: Use tender, fresher and young green beans that are crisp, feel firm and easily snap. Mature beans that are harvested later won’t cook faster in the pan. This is a stir fried dish so young veggies go well as we don’t cook them with water in the recipe.
Coconut: Though traditionally fresh grated coconut is used. It can easily be replaced with frozen or unsweetened desiccated coconut or with copra. Though desiccated coconut won’t taste the same it is just okay to use. A better substitute is to use idli podi or chutney podi.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
Ingredients for beans poriyal
- 250 grams beans (preferably fresh and tender)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons coconut (fresh, frozen or desiccated unsweetened)
- ½ teaspoon chilli powder or ¾ tsp sambar powder or 1 green chilli
- 1 to 1½ tablespoon oil
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon urad dal (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chana dal (optional)
- ⅛ teaspoon hing (asafoetida) (optional)
- 1 red chilli broken
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- Cut off both the edges of beans. Rinse them well in lot of water or under running water. Drain them.
- Chop to ¼ inch pieces.
How to make beans poriyal
- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard, urad dal, chana dal and red chili.
- When the dal turn golden, add hing and curry leaves.
- Fry till the curry leaves turn crisp.
- Add chopped beans,turmeric along with salt and saute for 2 mins.
- Cook covered for 2 to 3 mins on a low flame. This helps to release the moisture.
- If needed sprinkle 1 to 2 tbsps water. Cover and cook until soft and tender.
- Add sambar powder or chili powder and coconut.
- Mix well and saute for a minute.
- Switch off and serve beans poriyal with rice.
Instant pot beans poriyal
- It is important to chop the beans to at least ½ inch pieces. If you chop them too small, they will become mushy.
- Press saute button on your instant pot. Pour oil to the steel insert.
- When the oil turns hot, add mustard, red chili, urad dal and chana dal. Saute for a minute or so until the dal turns golden.
- Then stir in curry leaves and hing. Add chopped beans, turmeric and salt.
- Press cancel and pour 2 tablespoons water. Mix and secure the Instant pot with the lid. Press pressure cook and set the timer to "zero" minutes.
- Once done, quick release the instant pot carefully. Open the lid and add red chilli powder or sambar powder. Mix well and saute just for a minute or so until the sambar powder smells good. If you see any moisture at the bottom, simply evaporate it. Add coconut and mix well.
- Stir beans poriyal and serve it.
- If you do not have coconut, use this peanut podi
- Instant pot version has not been tested with frozen beans. It works well with tender and fresh green beans.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Beans poriyal first published in January 2017. Updated and republished in July 2021.