Carrot Poriyal (Carrot Fry)
Carrot Poriyal is a simple South Indian side dish made with carrots, spices and curry leaves. Carrot is a universal veggie used in most cuisines and in South India too it is used to make stir fry, curry, sambar and even chutney. Poriyal is a Tamil term for a sautéed or stir fried dish. So this Carrot Poriyal is a Tamil Nadu style Carrot Stir Fry that can be made with & without coconut.
I make vegetable stir fry often for the kids’ school box to go with lemon rice, coconut rice, pudina rice or any flavoured rice dishes. My kids’ do not prefer gravy sides for the lunch box so this carrot poriyal comes to my rescue very often.
This also goes well as a side with Chapati, Dal Fry, Rasam or Sambar & rice. I would say just serve it as a side in any meal. It tastes delicious, is healthy and super easy to make.
In Indian cuisine these stir fry veggies are made in most regions and they are spiced and flavoured differently. Most commonly fresh grated coconut is used in Tamil Nadu poriyal.
However if you do not have it, you may substitute with other spice powders which I have mentioned in the substitutions section below.
My kids love variations so I often make this carrot poriyal with different ingredients which I have also shared below.
Substitute fresh coconut with frozen dried coconut, idli podi, peanut podi or sesame podi. If you have none, then you may simply dry roast the following ingredients, cool them and powder. Use that to spice your carrot poriyal.
On a medium flame dry roast 2 red chilies, 1 tbsp chana dal and 1 tablespoon urad dal until golden. Then add 1 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon dried coconut and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Roast for 1 minute.
Cool all of these and make a fine powder with 1 clove of garlic. Use 1 tablespoon or as needed to spice your carrot poriyal just before you turn off the stove.
Here are some variations you may want to try.
Add ¾ cup of green peas. A mix of fine chopped veggies like beetroot, beans and peas also go well to make this dish.
Sometimes I soak about ¼ cup of moong dal (skinned & split yellow beans) for 2 hours in warm water. Drain the water and add it to the pan along with carrots. Cover and cook until tender. If required sprinkle water to provide moisture so the lentils cook well. Moong dal should be fully cooked yet not become mushy.
For a change I also use 100 grams of fine chopped spinach or palak in this recipe.
I have chopped the carrots to make this poriyal. However you may also grate it using a thick grater. Avoid using a thin grater as the whole dish becomes mushy. You can also use a food processor.
You may completely skip the lentils in the tempering as aged people and young kids may not like the crunchy dal.
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How to make Carrot Poriyal (Stepwise Photos)
1. Rinse 250 grams carrots well under running water. Peel them and chop them to bite sized pieces. You can also use a onion or vegetable chopper to dice the carrots.
2. Pour 1½ tablespoon oil to a pan and heat it. Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon mustard seeds to the hot oil. Followed by 1 tablespoon chana dal, ½ to ¾ tablespoon urad dal and 1 dried red chili (broken). Fry them on a medium heat.
3. When they turn golden, add 1 sprig curry leaves, 1 teaspoon fine chopped ginger or 1 garlic clove (optional) and 1 to 2 chopped green chilies. Leave out green chilies and ginger for kids.
4. Soon the curry leaves will turn crisp then add a pinch of hing (optional), chopped carrots, ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon turmeric. Adding salt at this stage is important as it lets the carrot sweat and cook in their own moisture.
5. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
6. Cover and cook on a low heat until carrots become tender. In between keep stirring so they don’t burn. If the carrots are too dry then you may sprinkle some water. Continue to cook covered. If using grated carrots, do not cover and cook. Instead stir fry on a low to medium heat as required until tender.
7. When the carrots are fork tender and not mushy add ¼ cup grated coconut and mix well. If you do not have coconut, use the spice powder I mentioned in the intro or sprinkle idli podi or peanut podi. Taste test and add more salt if needed.
8. Stir fry for a minute and turn off. If using frozen coconut, stir fry until it becomes hot.
Serve Carrot Poriyal with rice, chapati or Rasam-rice or Sambar-rice.
Carrot Poriyal (Carrot Fry)
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 250 grams carrot (chopped or grated)
- 1½ tablespoon oil
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon mustard seeds (adjust to taste)
- ½ to ¾ tablespoon urad dal
- 1 tablespoon chana dal (optional)
- 1 dried red chili (broken to 2 pieces)
- ⅛ teaspoon asafoetida (hing, optional)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 to 2 green chilies (chopped, Indian/ Thai or Serrano peppers)
- 1 teaspoon fine chopped ginger or 1 clove garlic crushed (optional)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ¼ cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen or 1 to 1½ tbsp idli podi or peanut podi)
- Wash carrots well in lot of water or under running water. Peel them and cut off both the ends.
- Chop to ¼ inch pieces or grate them with a thick grater. Avoid using a thin grater as it makes the poriyal mushy.
How to make Carrot Poriyal
- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard, urad dal, chana dal and red chili.
- Saute until the dal turns golden. Then add green chili, ginger and curry leaves. Saute for a while until the curry leaves turn crisp.
- Add hing, chopped carrots, turmeric and salt. Saute for 2 mins.
- Cook covered for 2 to 3 mins on a low flame. This helps to release the moisture and cook the carrots. (If using grated carrots avoid covering the pan and just stir fry on a low to medium heat until tender.)
- If the carrots are too dry and not tender, sprinkle little water. Cover and cook until soft and tender but not mushy. Taste test and add more salt if needed.
- Add fresh grated coconut. If the heat from green chili is not sufficient you can also add little chilli powder or sambar powder at this stage.
- Mix well and saute for a minute. Switch off and serve carrot poriyal with rice or roti as a side.
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
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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Sasthi, I made this and the bean poriyal yesterday. I used the dal soak for 15 minutes. Drained and fried as per recipe still gave a lovely nutty contribution. Great recipes.
SWASTHI that is 🙂 apologies.
No Problem Sandy,
Glad to know it turned out good. Thank you!
Excellent. Perfectly goes well with rasam..
Thank you Swasthi.
Glad you liked it
Swasthi, I cooked the dish again last night. I did check yesterday so you must have replied later and I missed it – but thank you for your advice. Anyway, some advice from my friend in Chennai was to fry the dal in a little oil until golden, then soak for 20 minutes in a little water, then drain and add into the cooking. There was a nutty earthy flavour which was good and while the dal was obvious in the dish, it was softer.
Thought I might share that with you, but will try your method next. Many thanks again.
Yes I am quite late in replying the comments. I like your friend’s suggestion. Glad the dish turned out good. Thanks again
Lovely addition to your lamb korma and jeera rice i cooked last week. I knew the chana dal was going to be a bit challenging on the bit for some. No problem with the urad dal.
Would dry roasting it beforehand maybe present it a little softer in the dish? Or replace with chopped cashew nuts? I love the flavour of the dals but …
Glad to hear that! Yes some cashews will be better. Soaking the lentils doesn’t roast the dals well and the aroma is not same. So I usually temper with the dal and then pour little water. Cook in the pan itself until slightly tender, then add the veggies. I have a teething kid at home. He complains even after cooking them with little water in the tempering. I think skipping is the only option. But cashews will work well too. Thanks for trying the recipes and sharing the outcome.
Tried this veggie recipe for my 8 year daughter and she liked it! Delicious and nutritious accompaniment to a meal, thank you!
You are welcome! Glad your kid liked it. Thank you!
Hope my query is not irrelevant to the blog.
Which is the best way to store vegetables in fridge to keep them fresh for long? Closed in plastic bags or in openly net baskets?
No problem. For freshness plastic bags with holes are best.
I usually keep them in a moist cloth and use up in 3 to 4 days as I prefer not to keep them in plastic bags. I saw my mum using net bags and felt they are just not of much use
Look yummy recipe. Thanks for sharing.