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 Tamilnadu 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.
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 Tamilnadu poriyal.
However if you do not have it you may substitute it 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 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 needed sprinkle water to add moisture to the lentils. Moong dal should be fully cooked and not 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.
How to make carrot poriyal
1. Rinse carrots well under running water and chop them to bite sized pieces. You can also use onion or vegetable chopper to dice the carrots.
2. Pour oil to a pan and heat it. Add mustard seeds to the hot oil. Followed by chana dal, urad dal and red chilies. Fry them on a medium heat.
3. When they turn golden, add curry leaves, garlic or ginger (optional) and green chilies.
4. Soon the curry leaves will turn crisp then add hing, chopped carrots, salt and 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, then do not cover and cook. Stir fry on a low to medium heat as required until tender.
7. When they are fork tender and not mushy add the coconut and mix well. If you do not have coconut, use the spice powder or 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 as a side.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 250 grams carrot (chopped or grated)
- 1 ½ 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)
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 to 2 green chilies (chopped)
- 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.
Follow Swasthi’s Recipes