Green beans, dal, grated coconut and the minimum amount of oil makes this common Tamil dish, fansi poriyal, simple, light and healthy.

Poriyal is a generic term used to refer to dry vegetable curries, and is an indispensable part of a Tamil thali.  Poriyal can be served as a light meal, with rice or bread, it could be a side dish, or a course on its own.

The flavouring of the oil with spices, tempering, is a very common South Indian technique. This flavoured oil is either used to cook the dish, or added after it is cooked, as in tarka dal.

You could substitute different vegetables; I have found peas work well and I have found carrots do not. I recommend not mixing vegetables, as this dish features the simple taste of the one vegetable. We have other recipes for mixed vegetables and dishes for other vegetables.

Do not over-cook this. You want the beans to still have a crisp texture. Also, do not overdo the chilli. It is meant to have some bite, but go too far and you will lose the balance of flavour.

the recipe

prep 10 minutes
cook 10 minutes
soak 10 minutes
total 20 minutes
servings 4
calories 105 kcal


for tempering

to serve

  • 2 tbsp coconut grated


  1. Place the urad dal for tempering in some warm water and allow to soak for 10 minutes to soften. Drain and set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a heavy pan. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, drained urad dal, chilli, asafoetida powder and curry leaves.
  3. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the beans, and stir together for three minutes.

  4. Add two tablespoons of water and salt. Simmer gently with lid on pan for five minutes or until the beans have cooked, but still retain some crunch.

  5. Remove from heat, add coconut, stir gently, and serve.

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