Green beans, grated coconut and the tiniest 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 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 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.
- 250 g green beans - trimmed and cut into 5cm pieces
- 2 tsp split black lentils - (urad dal)
- 2 tbsp coconut - grated
- Place the urad dal for tempering in some warm water and allow to soak for 10 minutes to soften. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a heavy pan. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, drained urad dal, asafoetida powder and curry leaves.
- When the mustard seeds splutter, add the beans and chilli, then stir together for three minutes.
- Add two tablespoons of water and the salt. Simmer gently with the lid on the pan for five minutes or until the beans have just cooked, but still retain crunch.
- Remove from heat, add coconut, stir gently, and serve.
- Gingelly oil is Indian sesame oil. It is very different from the Asian sesame oil. Substitute with vegetable oil if unobtainable.
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