Piquant Poriyal

It is really challenging to prepare piquant poriyal using mildly sweet & earthy flavored deep red beetroots. I tried various preparations with different ingredients to satisfy my palate; eventually I found that adding garlic, coconut & pepper not only helps to spice up this poriyal but also to add a burst of flavor. I have also added nicely fluffed up lentils along with steamed beet chunks for the soft and crunchy texture.

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I like to take beetroot poriyal as a mid-morning salad and it tastes best with rice and sambar/ rasam usually taken by south Indians for lunch.

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Health Benefits :

Although beetroot has innumerable health benefits, it is particularly beneficial to pregnant women for its rich sources of iron & folate. I have compared below the nutrients of beetroot with dates being one of the rich sources of iron & broccoli as a good source of folate:

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Now the recipe for beetroot poriyal:

Total time taken: 30 min.

Yields: 1½ cups (300 ml)

bpr8Ingredients:

  1. Beetroot – 2 Nos.
  2. Greengram (paasi paruppu) – 1/8 cup
  3. Salt – ½ tsp

 For tempering:

  1. Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
  3. Garlic pods – 15 Nos.

    For grinding:

  1. Coconut pieces – 5 Nos. (each 1″)
  2. Peppercorns – ½ tsp

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Mise en place:

  • Cook lentils uncovered until soft and firm but not mushy for about 10 min.
  • Crush garlic pods using pestle and keep aside.
  • Grind coconut & pepper coarsely without adding water.

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  • Wash beetroots, peel their skins and dice them as shown below.

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Cooking Method:

  • Heat a pressure cooker with coconut oil in medium flame.
  • Add mustard seeds into the cooker.
  • When they begin to crackle, add crushed garlic and saute for few seconds.
  • Add diced beetroot, salt & water (1 tbsp) and then close the pressure cooker.
  • Now reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 min.
  • Add about one-half of cooked lentils & coconut-pepper mixture immediately after the pressure is released.
  • Mix together and close the cooker for 2-3 minutes to prevent the heat escape. (No need to turn on the heat.)
  • Garnish with remaining lentils & grated coconut before serving.

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Tips & Tweaks:

  • You can pressure cook lentils along with beetroot as shown below, but I cooked them separately to prevent them turn reddish.
  • Since crushed garlic is more flavorful I did not use finely chopped garlic in here.
  • You may use red chillies along with garlic and garnish with coconut (without pepper) as below:

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  • I prefer to use coconut oil & coconut meat as the beetroot & coconut pair always works wonder.
  • You can adapt the same recipe with no lentils for making avarakkai (broad beans), vaazhakai (raw banana), or chenai kizhangu (elephant’s foot yam) poriyal.

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62 Comments Add yours

  1. John says:

    Thank you for your informative article, I have been doing research on this subject, and for three days I keep entering sites that are supposed to have what I am searching for, only to be discouraged with the lack of what I needed. Thank you again.

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