Toor Dal and Green Bean Poriyal

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Toor Dal and Green Bean Poriyal
When the outdoors is rather uninviting, and nothing is perceived as of especial importance, one can't go wrong by focusing energy on good nourishment. Truly it is a sweet luxury to spend an afternoon in the kitchen. Poriyals are dry vegetable curries served with traditional South Indian meals. This preparation, adapted from Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India, was particularly appealing to me because it included not only the vegetable component of the meal, but the gritty goodness of toor dal too. Legumes are an essential element to a healthy vegetarian diet. Yellow split peas or chana dal can be substituted if you please.

On the menu with coconut rice and gluten-free chocolate cocoa brownies with cranberries and chickpea flour for dessert.
Toor Dal and Green Bean Poriyal
Toor Dal and Green Bean PoriyalToor Dal and Green Bean Poriyal
Recipe by
Adapted from Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India Cuisine: South Indian
Published on June 2, 2009

Simple spicy south Indian green bean and pea curry with toor dal

Preparation: 20 minutes + 3 hours soaking
Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes

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  • 1 cup dried toor dal (split pigeon peas)
  • 5 dried whole red chilies
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves (methi), to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 1 lb (450 g) green beans, chopped into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal (split chickpeas), rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon split skinless urad dal, rinsed
  • 2 dried whole red chilies, broken into halves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • small handful of dried curry leaves
  • Rinse the toor dal and soak in 3 cups of water with the dried red chilies for 3 to 4 hours. Drain and transfer to a food processor. Add the fenugreek leaves, asafetida and salt, and process until you have a smooth paste. Set aside.

  • In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil or ghee over medium heat. When hot, add the green beans and tomatoes and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the beans are just tender, adding a bit of water if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  • In the same pan, heat the oil or ghee for tempering over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, dired red chilies, cumin seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds begin to turn grey and pop — about 30 to 60 seconds — add the toor dal paste. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to brown a bit and turns crisp. Add the green beans and peas, and cook for another few minutes.

  • Remove from heat and serve hot with fresh cooked white rice.

Makes 6 servings
Toor Dal and Green Bean Poriyal
Other toor dal dishes from my vegetarian kitchen:
Toor Dal Pumpkin Soup
Marawadi Mixed Dal
Toor Dal Palak


Parita said...

Poriyal looks delicious..i love the combinations..nice click :)

Pooja said...

Healthy and delicious poriyal Lisa! Love the addition of dal n peas. I love legumes a lot!

Finla said...

It is ages ago i had poriyal like these.
This was one of the dish we had when we went to school in our lunch box.

Unknown said...

Wow..Poriyal looks nice..something different for me..shall try

Ivy said...

Looks and sounds delicious and healthy.

Susan said...

Oh......look at that crumbly dal! We're having take-out tonight, but I'd much rather crash your dinner table. : )

Preeti Singh said...

You are so innovative ....looks healthy and delicious..nice combination.

Bits said...

Awesome vegetarian dish!

Unknown said...

wow so comfort food looks delicious love to have this with rasam and rice yum yum

nath said...

Always find a unique recipe here, great and delish! ^^

Deepthi Shankar said...

I love dishes like these .. goes so well with rice

Unknown said...

Wow! poriyal sounds delicious...this looks great...will have to try some time...uphere in U.S. i always have a hard time trying to find of my friend introduced me to a great resource and i thought that i pass great along as well.

eatme_delicious said...

This looks really good! Though I don't have chana dal or urad dal. I guess these are used as thickeners or something? I should seek them out.

Lisa Turner said...

Ashley, the chana dal and urad dal add a crunchy texture and flavour to the dish. I would encourage you to pick up both. They can be used in a number of dishes, often as the star ingredient.

iRaw said...

All three dishes look fantastic!

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Hey Lisa the beans poriyal looks very yummy I like this very much its called as beans usli but I made it once dint work out well shall try your way!!! My mom uses pressure cooker!!!

Gattina Cheung said...

just looking at the dish I already feel like recharged with protein! Very spring-look dish, and sound very flavorful indeed!

Nithya said...

Amazing lighting and clicks.. super cool pics and lovely dishes too.. you have a wonderful space. Here for the first time and gonna follow you from now. keep it going :)

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

Lisa, this is one of our favourites! I know its absolutely delicious. We call it usili.
You can also make this with cluster beans or carrots.
And if you serve it with rice and a yogurt based "curry" like "morkootan" or "pulissery", its a complete experience. :)

Diane-The WHOLE Gang said...

This looks really good and really hot. My son will love this dish. We already have most of the ingredients as he loves to cook Indian dishes. Just need to grab one and we're good to go. Thank you for sharing this on Friday Foodie Fix.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

That's a beautiful dish!