Avarakkai poriyal is a tasty dry vegetable side dish from the Tamil Nadu cuisine. It is made with flat beans (broad beans), some spices and freshly grated coconut. it can be served as a side dish with chapatis, curd-rice, dal-rice or sambar-rice.
200 grams avarakkai or 2.5 cups chopped avarakkai (flat beans)
2 tablespoons coconut oil or gingelly oil or sunflower oil or peanut oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon urad dal(husked and split black gram)
1 green chilli, chopped or 1 dry red chilli broken and seeds removed
2 pinches asafoetida or hing
7 to 8 small to medium sized curry leaves
salt as required
½ cup water or add as required
3 tablespoons grated fresh coconut or desiccated coconut flakes.
Firstly rinse 200 grams avarakkai very well. Drain all the water. Then string each flat bean and pull the pods apart. Discard the strings.
You will have to open each pod to check if there is a worm or a mould in it. Discard the bean if it has a mould or worm in it.
Then chop the beans. You can collect some of all the opened beans together and then chop them on a chopping board. You will need 2.5 cups chopped avarakkai. Keep aside.
tempering for making avarakkai poriyal
In a pan or kadai, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil or gingelly oil or sunflower oil or peanut oil. Keep flame to a low. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.
Let mustard seeds begin to crackle.
When the mustard seeds begin to crackle and splutter, add ½ teaspoon urad dal.
Stirring often fry urad dal on a low flame. fry till the urad dal turns golden.
Then add 1 green chilli, chopped or 1 dry red chilli (broken and seeds removed), 2 pinches asafoetida (hing) and 7 to 8 small to medium sized curry leaves (whole or chopped). If the pan becomes too hot, then you can switch off the flame.
Mix well. If using red chillies then they should change color.
Now add the chopped avarakkai. Add salt as per taste. Mix very well.
making avarakkai poriyal
Add ½ cup water or add as required. Mix again well.
Cover pan with a lid and on a low to medium-low flame cook the avarakkai.
In between do stir and check if the water has not dried up. If the water dries up, you can add some more water. Then continue to cover and cook.
On a low to medium-low flame, cover and cook the avarakkai beans for a total of about 20 to 22 minutes till they are tender and softened.
Once the flat beans are well cooked, then there should be no water in the poriyal before you start with the next step. So cook without lid till all the water dries up. Stir occasionally.
Then add 3 tablespoons coconut. You can also add 2 to 3 tablespoons of desiccated coconut flakes instead of fresh coconut. Frozen grated coconut can also be added.
Mix very well and saute avarakkai poriyal for a minute on low flame.
Serve avarakkai poriyal hot or warm as a side dish with chapatis or with sambar-rice, rasam-rice, kulambu-rice or dal-rice. While serving you can also garnish with some chopped coriander leaves.
Tips for making avarakkai poriyal
Instead of 1 green chilly, you can add 1 to 2 dry red chilli. Break the chillies and remove the seeds.
Desiccated coconut flakes can be added instead of fresh coconut.
Frozen grated coconut can also be added.
Please do not skip on curry leaves, asafoetida, mustard seeds and urad dal.
Avarakkai poriyal recipe can also be halved.
If you prefer, you can even add 1 medium sized onion in the recipe. After the tempering, add the chopped onions. Saute the onions till translucent and then add the chopped beans.