Suvir’s beans poriyal ~ Stir fried green beans with coconut

It is festival time! Navratri is special because this is an annual ‘remembering-my-girlfriends’ ritual for me. We gather together for long chats, delicious snacks and catch up on the year’s gossip. Just the joy of being around them, is enough inspiration to cook up the best meals, and the thought, washes away tiredness that creeps otherwise. So for a late Friday afternoon gathering, I made kaju barfi and sevai.

The next one happening on Thursday is more of a family gathering. I intend to make a complete three course menu – Italian round of soup with thin slices of crusty bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, a Palakkad main course of rice, keerai-molagootal, rasam, poduthuval and pachadi, and an all American dessert of brownies – the world on our table.

However, the poduthuval is going to be different. Poduthuval is the Palakkad lingo for dry curries had with gravy and steamed rice in the South. It is also known as poriyal in many parts of Tamilnadu and undergoes slight changes in the making as it travels from region to region. Recently I became friends with Chef Suvir Saran on facebook and found an interesting variation of classic beans poduthuval. I knew it had to be good and it was! This poriyal tastes pairs well with rasam. I ended up making some changes as I was cooking. I sauteed the coconut a little more in the beginning like we do for ‘teeyal’. I think the flavour lies in the roasted coconut and the addition of mum’s sambar powder. I used coconut oil instead of canola, and reduced the amount of ‘tadka’ or tempering, keeping them to the levels I use normally.

Recipe: Beans poriyal ~ Stir fried green beans with coconut, Tamilnadu style
Source: Chef Suvir Saran

String beans, cut on an angle into 1-inch pieces – 1/2 kg.
Coconut, freshly grated/shredded – 1/2 cup
Sambar powder, rasam powder or bisibelebath powder – 1 tsp. (I used mum’s homemade sambar powder)
Salt to taste

Tadka or tempering:
Coconut oil – 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds / Rai – 1 tsp
Bengal gram / Chana dal – 1 tsp
Hulled black gram / Urad dal – 1 tsp
Dried, red chillies – 2 long ones, pinched into halves
Curry leaves / Kadi patta – 1 sprig, leaves, pinched to bring out the flavour
Asafoetida powder / Hing – 1/8 tsp
Turmeric, a pinch or two


Warm oil and when hot enough add mustard seeds along with bengal gram, and black gram.

When the seeds splutter, and dals turn light pink, add pinched red chillies, curry leaves, turmeric powder and asafoetida. Stir for a minute.

Add 1/4 cup of the coconut and cook, stirring till the gratings caramalize and turn light golden, about 2-3 minutes on medium fire.

Add the beans and the salt and cook, stirring, 5 minutes, on low heat.

Add the remaining 1/4 cup coconut, the sambar powder, and the water. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the beans are tender, about 10 minutes. Then uncover and cook, stirring often, until all of the water has evaporated, about 5 more minutes. Taste for salt and serve hot with steamed rice and rasam or any other gravy.

My daughter ate the left over poriyal as such. If you want it healthier, do not roast the coconut as much as I did in the beginning.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • Ignatius

    Tried it, loved it, Thanks for sharing this recipe! I miss home cooking a little less after this! 🙂

    • Harini

      Awwww..! That is such a nice thing to say. Thank you! 🙂

  • Priya Mahadevan

    Both the curry and the rasam look lip-smacking delicious – would LOVE to have that meal with some sfot rice and oorga on the side -and perhaps a sutta appalam 🙂 – See how the simplest meals are most desirable and most inspiring 🙂 thanks for this eye candy post 🙂

  • Mandee

    What a lovely looking dish, I love green beans and these look easy to prepare.

  • Swati

    My God! You are friends with Top Chef master Suvir Saran??! And you cooked for him?! When? What? How?!!!! I think this story requires another blog post entirely 🙂 I loved watching Suvir on Top Chef…. And i love the fact that he tries to bring authentic Indian “home” recipes into his restaurants and books instead of the same, characterless masala-heavy curries every restaurant in every town boasts of today. Whatever happened to authentic local food?! really!

    Love the beans poriyal too… And make it almost once a week. And somehow, even I like my beans long-ish and not chopped into tiny pieces 🙂

  • Radhika

    Beans poriyal w/ coconut is my all time favorite. Rice, rasam or yogurt and beans poriyal would make a perfect homely meal for me any day!
    That brass cup is precious! You really have some cool props/accessories. Love the kutty ceramic pickling jar you’ve used in the Kathrikkai post as well.. so cute!

  • Simone

    This looks great and for me a whole new way to eat green beans!

  • Lata Raja

    Sorry, cut in long pieces….not cut finely!

  • Lata Raja

    Uncanny as it may sound…I made sevai also for friends:)
    The beans have not been cut for the stirfry…that makes it very interesting! Got to try this one:)

    • Harini

      Same pinch! 😀

      I think the way we chop makes a lot of difference to the taste, somehow!

  • Srivalli

    Beautiful pictures Harini..We enjoy this all time delicious stir fry with sambar and rice..nice to know your name for this..:)

    • Admin

      Valli, not mine! Suvir’s! It is twice addition that makes a difference and that was new to me. Is that how you do it all the time?

  • Sir

    Beautiful presentation Harini and I like the concept of coconut adding twice. :-).


  • Sharmilee

    This is my all time fav with rice and sambar….yum combo

    • Harini

      You make it this way too, Sharmilee? Yes, it combines very well with most gravy dishes. I can imagine a tasty vegan morkootan with this!

  • Suvir Saran

    Harini –

    How kind of you to share this recipe in your blog.
    I am honored that you made it and took such beautiful photos.
    You are so very talented.
    I still can taste some of the flavors of what you cooked up in Mumbai.
    Remember that???

    I ask in the recipe for the coconut to be added twice, for exactly the same reason. Once for the toasty flavor and once for the fresh flavor.

    You are too smart! But we knew that. Keep in touch please.



    • Harini

      You are very kind, Suvir! I am so honoured to have you comment here, and with such sweet words. Just made a great start to my day! I am glad we thought alike about the coconut. 🙂 And, I will surely keep in touch. Thank you!

      Oh, I remember that day too well! I was so very nervous! Some day I hope to treat you to a complete vegan meal, cooked by me!

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