Poṟiyal, Palya or Thoran – Beets with Fresh Coconut

Hope it’s been a good start to your week so far. I know, Monday right!?! Feel like the days are just rolling past me, this year feels like it’s running too fast. Is it just me or do you think the same?

Our recipe today: Palya – as it is called in Karnataka is a simple stir-fried vegetable dish tempered with some mustard seeds, turmeric, fresh coconut and fresh curry leaves. It is part of most home cooked meals and is normally had as a side dish to a main meal that includes rice, sambar or rasam.

While the concept remains the same, there are slight variations to some ingredients across the different southern states. It is also called Poṟiyal in Tamil, Porutu in Telugu and Thoran in Malayalam.

I’ve used beets here however you could use other vegetables or try a combination of two.  This recipe works very well with cabbage (green and purple), green beans, French beans or carrots.

This recipe serves 2-3 adults.

Prep time: 10mins                                                              Cook time: 15-20mins 


  • 500 grams of beetroot
  • 2 teaspoons of cooking oil
  • 2 fresh green chilies
  • half a teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • quarter a teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • half a mug of water
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh or frozen grated coconut

Rinse the beets, peel skin and chop them into small pieces, the smaller the better as it will help it cook faster. Finely chop chillies.

Then to a thick base utensil or wok on medium heat, add oil, once hot, add mustard seeds and as they splutter, add curry leaves and chopped green chillies. Sauté for a moment then add the chopped beets.

Sprinkle salt and add some water to prevent the pieces at the bottom from burning, turn the heat to medium-low and cook for 15-20 mins with the lid on. Stir occasionally, add water a little at a time as you notice it evaporate. After the first 10 minutes add in the turmeric and grated coconut and mix well. Put the lid back on and cook for the next 10mins.

Cook till the beets are cooked through then turn heat off and serve as a side of a main meal of your choice.


Tip: You could run a fork or spoon through some of the beet pieces to check if it is cooked through, if not, cook with the lid on for a little longer. Remember, cooking with the lid on is key!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Megala says:

    Beetroot poriyal is my favorite and I just love its sweetness !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I know right, me too like the natural sweetness of beets❤️🙏🙏

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s