Beetroot poriyal, or beetroot palya, is a vibrant and flavorful South Indian dish made with beetroot, freshly grated coconut, and a delightful mix of spices. Serve as a side dish with rice and dal.

beet poriyal in a white bowl
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Beet poriyal is a popular vegan and gluten-free dish that is nutritious and delicious. It is perfect for adding a colorful, healthy side to your meal. The earthy sweetness of the beetroot pairs wonderfully with the aromatic spices.

I recently shared green beans poriyal recipe, which is very similar except for the use of green beans in place of beetroot here. That’s the best part about poriyal, you can make it with any veggie you have on hand.

My family loves South Indian food, and I have shared so many recipes that I have learned from my friends and enjoyed over the years – dosa, thakkali sadam, sweet pongal, semiya upma, peanut chutney, and sambar.

What is Poriyal or Palya?

Poriyal, also called palya or thoran, is a stir-fried vegetable dish in South Indian cuisine. It is one of those dishes that is prepared as a side with dal and rice every day in Kerala.

It’s simple yet versatile. Poriyal is typically seasoned with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and a blend of spices, creating a symphony of textures and flavors.

The main effort in making poriyal is chopping the veggies. As poriyal is also lightly spiced, it lets the flavors of the veggies shine.

What is Beetroot Poriyal?

Beetroot poriyal is a vibrant and flavorful dish made with finely chopped or grated beetroot, grated coconut, and spices. The natural sweetness of the beetroot pairs perfectly with the savory spices, creating a delicious and well-balanced dish.

Beet poriyal in a white bowl with spoon

Ingredients

  • Beetroot: The star ingredient of this poriyal.
  • Coconut oil: Adds a subtle coconut flavor and richness to the dish.
  • Mustard Seeds: Gives a nutty taste. These seeds pop when added to hot oil or ghee.
  • Split Urad Dal (Skinned Black Gram Lentils): Adds a nutty earthiness and crunch to the dish.
  • Asafoetida: A unique spice with a garlicky aroma that aids digestion. A little goes a long way!
  • Curry Leaves: Gives a distinct aroma and flavor to the dish.
  • Green Chili Pepper: Adjust according to preference.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavors of the dish.
  • Water: Used for cooking and to adjust the consistency of the dish.
  • Grated Coconut: Fresh coconut flesh grated adds sweetness and texture to the dish. If you can’t find fresh, frozen grated coconut works well. Make sure to use unsweetened.
  • Cilantro leaves: Use for garnish, add freshness and color to the dish.
ingredients for beet poriyal recipe

How to Make Beetroot Poriyal?

Prepare the Beetroot:

  • Scrub the beetroot clean under running water. Peel the outer skin using a vegetable peeler.
  • Chop the beetroot into evenly sized pieces. You can also grate the beetroot if you prefer. Remember the cooking time will be lower if you grate the beets.
peeled and sliced beet

Temper the Spices:

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Then add mustard seeds and split urad dal. Fry until the dal turns light golden brown and mustard seeds begin to splutter.
  • Toss in a pinch of hing, green chili, and curry leaves. Saute for 30 seconds, allowing the curry leaves to release their fragrance.

Cook the Beetroot:

  • Add the chopped beetroot, salt, and water to the pan. Stir well to coat the beetroot evenly.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the beetroot is tender when pierced with a fork.
  • Check the beetroot periodically. If the pan dries out before the beetroot is cooked, add a little more water as needed.
  • Once the beetroot is cooked through and the water has evaporated, stir in the grated coconut.
  • Turn off the heat and mix well.
  • Serve beetroot poriyal hot as a side dish with rasam and rice.
close-up shot of beet poriyal in a pot with laddle

Instant Pot Beet Thoran 

  • Set your Instant Pot to “saute” and heat the oil. 
  • Then add mustard seeds and split urad dal. Fry until the dal turns light golden brown and mustard seeds begin to splutter.
  • Toss in a pinch of hing, green chili, and curry leaves. Saute for 30 seconds, allowing the curry leaves to release their fragrance.
  • Add the chopped beetroot, salt, and water to the pan. Stir well to coat the beetroot evenly.
  • Cancel the “saute” mode, seal your Instant Pot with the lid, and cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Once the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally (NPR) for a few minutes. Then, you can carefully release any remaining pressure manually. 
  • Add the grated coconut and give it a stir.
  • If there’s extra liquid in the pot, switch back to “saute” mode and simmer for 2-3 minutes to dry it. 
  • That’s it! Your delicious Beetroot Poriyal is ready to enjoy.

Recipe Tips

  • Beetroot: Use fresh beetroot for the best flavor and texture. If you prefer to boil the beetroot first, that works as well. Make sure to reduce the cooking time accordingly. Don’t overcook the beetroot, as it can become mushy.
  • Coconut Options: Freshly grated coconut adds the most flavor, but frozen unsweetened grated coconut is a convenient substitute and readily available in most Indian grocery stores.
  • Spice it Up: Want a bit more heat? Add an extra red chili pepper or a pinch of cayenne pepper. Some people also like to add idli podi to the poriyal, which will add a wonderful flavor and spice to the dish. 
  • Storing: Beetroot Poriyal can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a pan over medium heat, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent drying out.

Variations

  • You can add chopped tomatoes or grated ginger for extra flavor.
  • For a nuttier taste, add 1-2 tablespoons of roasted peanuts towards the end.

How to Serve?

It pairs beautifully with steamed rice, roti, or dosa. It’s a simple side dish that adds a vibrant pop of color and a burst of flavor to your meal.

More South Indian Recipes

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Beetroot Poriyal

Beetroot poriyal, or beetroot palya, is a vibrant and flavorful South Indian dish made with beetroot, freshly grated coconut, and a delightful mix of spices. Serve as a side dish with rice and dal.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Wash the beetroot and peel the outer skin of the beetroot using a peeler. Then chop it into small equal-sized pieces. Alternatively, if you like you can grate beetroot if you prefer (for video shoot, cut into pieces)
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium-high heat Add mustard seeds, split urad dal, and fry till the dal turns golden brown color and mustard seeds splutter. Add hing, green chili, and curry leaves and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Then add diced beetroot, salt, and water. Give it a stir. Cover it with a lid and allow it to cook completely. Check the beets, and if the beetroot is still not cooked, sprinkle some more water.
  • Once the beetroot is cooked completely (how long did this take?) and the water is dried, add grated coconut and mix well. Turn off the heat.
  • Serve beetroot poriyal as a side with rice or roti.

Instant Pot Method

  • Set your Instant Pot to “saute” and heat the oil. Then add mustard seeds and split urad dal. Fry until the dal turns light golden brown and mustard seeds begin to splutter. Toss in a pinch of hing, green chili, and curry leaves. Saute for 30 seconds, allowing the curry leaves to release their fragrance.
  • Add the chopped beetroot, salt, and water to the pan. Stir well to coat the beetroot evenly. Cancel the “saute” mode, seal your Instant Pot with the lid, and cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Once the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally (NPR) for a few minutes. Then, you can carefully release any remaining pressure manually. 
  • Add the grated coconut and give it a stir. If there’s extra liquid in the pot, switch back to “saute” mode and simmer for 2-3 minutes to dry it. That’s it! Your delicious Beetroot Poriyal is ready to enjoy.

Notes

Beetroot: Use fresh beetroot for the best flavor and texture. If you prefer to boil the beetroot first, that works as well. Make sure to reduce the cooking time accordingly. Don’t overcook the beetroot, as it can become mushy.
Coconut Options: Freshly grated coconut adds the most flavor, but frozen unsweetened grated coconut is a convenient substitute and readily available in most Indian grocery stores.
Storing: Beetroot Poriyal can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a pan over medium heat, adding a splash of water if needed to prevent drying out.

Nutrition

Calories: 237kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 7gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1414mgPotassium: 447mgFiber: 10gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 4528IUVitamin C: 2378mgCalcium: 521mgIron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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