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Beetroot Poriyal

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Dassana Amit

Say hello to Beetroot Poriyal – a lightly spiced South Indian special preparation made with beets, coconut, spices and herbs. While you might be consuming beetroot in salads and juices, this is one of those easy ways where you can even cook this super nutritious root vegetable. As obvious, this dry dish has a beautiful red color to it because the beetroot perfectly colors it with its natural hue. The addition of spices and coconut add to the earthiness of this tasty dish.

beetroot poriyal in a white bowl.

What is Poriyal

If you are in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, you will come across the popular food term ‘poriyal,’ which would generally mean a form of sautéed or fried dish. Similar terms in other languages are ‘mezhukupuratti’ (Malayalam), ‘palya’ (Kannada) and ‘vepudu’ (Telugu).

A type of side dish, it typically has a vegetable (shredded or finely chopped) which is cooked with whole spices, curry leaves and black gram (urad dal). Sometimes onions, dried red chilies and other spice powders may also be added. It is usually finished with heap of coconut and coriander (optionally).

In addition to this Beetroot Poriyal, other variants include Carrot Poriyal, Cabbage Poriyal, Beans Poriyal, Raw Banana Poriyal and Ivy Gourd Poriyal. Though, the list doesn’t end at this.

More on Beetroot Poriyal

I often make this Beetroot Poriyal and other veggie poriyals at home. This dish is a preferred one because it is really simple to make (just like the Kerala thorans) and is healthy too. So, whenever I am making a sambar, a vegetable poriyal or thoran also is an option by default.

This recipe of Beetroot Poriyal is also a no onion, no garlic one. Other basic ingredients that go in this preparation are mustard seeds, green chillies, curry leaves, urad dal, asafoetida and some coconut. Make it gluten-free by not adding the asafoetida.

Whether you want to chop or grate the beetroot, the choice is yours. The poriyal is tasty both ways. Though, using grated beetroot will always lessen the time to cook the vegetable.

I always cook the Beetroot Poriyal in coconut oil as that’s what is the essence of this dish. But you can substitute it with sesame oil (gingelly oil) as well.

You can make the poriyal with other veggies like the ones I have mentioned in the above section. There is no end to that. Each one will be just as fab as the other, this much I can assure you.

At home, I had this Beetroot Poriyal with a yummy sambar and steamed foxtail millet combo. For regular times, this poriyal goes good with a Sambar-rice or Rasam-rice combination. You can have it with chapati too for a wholesome meal.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Beetroot Poriyal

1. In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil or sesame oil (gingelly oil). Keep the heat to a low and add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds.

mustard seeds added to hot coconut oil in a pan.

2. Let the mustard seeds crackle.

crackling mustard seeds in hot coconut oil.

3. When the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add 1 teaspoon urad dal (split and husked black gram).

urad dal added to coconut oil.

4. Stirring often, fry the urad dal on low heat.

frying urad dal.

5. Fry till the urad dal turns golden.

frying urad dal till it turns golden.

6. Then, add 1 chopped green chili (about ½ to 1 teaspoon, chopped), 10 to 12 torn or chopped curry leaves and 1 pinch asafoetida (hing). Mix well.

chopped green chili, chopped curry leaves and asafoetida added to the hot coconut oil in pan.

7. Now, add 2 cups finely chopped beetroot (or 2 medium to large beetroot or 250 grams finely chopped beetroot). You can also add grated beetroot.

finely chopped beetroot added to the pan.

8. Mix very well.

beetroot mixed well with the spices.

9. Add salt as per taste and mix again.

salt added to the beetroot mixture in the pan.

10. Add ⅓ cup water or add as required.

adding water to the beetroot mixture in the pan.

11. Cover the pan with a lid and let the beetroot cook on low to medium-low heat.

cooking beetroot in the covered pan.

12. Do check and stir, in between. If the water dries up, add some water and then continue to cover and cook.

cooking beetroot poriyal.

13. The beetroot should soften and get cooked completely. Before proceeding to the next step, ensure there is no water in the pan.

If the beetroot pieces are softened and there is some water, then cook without the lid, so that all the water evaporates.

cooking beetroot poriyal.

14. Lastly, add 3 to 4 tablespoons grated fresh coconut.

grated fresh coconut added to the beetroot poriyal.

15. Mix very well. Switch off the heat and cover the pan.

coconut mixed in the beetroot poriyal.

16. Serve the Beetroot Poriyal hot or warm as a side dish with sambar-rice, rasam-rice or even dal-rice. It can also be had with chapatis, plain paratha or bread.

beetroot poriyal served in a white bowl with a plate of arbi-sambar and steamed foxtail millet kept on the left side.

More Beetroot Recipes To Try!

Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

beetroot poriyal recipe

Beetroot Poriyal

Beetroot Poriyal is a lightly spiced South Indian special preparation made with beets, coconut, spices and herbs. The addition of spices and coconut add to the earthiness of this tasty dish.

Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 20 mins

Prevent your screen from going dark while making the recipe

  • In a pan heat the coconut oil or gingelly oil (til ka tel or sesame oil made from raw sesame seeds). Keep heat to a low and add mustard seeds.

  • When the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add urad dal. Stirring often fry the urad dal till they get golden and aromatic. 

  • Then add chopped green chillies, curry leaves (chopped or whole) and asafoetida. Mix well.

  • Then add finely chopped or grated beetroot.

  • Mix very well.

  • Add salt as per taste and mix again.

  • Add ⅓ cup of water or add as required.

  • Cover the pan with a lid and let the beetroot cook on a low to medium-low heat.

  • In between do check and stir. If the water dries up, then you can add some water and then continue to cover and cook.

  • The beetroot should soften, become tender and get cooked completely. Before proceeding to the next step ensure there is no water in the pan. If the beetroot pieces have softened and there is some water, then cook without lid, so that all the water evaporates.
  • Lastly add 3 to 4 tablespoons grated fresh coconut. Mix very well. Switch off the heat and cover pan. 

  • Serve the Beetroot Poriyal hot or warm as a side dish with sambar-rice or rasam-rice or even dal-rice. It can also be had with chapati or paratha.

  • Use fresh, tender and juicy beets. 
  • You could skip coconut if you do not have it or add desiccated coconut instead. Note that with desiccated coconut the taste will change slightly.
  • The recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  • This approximate nutrition info is per serving (made with coconut oil).

Nutrition Facts

Beetroot Poriyal

Amount Per Serving

Calories 277 Calories from Fat 198

% Daily Value*

Fat 22g34%

Saturated Fat 19g119%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 2g

Sodium 761mg33%

Potassium 497mg14%

Carbohydrates 19g6%

Fiber 7g29%

Sugar 11g12%

Protein 4g8%

Vitamin A 231IU5%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 58mg290%

Vitamin B6 1mg50%

Vitamin C 110mg133%

Vitamin E 1mg7%

Vitamin K 1µg1%

Calcium 52mg5%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 732µg183%

Iron 2mg11%

Magnesium 43mg11%

Phosphorus 89mg9%

Zinc 1mg7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Beetroot Poriyal recipe from the archives first published on July 2013 has been republished and updated on November 2022.



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