(Poriyal, Varuval, Thoran, Upperi, Porutu, Palya, Sauteed Vegetables, Vegetable Stir-fry, Fried Vegetables)
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My niece had come home for a vacation of one week after her exams and we spent some nice time together. She enjoyed my cooking very much and I made many dishes of her choice. While we were just talking, she asked me what was the first dish I learnt and from whom did I learn. To be very true, I completely forgot about the first dish I learnt. That question made me nostalgic and I went down my memories. In my parental house, an item that is always present in every meal is the vegetable that is either shallow fried with spices which we call as vadhakkal in Tamil or simply boiled to which seasoning or coconut shredding is added called as Poriyal in Tamil. I think my cooking sojourn must have started when I used to help my mother in cutting the vegetable and stirring in between after the addition of spices and vegetables. It also means that probably, I first learnt to make vegetable fry either the vadhakkal or the Poriyal version. A traditional south Indian meal essentially comprises of two different vegetables, one the stir fried or the vadhakkal and the other sautéed or Poriyal. This is made even today when we have guests for lunch or a festival lunch and in my house even on a Sunday grand lunch. The vegetable fry is both quick and easy to make. So, never miss out on making a vegetable even during busy weekdays. Instill a healthy habit in children that vegetables are never an option to avoid.
Vegetable Fry (Stirfried and Fried Vegetables, Varuval)
The method of making any stir fried vegetable is the same. The vegetables are shallow fried in oil that is heated with seasoning and the addition of spice powders. Usually chili powder and coriander powders are the two spice powders that are added. Some time pepper and cumin seed powders can also be added to impart a unique flavor. These stir fry can be made using either a single vegetable or 2 vegetables combined. The stir fry vegetables can be made with all native vegetables like potato, ladies finger, raw banana, brinjal, parwal, bitter gourd, cauliflower, colocaesia and even with mushroom. The stir fried vegetables make an excellent accompaniment for rice varieties like lemon rice, coconut rice, sesame rice, tomato rice, sambhar rice and curd rice. It is also an excellent accompaniment in a simple meal comprising of rice, rasam, thogayal or podis. You can check the method of preparation in their links.
Sauteed Vegetable (Poriyal, Thoran, Vepudu,Porutu)
Sautéed vegetables are easier and simpler than the stir fried vegetables. Here the seasoning is made of mustard seeds and black gram and the vegetables are sautéed in it with a sprinkle of water for cooking it. At the end, grated or shredded coconut is added to give consistency to the vegetable. The most common varieties of sautéed vegetables or Poriyal are cabbage, beans, carrot, beet root, broad beans, broccoli, radish and many more. This is also a more healthier method cooking as oil used is minimal and vegetables are cooked retaining their complete flavor and nutritive value. These make an excellent accompaniment for all spicy rice varieties. Find below the different varieties of sautéed vegetables.