Poriyals or palyas are spicy South Indian sautéed vegetable dishes, quite often featuring grated coconut. They are easy to prepare and a perfect choice for a meal calling out for a side vegetable dish. This poriyal is especially simple to make and delightfully sweet and spicy. I went with acorn squash for this dish, but any winter squash would work equally as well. Consider using pumpkin chunks when it’s available locally.
South Indian Squash Poriyal
Recipe by Lisa Turner Cuisine: South Indian Published on April 17, 2017
A simple, colorful, sweet and spicy south Indian vegetable side dish with acorn squash and carrot
Rinse the urad dal and chana dal. Soak in enough water to cover for at least 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil or ghee over medium heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and fry for 30 to 60 seconds until they mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Add the drained dals to the pan and stir until they darken a few shades. Add the asafetida and curry leaves and stir.
Now add the squash, carrot and red pepper to the pan, along with the coconut and a few tablespoons of water. Stir to combine and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash and carrots are tender, roughly 10 minutes. Add more water to the pan as needed to prevent the vegetables from sticking.
Stir in the salt and serve hot with fresh cooked white rice or your favourite Indian flat breads.
*Note: use any winter squash such as butternut or pumpkin as a substitute if acorn squash is not available.