Carrot poduthuval ~ A traditional stir-fry recipe from South India

“Mummy, you like this very very much, don’t you?”  The girl asked.

“Hmmm….,” I replied, still digging happily and a tad greedily into my bowl of sweet and mildly salty carrot stir-fry.  I knew I would go for a second, more generous helping.



Simple carrot stir-fry

“Then, why is it not on your blog yet?”  She queried.

“Too simple!”

“I thought you said you did not know to cook anything but potatoes when you started cooking!”  She exclaimed, “So this cannot be that simple, right?”

I was caught.  How do children manage to do that everytime?

You tell me!  Is it too simple?  Do you make this dish?  And do you like it enough to try it?  Or  would you not try this because this is too simple?



Winter is the time for gorgeous, plump, red carrots and I do not miss the chance to celebrate its abundance.  I make a few rounds of ‘gaajar halwa’ and this ‘poduthuval’.  Poduthuval is the Palakkad lingo for dry vegetable sautes and stir-fries that may or may not contain a sprinkling of coconut.  Mostly they do.  Fresh coconut added towards the end not only adds natural, mild, sweetness to a savoury dish, thereby balancing the flavours but also serves an essential crunch or bite.  I am a coconut person.  I use large amounts of coconut and feel sorry that people have wrongly associated this tasty and healthy gift as a ‘cholesterol builder’ or ‘fat builder’.  First off, plant products do not have cholesterol and second, coconuts have fatty acids that help your body.  What you need to avoid is the oil, not the fresh coconut.  If you really want to take care, simply do not add oil in this dish.  I have it that way too and it tastes fresh and crunchy!

Thanks to the young lady, here’s a recipe I love, and I hope some of you haven’t had it before – that will make me feel justified in featuring it!

I have grated the carrots this time but I, sometimes also dice them into fine pieces.  My son prefers them diced and the daughter likes them grated.  There is always something to disagree about!

This is best made with juicy, red carrots!  The colour is so beautiful and fully of energy, its hard to keep oneself away!



Recipe:  Carrot poduthuval ~ Easy carrot stir-fry


Split, husked, mung beans (Mung dal) – 1/4 cup, soaked for at least an hour, and drained
Carrots (Gaajar), fresh, plump and juicy – 6 large ones, grated in medium sized grater
Green chillies, slit vertically – 2, or more, if you like some heat
Coconut, freshly grated – 1/4 cup
Lemon, ripe, medium sized – 1, juiced (About a tbsp.)
Salt to taste

Seasoning (Tadka/baghar)
Coconut oil – 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp.
Husked, black gram dal (urad dal) – 1 tsp.
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Sesame seeds, white – 1 tsp.

Scrub lightly, was and dry carrots. Do not peel. Maximum sweetness in carrots is right under the skin and when you peel you discard the best portion. Grate and set aside. Do not use fine grater or cheese grater. We need the bite so use a medium sized grater.

Heat oil. When hot enough, add mustard seeds and black gram dal. When the seeds splutter and dal turns pink add the curry leaves and slit green chillies.

As soon as the curry leaves crisp up, add the carrots. Stir fry to mix well. Cover and cook for a 4-8 minutes depending on how you like your carrots – very crunchy 4 mins). My mother would make this really soft. She cooks till the carrots lose their crunch, about 8-10 minutes. I prefer cooking for just 4 minutes to warm up the dish.

Add the mung beans, sprinkle sesame seeds, and coconut and stir fry on low heat till mixed well. Put off fire. Squeeze the lemon and stir to let the juice distribute.

Serve as a salad, or an accompaniment with rice and gravy (sambar, rasam or kadhi)



That’s all! In under 10-15 minutes you have a healthy and tasty dish ready. This is the kind of dinner I like to make on weeknights or even weekdays. I like my weekday cooking to be light and healthy. I sometimes avoid the carbs and just gorge on the carrot poduthuval for dinner.

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Have your say

  1. I’m glad you put it up! I’m still learning more about cooking Indian food myself, even though I eat Indian food about 4 times a week. I live in the States, but am lucky enough to have great Indian groceries nearby. Thanks for giving me inspiration to try another dish.

  2. I eat carrot in salad form, but your pict makes me think once again 🙂 So podi Thuval became a poduthuval in pallak lingo? hehhee simply awesome stir-fry!

  3. simple and comforting and beautiful photographs.

  4. Cham, is it podi-thuval?! I didn’t know the etymology. 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Thanks, Soma!

  6. I am glad too, in that case, Kathy! Perhaps I should listen more often to my taste buds and put up dishes that are easy to make. Glad you find this inspiring!

  7. Often thinking that exotic is better, we sometimes do not give importance to simple, tasty nutritious food. Thanks to your daughter,we are now reminded of this nutritious veggie dish

  8. sometimes simple is what you need at the end of a busy day when you dont have time but stillcrave a yummy meal! love this recipe. i make something similar with diced carrots minus the moong but next time im gonna try this version 🙂

  9. I’m a huge coconut fan too. Freshly grated coconut, coconut oil, coconut milk…give them all to me! Its sad that people tend to associate this miraculous ingredient with health scares. I read somewhere that this was done by the corn producers to market corn oil in the US somewhere in the 60s.

    Your carrots look lovely! I cook them this way too and love to eat it with curd rice. 🙂

  10. Gorgeous …. was the first word that i uttered aftr going thru ur wonderful pictures !!! Beautiful work it !!

  11. Same pinch! I am sure you are right about what caused the scare! It always traces back to such industries. Thanks. 🙂 Glad you like them, Anushruti!

  12. I don’t add the moong everytime Deeps, but it helps build volume when one has a short supply of carrots! Do let me know how your family and you like this version. 🙂

  13. Smita! Glad you visited and in seventh heaven after reading that remark!

  14. so simple,quick ,healthy and flavourful stir fry..loved it!!

  15. I am going to make this tonight. Got some sweet carrots lying around. Awesome!

  16. And do let me know whether you liked it!

  17. I love all the porials we make like this – cabbage, beans, carrot, avarakai, beetroot – there’s just no comparison with any other kind of preparation. My daughter can have bowlfuls of this as well.
    I usually add the moong dal only when I am having the carrots raw as a a koshambir salad…must try it in the cooked version

  18. It was too tasty! Love it for the simplicity 🙂 Thanks for the post!

  19. Thanks!

  20. You have been tagged.. Do visit Hope u will do the tag..Thanks.. Cheers

  21. Yum! I love carrot thoran, mezhukupurrati etc. Even though I’m from Kerala I did not know it was called poduthuval in Palakkad. And thanks for the no-peeling tip! I did not know that one either 🙂 Happy new year!

  22. Glad that something I thought to be normal could be news. I guess we should not underestimate the simple techniques we learn! 🙂

  23. Thanks, Jyoti! I will try! The net has been giving me trouble lately. 🙁

  24. No, moong dal is not usually added unless it is a raw koshimbir like you said. But I do this whenever I need to increase the quantity!

  25. I am always on the lookout for simple recipes. Haven’t tried carrots like this. Must do it soon. Although I discovered (and my son too) how lovely carrots taste steamed in little water with just plain sarson ka tadka and salt.
    Good you shared it here, Harini!

  26. Hi,

    My daughter is on a gluten free, vegan diet. Tough! She loves sweets and I am looking for recipes for GF/vegan indian sweets. Would you be able to suggest some?
    BTW, the carrot curry looks amazing. I am sure it tastes amazing too. I ‘m going to try making it. Best Wishes.

  27. Hi, I think I should be able to! I will make a list of the sweets on my blog here and try to add more in time. Yes, the carrot curry is liked by us here. I hope you will enjoy it too. Let me know. Best wishes to you too. 🙂

  28. Hi, could you please look up the recipe index for ‘Gluten free sweet things’. You will find quite a few choices there. I will try and add more.

  29. I missed this recipe. It looks so colorful and fresh. I’ll try it soon once I get hold of some fresh carrots from the farm stand.

  30. Hi Harini, I met you at the potluck recently and learnt about your blog from others there. This is exactly what I was looking for – someone to help me with easy vegan recipes to make my journey in becoming 100% Vegan come true.
    I am looking forward to trying this recipe soon.
    One question – I understand that the split moong dal you mentioned here needs to be soaked for at least 1 hour. Post that, does it need to be cooked separately before adding to the carrots? If we add directly won’t it be raw in the final dish?

  31. Hi Nupur! Glad that you found the kind of recipes you want. The mung is meant to be raw, and has been added directly after soaking and draining.

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