This simple carrot dish can be served with most Indian meals. Leftovers may be added to salads. For more on South Indian poriyals, see the note.

    SERVES 3–4

    • 5 medium carrots (about 12 oz)
    • 1 tablespoon olive or peanut oil
    • ½ teaspoon urad dal
    • ½ teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
    • 2 dried hot red chilies, broken in half
    • 1 teaspoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 3 tablespoons finely grated fresh coconut or defrosted frozen coconut
    • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro

    1. Peel the carrots and cut them into ⅓-inch rounds. Larger pieces from the top of the carrots should be halved.
    2. Put the oil in a frying pan, wok, or karhai set over medium heat. When hot, add the urad dal. As soon as it begins to change color, add the mustard seeds and red chilies. When the mustard seeds pop and the chilies darken in a matter of seconds, add the carrots, ginger, and salt. Mix well, then add 4 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook on low heat for 3–4 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Add the coconut and cilantro, and mix well.