Thorans are dishes from Kerala that go with anything. A side dish to any meal of any cuisine, a lunch by itself or with a green salad, a meal with some rice and perhaps some dal.
The beauty of this mighty coconuty dish is that it can be made with almost any vegetable. There are traditional vegetables, of course – cabbage and carrot, to name a couple. But try thinking tender asparagus stalks. Jicama. Turnip. Snow Peas. The beauty of Thorans is that they enhance the vegetable, and do not overwhelm it with spices.
You might like to browse all of our Kerala recipes. Perhaps you are looking for other Thoran/Poriyal recipes, or other Vegetable Fry recipes. Explore our Carrot recipes too. Or you might like to browse Indian recipes, and be inspired by our Early Spring recipes.
The essence of a thoran is a vegetable cooked with coconut, mustard seeds, shallots/onion, curry leaves and turmeric powder over a hot stove or fire. That is it.
Kerala is the land of coconut. It is everywhere, in many many forms, and in most, if not all cooking. The coconut shreds in thorans give them a delicacy that they would not have without it. With the vegetables chopped finely and uniformly, the dish has such grace. Unfortunately, I am without the skill or discipline to chop with such precision, but I do my best.
Today a traditional style thoran – Carrot Thoran. Blessings to Kerala.
Carrot Thoran from Kerala
Source: First made by my SIL in 2000
Cuisine: Kerala, South India
Prep time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 5 or 6 mins
Serves: 3-4 depending how you use it
5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped medium fine
0.25 cup fresh grated or dried grated coconut
1 white or red onion, chopped finely
0.5 tspn black mustard seeds
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
0/5 – 1 tspn red chilli flakes (adjust to your taste)
1 tsp. urad dal
2 tspn ghee or coconut oil
4 or 5 curry leaves
Heat the ghee or oil on medium heat in a kadai, wok or pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the urad dal and curry leaves.
Then add the onions and sauté till they soften.
Add the carrots, chilli flakes and turmeric. Stir well to combine the ingredients and stir fry the mixture for a couple of moments. Sprinkle about 2-3 tablespoons water over the mixture and cover with a lid. Cook on a low heat for a couple of minutes until the carrot is sufficiently cooked.
Add the coconut and stir in. Add a little more ghee or coconut oil and fry for a minute to take off any moisture that is left.
That is it!