Thoran or Poriyal is a Keralite coconut based vegetable fry preparation. In this recipe, I’m cooking green beans thoran with coconut, but you can have carrot thoran, spinach thoran, beetroot thoran. Just about any vegetable of your choice can be made into a thoran or poriyal.
I first had thoran when I visited Guruwayur for my college roommate’s wedding. They had many coconut trees in their backyard and there was always fresh coconut being grated to put in their curry leaf coconut chutney or coconut rice or just about any other recipe. The aroma and flavour of freshly grated coconut are just indescribable as compared to shop bought dried desiccated coconut. Every day, we would have a thoran vegetable fry with a different vegetable.
I love the diversity of Indian cuisine. Just geographically speaking, food drastically changes as you move from east to west or north to south or any other direction. Not just the vegetables, but the cooking oil is also dependent on local produce. While mustard oil cooking is common in east India, coconut oil is the cooking medium in the south.
Behind the curtain of “modernisation”, we are slowly moving towards refined oil. But traditional Indian cooking has always relied on these cold-pressed (kacchi Dhani) oils that are healthier and also more flavourful. I hope you do try this recipe and the wonders of coconut oil! If you find it too strong, you can switch it with your regular cooking oil.
Green Beans Thoran (Green Beans with Coconut stir-fry)
Preparation Time: 5 mins | Cooking Time: 20 mins | Serves: 4
1tbsp — Coconut oil (or any other vegetable oil of your choice)
A pinch — Asafoetida (Hing)
1tsp — Mustard seeds (rai)
8-10 — Curry leaves
1 — Green chilli, chopped
1 — Onion, chopped
2 cups — Green beans, chopped
½tsp — Turmeric powder
Salt — To taste
1 cup — Grated coconut
* Heat oil in a deep pan or kadhai. Add hing and mustard seeds.
* Once the seeds start to crackle, add curry leaves, green chillies, and onions. Sauté for about two minutes till the onions start to soften.
* Add the chopped beans, turmeric powder, and salt.
* Mix everything together and cook with a lid on for about five minutes till the beans are almost done. Check in between and add a little water if you see the beans sticking to the pan. (You can also cook the beans beforehand by steaming them or cooking in microwave on high for about five minutes.)
* Add the grated coconut, mix everything well and cook open for another five minutes with occasional stirring. Make sure there is no water left from the earlier step.
* Remove from heat and serve with roti or rice.