If you are a Beetroot loving family like us and love South Indian recipes then you must try this easy peasy Kerala Style Beetroot Thoran Recipe or Simple Beetroot Stir Fry with coconut.
Quick and easy to make with very few ingredients, this is an easy Main Course Veg or Side dish served during Sadya meals for Vishu and Onam festival.
Thoran is a Kerala Specialty. Thorans are similar to Poriyals from Tamil Nadu. A Stir Fry of sorts and the only exception is that in Kerala we use ground coconut-cumin and green chillies mix for our Thoran recipes whereas Tamil Nadu Poriyal recipes usually have simple grated coconut.
Beetroots, a root vegetable, also known as Chukandar are highly nutritious. They make great salads and the colour is simply irresistible. We personally love them as part of our diet.
Cooking the Beetroot
Since I am a firm believer of making the most of my 24 hours, I love pressure cooking. Cooking them on stove top with a lot of water does lead to overcooking and loss of nutrients, plus it requires constant attention, which is not possible during busy mornings.
I pressure cook the beetroots with the skin. Once they are cool, I peel them and then chop them into small cubes.
How do you know the Beets have cooked?
Insert a small fork or knife and it should feel soft.
Should beetroots be peeled before cooking?
The skin is quite thick and tough to peel before cooking. I normally pressure cook and the peel is much easier to remove with just a touch of the knife.
You can either grate the beetroots or chop them. We prefer the latter.
If you are a working woman or have busy schedule during the day, Beets make a great option as you can batch cook these and store them in the fridge to use later.
Even for this particular vegetable, the whole activity of cooking and chopping the beets can be done a day in advance. In the morning, you only have to grind the coconut cumin mix and stir fry it in coconut oil for a couple of minutes.
Tip – Always stock grated coconut in your freezer. Saves you a lot of time.
The cooked beetroots stay fresh in the refrigerator for atleast 3-4 days so you can make a variety of recipes using this method of pressure cooking in bulk.
Pro Tip The water that remains after cooking the beetroots should never be thrown. Add it to your wheat flour aata or your dosa batter to make pink dosas or pink rotis / parathas.
Thorans can be made with Shallots too but we being Palakkad Iyers, avoid them. So this is purely a No Onion No Garlic Sabzi recipe.
This stir fry veg packs well in the tiffin box. You can serve it with phulka rotis or plain parathas as well. I usually pack this sabzi for Narayan as work lunch and it stays fresh.
Beetroot Thoran stays fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of days only since it has fresh coconut. The leftovers can be microwaved for a minute and enjoyed warm.
While adults love this veggie, Kids are not cool customers of Beetroots. Either it’s the colour or the earthy taste that drives them away from this vegetable.
Fun ways to feed Beetroot to kids.
- You can add grated beetroot in potato or paneer tikkis with corn and basic masalas.
- Steam and grate some beetroots along with some shredded cheese and grill it as sandwiches for lunch. The cheese masks the taste of the beetroots. Add some green chutney too if you like.
- Add beetroots in pav bhaji to mask its earthy flavor.
- You can also add them along with mashed potato sabzi that you make for masala dosas.
- Grated beetroots or puree can be added to regular wheat flour and made into rotis, parathas that appear pink in colour, appealing to toddlers and school going kids.
- Puree can also be added to idli, uttapam or dosa batter too. Throw in some colourful vegetables like corn, peas, carrots, bell peppers for the added nutrition.
Step by Step Beetroot Thoran Recipe
Wash, cut the top and the bottom hard part of the beetroot and pressure cook.
Once cool, peel the skin and chop them into small pieces.
In a mixer grinder jar, add the grated coconut with green chillies and cumin seeds.
Grind them without any water and keep aside.
Heat a kadhai or heavy bottom pan, add coconut oil with mustard seeds, urad dal and whole red chillies. Once the mustard crackles and the urad dal is brown, add the curry leaves. It will splutter a bit so be careful.
Now add the cooked and chopped beetroots along with salt to taste. Mix well.
Add the ground coconut-cumin-chilli mix and mix once again. Cook this for a couple of minutes, switch off the heat and serve it warm with roti or rice as side dish.
Some Kerala Style Thoran Recipes on the blog
Beetroot Thoran (Kerala Style Beet Stir Fry with Coconut)
- 4 nos. Beetroots
- 1/2 cup Freshly grated coconut 1/2 cup is 125 ml measurement
- 1 tsp Jeera Or Cumin Seeds
- 3 nos. Green chillies
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil 1 tbsp is 15 ml
- 1 tsp Urad Dal
- 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 2-3 nos. Whole Dry Red Chillies
- Curry Leaves as required
- Salt to taste
- Wash, cut the top and the bottom hard part of the beetroot and pressure cook.
- Once cool, peel the skin and chop them into small pieces.
- In a mixer grinder jar, add the grated coconut with green chillies and cumin seeds. Grind them without any water and keep aside.
- Heat a kadhai or heavy bottom pan, add coconut oil with mustard seeds, urad dal and whole red chillies. Once the mustard crackles and the urad dal is brown, add the curry leaves. It will splutter a bit so be careful.
- Now add the cooked and chopped beetroots along with salt to taste. Mix well.
- Add the ground coconut-cumin-chilli mix and mix once again. Cook this for a couple of minutes, switch off the heat and serve it warm with roti or rice as side dish.
- This sabzi stays fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of days only since it has fresh coconut. The leftovers can be microwaved for a minute and enjoyed warm.
- Quantities of Green chillies can be adjusted. Add according to spice tolerance.
- Coconut Oil can be substituted with veg oil. Traditional Kerala recipes are made with coconut oil.
- The Recipe is Gluten Free and Vegan, Contains No Onion No Garlic.
Beetroot Thoran first appeared on the blog in August 2017. I have updated the post with new pictures, step wise cooking procedure etc.
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