I don't think any Keralite meal is complete without some thoran or mezhukuperatty as a side dish.
Thoran is a dry side dish made mostly with veggies like beans, carrots, cabbage, green leaves etc. The preparation involves starting with some tempering by cracking mustard seeds with some curry leaves , adding the veggie and adding some grated coconut at the end.
Mezhukuperatty ( pronounced Me-rhu-ku-pe-ratty) is again a dry side dish prepared almost the same way but without adding any coconut or any tempering. The same veggies can be used to make either preparations and both are one of a kind.
So lets start with thoran , here I prepared Beetroot thoran. Beetroot has a lot of health benefits , they are a very good source of calcium, iron, Vitamins A and C and also a good source of folic acid. Betacyanin, the pigment which provides beetroots its distinct color has excellent antioxidant properties. All this is info is from what I have learnt during my school days I guess, I'm sure it has a lot more benefits.
I guess my very first meal that I prepared after my wedding was Beetroot thoran with pumkin curry and rice :-) and to this day that remains mine and my hus's favorite lunch meal combo :-) Mayb some fried fish would be good too....drool drool !
This is my own recipe, I'm sure there maybe plenty of other ways to make thoran, but this is easy and how I make it. Also its best to use fresh grated coconut, but since I dint have any, I used dry coconut powder.
I've provided few step by step pics, hope this gives an idea about the preparation. :-)
Beetroot Thoran Recipe
Recipe source : My own
Beetroots - 3-4 medium sized (Grated)
Red Onion - 1 large (Finely chopped)
Green Chillies - 2-3 (Thinly sliced)
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Red Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Canola Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1-2 tsp
Dry Red Chilli - 1 or 2
Curry Leaves - 1sprig ( 4-5 leaves)
1. Heat the canola oil in a frying pan and crack the mustard seeds , then add Dry Red chillies and Curry leaves and saute for 1 minute.
2. Now add the chopped red onions and green chillies and add little salt and saute for another 2 minutes until the onions become soft and pink.
3. Add the grated beetroot ,the red chilli powder and turmeric powder at this point and cover and cook until beetroot becomes soft ,for about 5-10mins (the red chilli powder helps to add little spice as the beetroot maybe sweet to taste)
4. Next add the grated coconut ( I used dry coconut powder) and cook the beetroot thoran by taking off the lid. This helps to get the mixture to dry up.
(Forgive my snap here, the light was not good )
5. Take it off the heat when you feel the beetroot is well cooked and dry.
6. Serve it hot with steamed rice and some curry if you like, else its tasty when eaten alone with rice too.
Beetroot thoran will taste sweet with a hint of spice which is something I like. If you like more spice, you could add red chilli flakes instead of the red chilli powder.
I could eat this with plain rice all day. Its simple , healthy and tasty ofcourse!
Suggestion: Some people like the taste of garlic in their thoran preparation, the best way to incorporate it is by pulsing once or twice a clove of garlic with some grated coconut and green chillies if you like in a mixer grinder and adding it at Step #4 , the thoran texture will look different and you wont bite into any garlic or chillies ;-)
I'm sending this post to
1. Fast Food not Fat Food Event #7 hosted by Priya of Now Serving and
2. Healthy Cooking Challenge : Healthy Lunch event guest hosted by Kavi of Edible Entertainment and hosted by Smitha of My Tasty Curry.