Sep 4, 2013

Carrot Thoran...and Happy Onam wishes in advance to all !!

I realise it has been quiet here for a while now. But that's only b'coz I've been out and about enjoying a much awaited vacation with my family. We travelled a lot,  ate so much and walked and explored and enjoyed so much that now I'd actually like a vacation from our vacation...have you ever felt like that? ;-)

The only thing we terribly missed during our vacation was nothing but home-cooked meals. Ofcourse it was definitely a bliss to be away from the kitchen for a while and enjoy free continental breakfasts at our hotel and try several new cusinies and tastes, but every now and then we wished to have something simple, something homemade. Eating from Indian restaurants din't help us much either!

So the first thing we did after we reached home was to prepare a simple yet hearty breakfast. Vermicelli Upma being something that our lil'Appu also loves, we prepared that and you should have seen how the little guy savored it, scooping in forkfull into his tiny mouth. He also missed home-cooked and familiar meals I guess :-) 

And although still tired from all the travel we decided to prepare a decent lunch and thanks to the abundance of our garden veggies, we din't have to run out to the store to buy any veggies and there was some Carrots in the fridge bought from the store a while ago.  So we cooked Rice and prepared Carrot thoran, Pulishery (seasoned buttermilk curry), Vendakka Theeyal (lady's finger /okra cooked in a roasted coconut gravy) and Achinga Payar Mezhukuperatty...the last two dishes prepared using homegrown veggies. I wish I had the recipes for all these dishes on the blog, but I'm working on getting it in here soon. 

Appu loves carrots and we add it to almost everything he eats, be it dosa, idli, sweet or savory dishes and lately he loves all kinds of thoran, including this Carrot Thoran. 
Thoran is nothing but a Malayalee version of veggie stir fry which is cooked until the veggies are almost roasted and dry and finally some grated coconut is added for flavour and texture.

Carrot thoran is a staple side dish at our house. I find grating the carrots easier but you can dice it thinly or make small cubes and prepare this thoran and the way I make it, it has a very mild hint of spice with the lovely sweetness from the carrots and onions. It’s one of our absolute favorite side dishes and tastes just great when eaten with plain white rice or Rotis and is really really easy to prepare.

 Carrot Thoran Recipe

You’ll need
Coconut Oil – 1 tblsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Dry Red Chilli – 1 (broken in half)
Curry leaves – 1 sprig (about 5-6 leaves)
Carrots (grated) – 2 large
Red Onion (diced or thinly sliced) – 1 medium
Green chillies (slit lengthwise or sliced) – 2
Fresh grated coconut – 2-3 tblsp (I used dry coconut powder)
Garlic clove – 1
Salt – to taste

1. In a frying pan, heat the oil. Temper by cracking the mustard seeds and then add dry red chillies and curry leaves.
2. Add the diced onions and green chillies, add some salt and sauté until the onions are pink and soft.
3. Add the grated Carrots now and sprinkle a tiny bit of water and cover and cook until the carrots are soft and cooked.
4. Coarsely grind or crush using a mortar-pestle the coconut and garlic and add that to the carrot and cook for few more minutes without the lid until the thoran is dry and the garlic smell wears off.

Few other suggestions:
1. If you do not want to bite into any green chillies by mistake, grind/crush it along with the coconut and garlic in Step 4.
2. You can add some chana dal or split moong dal while tempering for some more flavor and texture.
3. Use Vegetable oil if you do not prefer coconut oil.

See! now wasn't that really simple and easy. And we ate lunch to our hearts content with these simple yet yummy dishes and no restaurant food could have beat that, I say!

Onam is right around the corner (on Sep 16th this year) and I'm sure all Keralites are gearing up to celebrate this popular festival of the south-Indian state of Kerala, with family & friends and the special part is cooking up an elaborate sadhya

I wish you all a "Very Happy & Prosperous Onam" in advance. 

Here's a pic of our Vishu sadhya dishes which we prepared for this year's Vishu festival which was in April, just a few a days after we had moved in to our new house. Banana leaves which is traditionally used to serve the sadhya in is missing here, as we din't get a chance to go and buy them, but the sadhya was superb! Just looking at it makes me drool. Burrrp...oops!! Hehe... 

Can you guess the dishes?? :-)

We haven't yet planned our Onam sadhya menu, but we will soon.
Psst: Make this carrot thoran as one of your sadhya sides, lovely color, great taste, easy to make, what else do you want? ;-)



  1. Looks delicious manju !! I love the addition of coconut to curries :)

  2. Delicious and healthy thoran. Excellent preparation.

  3. the pics are stunning manju... yummy carrot thoran, ur way is different, must try sometime for sure... and pls don't ask me to guess the items on menu below, i'm very bad at it... though i would love to east all of them!!! ;)

  4. Omg, that onam sadhya looks just incredible, breath taking click and delicious foods.

    Carrot thoran looks highly inviting..Happy onam wishes to u Manju.

  5. Happy Onam to Manju dear n family...Love the carrot thoran.....Perfect vishu sadhya Hats off!!! How much time you took to prepare all these stuffs :)

  6. Oh wow, I'm drooling! Thanks for the recipe, definitely going to try it.

  7. Hope u had a great time and that is one delectable spread

  8. Simple yet tasty thoran. Manju you make thoran exactly like me :). I make carrot and tuna thoran like 'Meenu peera', my family loves it. I haven't planned anything for Onam yet :(

  9. Any thoran is OK with me. The onam spread is fantastic. Only the Vazha ela is missing :-)

  10. Wish u also a happy Onam in advance dear.. Love that carrot stir fry with coconut. I wish u had a pic of that simple yet elaborate lunch :)

  11. A delicious spread and a scrumptious thoran. The presentation bowl looks lovely too :)
    Happy Onam to you too :)

  12. Happy Onam, this dish is so good and healthy.
    I love Onam festival and the food you guys make during that day. Have fun and enjoy.

  13. Wish you a very happy Onam in advance too.. Carrot thoran looks delicious.. Nicely presented.. Loved it Manju :-)

  14. Wishing you the best Onam wishes as well. May king mahabali visit your home and bless you with tons of happiness, love and peace. Happy Onam!

  15. Yummy thoran !!

  16. Dearest Manju,

    Here I am again to say how sorry I am to have missed so many posts from your blog. I don't understand why I am not getting email notifications. I signed up with two email address and both are not getting notifications. I looked over all your lovely recipes... what a bounty of beautiful vegetables from your garden!! You looked to have such a wonderful summer!!

    Happy Onam!!



  17. I have never tried a thoran before, it looks delicious! I also love your last photo of the assortment of different foods for Onam. It looks amazing.

  18. wow, love the colours! carrot thoran is a fav at our home too, but i so wish to have a garden patch like yours, sounds like fun to cook from organic own sourced veggies :-)


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