I’m trying to add more greens to #hotnspicyhusband’s diet and mine as well. Whenever I write a recipe, I always try to make it easy so my adult children can make it too. This is a typical Kerala Thoran – or a dry spiced vegetable made with a paste of coconut, chilies, and cumin. Indian food doesn’t get any easier! If you don’t like hot and spicy, just leave out the chilies, and you still have a delicious lunch or dinner dish!
- 300g long beans, finely chopped
- ¼ cup coconut, grated
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin
- 1 green chili, coarsely chopped
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 4 cloves garlic
- a cup of water
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seed
- 1 dried red chili
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon turmeric Click here to buy our favourite turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil Click here to buy our favourite coconut oil
- Combine the grated coconut, cumin, green chilies, curry leaves, garlic, and ¼ cup water in a blender or food processor. Blend until you have a coarse paste.
- Heat coconut oil on medium heat in a wok or frying pan. Add mustard seeds, red chili, and onions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes and allow onions to lightly brown.
- Add chopped beans. Then add turmeric and salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add the coconut paste to the beans and mix well. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until beans are tender.
- Garnish with grated coconut. Serve with rice or chapati.
This style of cooking works well not just for long beans, but also green beans and even cabbage (or carrots!) Curry leaves of course give critical flavor, and you can put them into oil or add them to the paste. (I don’t like them coming in my mouth so I grind mine.) If you don’t have any – they aren’t always available in other countries, just skip them. No red chilies, no one is going to notice. The cumin is critical for flavor, you could use ground if you don’t have whole. I find this works just as well without the turmeric, although turmeric is good for you! Even without an onion, your Thoran is going to turn out just as well! Feeling lazy about chopping onions? Just stick them in the food processor separately. If you don’t have fresh coconut, you can use desiccated (not sweetened) coconut. Click here to buy our favourite desiccated coconut. Just soak it in a few tablespoons of milk, so it is moist. Who’s gonna know?