A dry vegetable curry mixed with coconut originating from Kerala, this cabbage thoran is incredibly fresh and delicious. Goes well with most other curries and is suitable for vegans.
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A thoran is a dry curry made from vegetables, spices and coconut. It that originates from south India, usually Kerala.
And it is absolutely delicious.
If you haven't tried a coconut thoran before I highly recommend that you do. It goes so well with other curries - such as a simple dal.
Thoran can be made with different vegetables - for example Meera Sodha has a great recipe for Brussels sprouts thoran in her book Fresh India*, which I highly recommend.
But cabbage thoran is the one I make most often - in fact it's definitely my favourite way to eat cabbage.
Thoran is easy to make and can be made in one pan.
I recommend that you chop your ingredients first as it comes together quickly once you start cooking.
Thoran is a great accompaniment to most curries.
Because it's based on a south Indian dish I prefer to eat it with lighter curries such as:
- chickpea and spinach curry
- parsnip and cauliflower korma
- sweet potato and beetroot curry
- coconut dal
- red lentil dhal with aubergine and chickpeas
- okra curry
- easy red lentil dal (on my other site Sneaky Veg)
Rice also goes well with thoran. In addition (or alternatively) some chapatis or paratha also go well.
Naan bread comes from north India so wouldn't traditionally be served with a thoran but if you don't mind that then my homemade vegan naan bread would be delicious with this too.
For full recipe including ingredients list, quantities and method please see the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Sunflower oil - for frying
- Curry leaves - can be bought in Asian shops and large supermarkets. Alternatively order online*. NB: dried curry leaves are available but the flavour of fresh ones is much better so try to find those if you can. I usually buy mine in bulk and store in the freezer.
- Black mustard seeds*
- Cumin seeds*
- Red chilli flakes* - use as much or as little as you like depending on how much spice you like.
- Ground turmeric*
- Salt - I have been using pink Himalayan salt* recently. Sea salt is also good.
- Ginger - using ginger paste* from a jar makes this recipe even quicker. However, finely chopped fresh ginger, or fresh ginger blended or mashed to a paste in a pestle and mortar is even better.
- Onion - a white or brown onion is best for this recipe.
- White cabbage - you could also use a green cabbage eg savoy cabbage.
- Desiccated coconut* - or grated fresh coconut if available
To make this recipe you will need:
If you have leftovers you can store them (once cool) in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. When ready to eat reheat in a hot pan until piping hot.
While most of my curry recipes freeze very well I wouldn't recommend freezing this thoran as the cabbage will go soggy.
How to make cabbage thoran
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Coconut cabbage thoran
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes or to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste or finely chopped ginger
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 white cabbage shredded
- 100 g desiccated coconut or grated fresh coconut if available
- Heat 1 tablespoon sunflower oil in a large frying pan or wok.
- Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds then 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ½ teaspoon chilli flakes and 10 curry leaves.
- Stir fry for about 1 minute then add a pinch of salt, ½ teaspoon turmeric and 1 tablespoon ginger paste. Stir and fry for a further minute.
- Add the chopped onion and continue to fry for 7-10 minutes until soft and turning golden, stirring often.
- Add the shredded cabbage and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until soft. Stir often and add a little water if needed to stop it sticking.
- When the cabbage is soft add 100g desiccated coconut and heat through.
- Taste and add extra salt if needed.
If you like this you might also like my coconut sambol.
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