Incredibly fresh and delicious, this coconut cabbage thoran is a great accompaniment to pretty much any other veggie curry, dhal or rice. A dry vegetable curry mixed with coconut originating from Kerala, this coconut thoran is suitable for vegans.
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So what is a thoran? A thoran is a dry curry made from vegetables and coconut that originates from southern India, usually Kerala.
It 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 one I make most often and this is my favourite way to make it.
How difficult is this recipe to make?
This is an easy recipe to make. I love recipes like this that can be made all in one pan.
Get your chopping done first, then simply fry the ingredients, in the order listed in the recipe card below.
What should you serve with this cabbage thoran?
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
- 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 would go down 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.
What ingredients do you need to make thoran?
For full quantities, ingredients list and instructions see recipe card at the end of this post.
- Sunflower oil
- 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 spicy you like things.
- Ground turmeric*
I have been using pink Himalayan salt* recently.
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 just as good.
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)
Do you need any special equipment to make thoran?
No - you will just need:
Can you freeze this recipe?
While most of my curry recipes freeze very well I wouldn't recommend freezing this thoran as the cabbage will go soggy.
More cabbage recipes
If you like this you might like one of these other vegan cabbage recipes:
Pin cabbage thoran for later
How to make cabbage thoran
If you have made this recipe and loved it please consider leaving a comment and rating below.
Coconut cabbage thoran
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes or to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp 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 tbsp sunflower oil in a large frying pan or wok.
- Add 1 tsp mustard seeds then 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp chilli flakes and 1 curry leaves. Stir fry for about 1 minute then add a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp ginger paste, stir and fry for a further minute.
- Add the chopped onion and continue to fry for 7-10 minutes until soft, 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.
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