August 7, 2007

Chena Thoran | Yam Thoran | Moru Kachiyathu

Kerala fish fry with spiced buttermilk and a thoran is a is a simple yet complete Kerala meal. Although fried fish can be served with pretty much any chaaru curry or kuzhambu, spiced buttermilk or Kerala style Moru Kachiyathu is a popular choice. Buttermilk is usually prepared at home and then spiced with turmeric and cumin and sometimes with a coconut paste before tempering. This makes for a delicious Kerala style curry that can be poured over rice.

We are going to make rice, moru kachiyathu, chena (yam) thoran and fried fish. I have mentioned the preparation required for each dish and how to cook it.

Preparations required for each dish

For chena thoran:

Cut 250 gms chena/yam into small cubes.
Grate 1 cup coconut.

You can keep both these in the fridge overnight.

For fish fry:

Cut and clean the fish, marinate in the paste (recipe follows) and leave in the freezer.

Now let's move on the actual meal.

Here are the items again and the preparation time required.

1. Rice - 7 mins
2. Moru kachiyathu - 7 mins
3. Chena thoran - 10 mins
4. Fish fry - 8 mins


We use white rice at home, unlike the normal kuthari which is used commonly is Kerala households. Though inferior to the other variety in nutrition, white rice cooks much easier.

Moru Kachiyathu
What I Used:

Butter Milk - 2 cups
Green Chillies - 3
Ginger - 1/2" piece
Garlic - 4 cloves

Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Jeera Powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 strand

How I Made It:

Heat oil and crackle some mustard seeds. Make the chillies, ginger and garlic into a coarse paste and fry for 2 minutes in the heated oil. Add curry leaves, turmeric, jeera powder and one red chilly cut into big pieces. Stir for another minute. Then add the butter milk and salt and remove from fire. Please note: heating the butter milk will split it so minimum heat should be used after it is added. The best way is to remove the pan from fire immediately after adding the butter milk.

Tip: If the butter milk is a little too sour for your taste, add some vegetable of your liking, like semi-ripe banana, cucumber or semi-ripe papaya.

Chena/Yam Thoran
What I Used:

Chena - 250gm
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Shallots - 6 nos
Jeera powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - one pinch
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - one strand
Salt - to taste

How I Made It:

Boil the chena till soft in a little water and salt. Grind coconut, jeera powder, 2 shallots and turmeric. Heat oil and add mustard seeds and urad dal. Then add the remaining shallots in small pieces, curry leaves, the ground coconut paste and fry a little. Finally add the boiled chena, mix well and stir till the paste has blended.

Fish Fry Recipe is posted already. 

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