April 12, 2013

Cabbage Thoran Recipe - Kerala Cabbage Thoran with Coconut for Onam Sadya

Cabbage Thoran, or rather, Thoran in general, is an everyday dry curry for rice made in Kerala using any vegetable of choice, grated coconut, shallots, cumin, and chillies or chilli powder. Thoran is a mild and very lightly spiced with the flavours of the vegetables shining through. In northern Kerala, thoran is referred to as upperi but to us, upperi refers to the Kerala Banana Chips.

Cabbage Thoran Recipe - Kerala Cabbage Curry with Coconut - Onam Recipes

When we were newly-weds, it used to irk me that TH refers to every vegetable side dish as "curry". So he'd call Cabbage Thoran cabbage curry! I would keep correcting him and finally he can recognise a thoran. Mission accomplished! To balance our tastes, I always add lesser coconut in a thoran than what someone living in Kerala or has access to lots and lots of fresh coconut would. Even then, Thoran is soul-food for me, and I love cooking up different versions depending on the vegetables in hand.

Cabbage Thoran Recipe - Kerala Cabbage Curry with Coconut - Onam Recipes

Cabbage Thoran is a pretty standard dish in any Kerala Sadya Recipe List since it's easy to make and goes well with the Parippu Curry and Kerala Sambar served at a Sadya. Also, if you are someone who dreads the nasty smell of cooking cabbage, fear not. The shallots and cumin seeds in thoran make it go away completely. Trust me on this.

Amma cooks certain types of thoran in a very no-hassle way. Just mix up all the ingredients, add it to the kadai and sort of steam cook it until done. You can leave the thoran to cook and go about the rest of your cooking for the day. We also cook Raw Papaya Thoran in a similar way. Also, here's the recipe for Tamil-Style Cabbage Poriyal, which is made slightly differently.


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 4 as a side
Recipe source: Amma

  • 2 cups of finely shredded cabbage (I use one of my fave kitchen gadgets for this)
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 4-5 of shallots, ulli - chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup of grated coconut
  • 3/4 tsp of cumin seeds, jeera, slightly crushed
  • A few of curry leaves, roughtly torn
  • 2 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp of black mustard seeds

How to Make Cabbage Thoran:

1. In a wide bowl or plate, mix the cabbage, turmeric, curry leaves, shallots, cumin, coconut, and salt. Let it sit for 5 mins - the cabbage will let out some water.
Cabbage Thoran Recipe - Kerala Cabbage Curry with Coconut - Onam Recipes

2. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. The bubbles are because of the coconut oil.
Cabbage Thoran Recipe - Kerala Cabbage Curry with Coconut - Onam Recipes

3. When they pop, add the cabbage mixture and stir well to coat the oil and the ingredients well. Pat down tightly and close the pan. Cook on very low heat for 12-15 mins. You can check in between to make sure that the bottom is not getting burned but if you keep the flame super low, you should be fine.
Cabbage Thoran Recipe - Kerala Cabbage Curry with Coconut - Onam Recipes

4. Uncover, stir through to make sure the cabbage is cooked (if not, cook for a while longer) and adjust salt if required.
Cabbage Thoran Recipe - Kerala Cabbage Curry with Coconut - Onam Recipes

That's it. No-fuss, hands-free Cabbage Thoran is ready!

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  1. one of my favourite in vishu recipes

  2. Very delicious thoran.. looks yum... I'm a new blogger... Do visit my blog.. http://kitchenserenity.blogspot.in/

  3. Simple & delicious thoran.. Cant imagine a sadhya vazhayila without this one..

  4. Simple yet delicious one... even can see the recipe in every marriage platter...

  5. one of my fav dish with cabbage. the jute fabric in the background is adding to the rustic feel.

  6. looks delicious n yummy....

  7. I Absolutely love Cabbage thoran...and did u actually chope it so nicely and finely? I never have the patiece, so I just shop into slightly larger chunks and make the thoran, but the finely chopping makes such a huge difference in taste and texture although you are eating the same thing cut in different ways.

    Happy Vishu to you in advance :-)

    1. i have this Philips blender chopper thing that does the job beautifully

  8. That looks delicious! :)
    My family and I aren't really fans of cabbage.. they always wait in the fridge for weeks until we make them, but I'm definitely going to try this next time. (We get a veggie "box" from our local farmer and we don't know what he puts in.)
    Oh, and we have exactly the same hand blender that you have! I love it, too. :)
    Best wishes, Lara

  9. Anytime comfort food...looks too good, nice clicks too!


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