Cabbage stir fry with coconut is called Thoran. It is a dry side dish usually served with rice in most Kerala homes. Cabbage thoran is served for traditional Kerala feasts too.
Cabbage stir fried does not have any overpowering spices hence maintaining the natural flavor of cabbage. When spicy meat dishes are served cabbage thoran neutralizes spiciness, cleans the palate and balances flavor.
JUMP TO :
- How to choose a cabbage for stir fry ?
- Thoran FAQs (vegetables used)
- Ingredients list and substitutes
- Step pictures for making cabbage stir fry
- Other recipes
How to choose cabbage for stir fry?
- Pick a tender cabbage that is heavy for its size.
- The shape of the cabbage matters, pick flatter oval one than a taller one. The leaves are much closer in flatter ones and value for money. Taller ones have more empty space in between if u look carefully.
- It is easier to cut and chop tender and densely attached leaves than the other way round.
Thoran is a stir fry prepared with any vegetable, fresh grated coconut and a mix of mild spices. Thoran is usually served with rice as a side dish.
Thoran is usually served on the towards center of the top half of the banana leaf on the right of olan.
A tablespoon or two of thoran is served for the traditional feast.
Hardy vegetables are usually used to make thoran. any vegetable that becomes mushy or slimy easily are avoided. Green raw banana, long beans, flat beans, French beans, carrot, green raw papaya, snake gourd, bitter gourd, beetroot, elephant yam, leafy greens etc are used to make thoran generally.
For Kerala sadhya usually cabbage, beans carrot etc are used for thoran. Green leafy vegetable such as spinach or moringa, tubular roots, ladysfinger / okra are not made as they reduce considerably in size and not a feasible idea for large scale cooking.
Ingredients list for cabbage stir fried :
- Cabbage : Use green or white cabbage for this recipe. Purple works but may turn pale when mixed with turmeric powder. Napa and savoy could be used if regular cabbage is not available.
- Coconut : Adds a nutty sweet flavor without overpowering the vegetable.
- Traditionally it is very lightly stone ground for its milk and oils to be activated. Instead squeezing and crushing with bare hands does the job. Adding crushed small onion, garlic and cumin while squeezing activates the spice oils and aroma present in them too.Use frozen grated coconut if fresh is not available.
- Dry unsweetened desiccated should be your last resort.SUBSTITUTE : Use freshly grated carrot and continue the same recipe. If you are trying to cut down on coconut.
- Cumin : Helps in digesting the cabbage better and reduces bloating. Slows cell damage and a good antioxidant.
- Turmeric : Helps in killing any bacteria left in the cabbage. Can be avoided to keep the dish white or green in color.
- Garlic : Aids digestion and help in eliminating waste and toxins in the body. You may eliminate if you dislike the smell as the garlic is not sautéed in high heat in this recipe.
- Small onion : Adds flavor but omit if you do not prefer the oniony flavor in veggies.
- Green or ripe green chili adds a unique aroma when crushed with coconut. Do not ship this.
FOR KERALA SADHYA :
- Traditional sadhyas serve only Satvic food.
- CABBAGE THORAN CONTAINS Cabbage, coconut, cumin, green chili, turmeric salt and the seasoning contains mustard seeds, whole red chilies, curry leaves and split urad dal or channa dal.
- Onion and garlic are considered tamasic as per Hindu shastra.
Why use ripe green chili in this recipe?
Ripe green chilis are fruitier and milder than the green chili. It adds a sweeter and better fragrance to stir fry.
Why is the coconut mixture buried inside the vegetable heap?
The heat from the vegetable already in the pan will bring the up the temperature of the coconut mixture and block the aromas from being lost in the cooking process. Instead the veggies will absorb it and everything will cook evenly. When everything is tightly packed the tendency to leave moisture is reduced to a large extend.
Steps for making cabbage stir fried with coconut :
Various combinations in cabbage stir fry to try:
A mix of cabbage and carrot , cabbage and French beans, cabbage and toor dal, cabbage and egg.
Other recipes to try from elephants and the coconut trees :
Cabbage stir fried
- 1/4 of 1 Cabbage
To crush lightly
- 1/2 cup Coconut Use more if you like the flavor
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1/2 of 1 Small onion
- 1 clove Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 3 tsp Coconut oil
- 1 Whole dried red chilies
- 1 sprig Curry leaves
- Rinse the cabbage and chop finely so it cooks evenly.
- Crush the cumin garlic and small onion well add it to the coconut. Add turmeric and salt too. Mix and squeeze this mixture will with your hand till the coconut reduces slightly and holds shape in your fist.
- Heat coconut oil add mustard seeds when it splutters add whole red chili curry leaves then add in the cabbage and sauté until it turn light green and slightly soft.
- Bring the cabbage to the center of the pan and dig a well in the middle, burry the coconut mixture in it and cover well with the cabbage. Sprinkle some water and allow it to cook on low flame for 7-8 minutes. When most of the moisture is gone. Give it a good stir. Cook for two more minutes only and remove from heat.Note : You can continue sautéing cabbage on low heat for super dry darker yellowish brown thoran. But you will loose the aroma and fragrance of fresh veggie and spices.( This is totally based on taste and preference)
- Serve cabbage thoran with rice and other spicy curries or non vegetarian dishes.
Hope you will I've this cabbage recipe a try and let me know.