Thoran is a versatile dish as it can be altered to use a variety of vegetables, like cabbage, spinach, carrot, beans, or combination of vegetables. The main ingredient common to all thoran is grated coconut.
Here is the recipe:
- Raw plantain cut into small thin square slices. (Before you cut a raw plantain, scrub the outside skin lightly for removing dirt, make sure you have a big bowl of water to put the slices in. ) : 1 medium sized plantain
- Grated coconut : 3/4 cup
- Turmeric : a pinch
- Red chilli powder : 1 teaspoon
- Garlic minced : 2 cloves
- Tampering: 1 teaspoon each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, urad lentil
- Pinch of asafoetida
- Water : just enough to cover the plantain slices while being cooked
Usually with other vegetables used in thoran, water is not used , and most of the times, all the ingredients (except the tampering) is pre-mixed and cooked together. But since raw plantain requires a longer cooking time, it is cooked until tender with a pinch of salt and very little water.
- Cook the plantain in very little water (just enough to cover the slices) until soft and tender.
- Wait until the water is all absorbed (the heat can be stepped up a notch , to quicken the process, but keep an eye to prevent any burning of the plantain)
- Now mix the plantain with coconut, garlic, turmeric, red chilli powder, and salt . Combine everything well with hands, taking care not to mush the plantain slices.
- Now add a teapoon of oil to a hot pan, lower the heat, add the tampering and asafoetida. Saute for 5 seconds. Then add the plantain coconut mixture.
- Stir well to combine everything.
- Close the pan with a lid, keep fire on medium. Wait for everything to be cooked and allow the flavors to combine.
- After 2 minutes, open the lid and combine everything again, at this point check for salt. Close the lid, increase heat to medium -high for 30 seconds. This is to get a nice light caramalized coating on the thoran. Switch off the heat, Open the lid, give everything a final stir , put the lid back on. Best served when hot.