Beetroot Thoran Recipe, How to make Beetroot Thoran Recipe

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Beetroot Thoran Recipe – While growing up, I hated the sight of beetroot in my food, except for the recipe in this post and beetroot halwa. Tastes change with time and now this lovely veggie has become a part of my meal almost everyday.

We used to call all the dry or wet vegetable dishes as bhaji at home. At my husband’s place all dry or wet vegetable dishes are called as sabzi. When I use the word bhaji, they don’t understand what I say.

So for me in proper punjabi language, this recipe is beetroot ki sabzi. But it is not beetroot sabzi. It is not atleast the way the north indian sabzis are made.

My mom used to make this Beetroot Thoran recipe and I used to call it beetroot bhaji. I knew that this was a recipe from Kerala, but technically I did not know the name of this recipe.  I have also had this recipe made by the kerala restaurants in mumbai and the taste of this beetroot thoran was awesome. I used to love the beetroot this way, then, and always would ask my mom to make it like this.

Now, thanks to the internet, I know that technically this recipe is of Beetroot Thoran. There are many Kerala recipes that mom makes, but I do not know what they are called in Malayalam.

Now what is a Thoran:

Thoran is a traditional Kerala dry vegetable recipe made with grated or finely chopped vegetables like yam (suran), bittergourd (karela) , cabbage (bandh gobhi), carrots (gajar) , beans (beans like chawli beans, french beans) , red amaranth leaves , drumsticks or drumstick leaves. The basic ingredients in which the vegetables are cooked are shallots, coconut, curry leaves, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, green chili or red chili and coconut oil.

Thoran is one of the dishes that is served in the Sadya along with the other dishes. ( A Sadya is a grand feast where a vegetarian meal comprising of various dishes is served on a plantain/banana leaf.)

There are some variations in the thoran like adding ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, chili powder, using onions instead of shallots. In fact, my mom used to make a thoran of all the vegetables mentioned above.

If you do not like the raw taste of beetroot, than you should try this recipe. Its great. It goes very well with rotis, parathas and specially the Kerala Paratha and even steamed rice. You could also have this recipe as a side dish.

In this Beetroot Thoran recipe, I wanted some spiciness that would soften the sweetness of beetroot and coconut. So, I added both red chili and green chili along with ginger. I also added coriander powder, red chili powder and crushed whole garam masala. This was my variation to this recipe and the beetroot thoran was awesome and great.

You can either chop the beetroots finely or grate them. Grated beetroots will cook faster than the chopped ones.

For all those who do not have fresh coconut, you could easily substitute with dry or dessicated coconut. Of course fresh coconut has a different taste, but the thoran tastes equally good with dessicated coconut too.

If you are looking for veggie recipes then do check cabbage thoran, beetroot bhaji, beetroot poriyal, suran stir fry and beetroot paratha recipe.

Beetroot Thoran recipe below:

4.84 from 6 votes
Beetroot Thoran Recipe
prep time
10 mins
cook time
25 mins
total time
35 mins

Beetroot thoran recipe - a dry and delectable mildly spiced dish made with beetroots having sweet notes from the beetroot as well as the coconut.

course: main course
cuisine: south indian
servings: 4
author: dassana amit
ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)
  • 3 medium sized beetroots or 2 large beetroots, finely chopped or grated
  • cup grated fresh coconut
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) - optional
  • 4-5 shallots, quartered or sliced
  • 10-12 curry leaves, whole or chopped (kadi patta)
  • 1 or 2 whole red chilies
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped (hari mirch)
  • ¾ teaspoon ginger, finely chopped (adrak)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder) - optional
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania powder) - optional
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil or sunflower oil
  • salt as required
masala powder: spices crushed to a medium coarse powder in a mortar pestle OR use ¼ teaspoon garam masala - optional
  • 1 cardamom
  • 2 peppercorns
  • ½ inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 1 clove (lavang)
how to make recipe
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a kadai or wok.
  2. Add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the cumin seeds.
  3. The cumin seeds will start to sizzle now. Immediately add the shallots.
  4. Fry the shallots on a medium flame for 2 minutes.
  5. Now add the whole red chili, chopped green chili and ginger.
  6. Fry for a minute. Add the curry leaves.
  7. Lower the flame & ddd all the dry masala powders including the crushed and powdered whole garam masala.
  8. Make sure not to burn the masala.
  9. Fry for a half a minute and then add the beetroot. Mix the chopped beetroot with salt.
  10. Cook the beetroot without a lid with occasional stirrings. If the beetroot is grated, they will cook faster.
  11. This takes approx 10-12 minutes for grated beetroot.
  12. You can also keep the beetroot slightly crunchy if you prefer.
  13. When the beetroot is cooked, add the grated coconut and cook for a minute or two just for the flavors to blend in. Switch off the flame.
  14. Serve Beetroot Thoran hot with rice, chapatis or even parathas.
recipe notes

1. measuring cup used for ingredients is: 1 cup = 250 ml
2. to facilitate faster cooking of the beetroot, you could add some 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup of water to the beetroot.
3. you can also cover and cook the beetroot.
4. if the moisture dries up and the thoran looks dry, then add some water while cooking

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This post was last modified on January 31, 2018, 4:57 pm

    Categories Dinner RecipesIndian Vegetable RecipesKerala RecipesSouth Indian RecipesVegan Recipes

View Comments (34)

  • But i thought thoran is something in which coconut is spread over sauteed veggies and allowed to cook with the lid shut tightly shut. The flavours of the coconut and the veggies blend and create an irresistable thoran.

  • This turned out awesome...i usually dont like dishes where coconut is added but this is very tasty..Thanks

    • thanks medha..... this one is my fav beetroot dish. i am glad the recipe was great with you.....

  • I am always searching for new ways to use beetroot, and have been reading your blog in a while; I am really impressed by the diversity of Indian cuisines, your blog is a constant inspiration! So when I saw this recipe, I knew I would have to try it some day. That day was today. And I absolutely loved it! I will certainly make it again in the future, especially during the winter, when I have too much beetroot!

  • I tried out the recipe for the very first time and it tastes brilliant!!
    I'm new to south indian style cooking but just loved the flavour!!
    Thank you for sharing =)

  • hello dassanna,
    may i know about the pot you have used in making this recipe. are there any other recipes of beet?
    thank you

    • welcome uma, thats a iron kadai. there are a few recipes in the blog you can search using the google search button at top.

      • i meant to ask about the vessel you have kept the curry in. not the one you have cooked i know that is an iron one. but the other beautiful vessel with a top in which you have kept the cooked curry .what is it made of ? i have never seen such a nicely designed one.
        thank you

  • Hi Dassana,

    I made this for dinner and it was great. Thanks :D.

    Do you have a recipe for beetroot curry? I had that in Kerala and that recipe was with more sauce. Just asking... ;)

  • Hello Dassana,

    I tried this beetroot recipe today & it came out delicious. Thanks for the recipe!


  • Awsumm recipe...I used to never eat beetroot..but this recipe made me do so! Thanks a lot...must try !

  • Thanks Dassanna, I have been following ur blog and making dishes that I have never made..it's great that u have been sharing simple recipes easy to follow n yet tasty once made..thanks again

  • My husband loves my cooking, thanks to you, I follow most of your recipes to the T on a daily basis. Trying beetroot sabzi for the first time today, however I am not a fan of coconut in any form, is it okay to omit it ??

    • coconut is an important ingredient in a thoran. without coconut, the recipe will be a simple beetroot stir fry. you can omit coconut if you want. but i do suggest to give a try with coconut.

  • I have tried this recipe yesterday first time and it was awesome. I didn't like beetroot much before but with this recipe I can have beetroot now. I try many dishes from your blog and they are very tasty and healthy.many thanks to you dassana.

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