¼ cup water to be sprinkled (optional) and if only the cucumber starts getting browned
⅓ to ½ cup grated fresh coconut
Rinse and then peel 500 grams vellarikka (malabar cucumber). Slice the cucumber and remove the seeds. Then chop in small cubes.
In a heavy pan heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle.
Add ½ cup pearl onions (sambar onions) or shallots. Also add 1 green chili (chopped), 1 dry red chili (broken and deseeded) and 10 to 12 curry leaves. Instead of pearl onions, you can even use ½ cup chopped onions.
Sauté onions till translucent.
Then add 1 teaspoon cumin powder and mix.
Add the chopped vellarikka.
Season with salt as per taste.
Cover pan with a lid and simmer veggies on a low flame.
Do check after every 3 to 4 minutes. If the cucumber starts getting browned at the base, then only add about ¼ cup water. Sprinkle water all over. Mix, cover the pan and continue to cook.
Cover and cook till the cucumber is tender. There should be no water in the pan. If there is water then let it evaporate by cooking without the lid.
Then add ⅓ to ½ cup tightly packed grated coconut. Mix and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more on a low flame. Then switch off flame.
Serve vellarikka thoran as a side dish with a vegetarian kerala main course.