Cabbage thoran – Cabbage cooked with coconut and subtle spices. A deliciously simple and easy side dish!
I love classic food. You know, the kind of food that takes me back to my roots. The kind of food that make me feel at home. To be honest, cooking and enjoying classic recipes always bring a smile on my face.
The other day, while I was chatting with one of my friends, all on a sudden, we started talking about the traditional Indian food especially Kerala cuisine. My friend was planning to visit India after a long while, and I think the excitement triggered the conversation. As a consequence, I also tripped into a ‘classic ‘ mode and decided on a traditional menu for dinner that day.
Now, that’s the magic of traditional food. No matter where you go, it always provides warmth and comfort for your soul.
So, along with my favorite chicken and fish curries, I also made a stir fry with cabbage and coconut. Yes, it’s a super simple stir fry that you can make in a jiffy.
In Kerala cuisine, thoran often denotes a simple stir fry with vegetables and coconut. This cabbage thoran is a no-brainer. Even novice cooks can make it quickly and easily.
All the flavors in this stir fry- cabbage, coconut, green chilies, turmeric- are just spot on. These flavors along with my ‘secret’ ingredient makes this an awesome recipe. Well, on second thoughts, maybe it’s not a secret anymore.
And here’s the secret element in this cabbage thoran – crushed fresh ginger. You’ll only need a very small piece to bring out the flavors. Again, don’t use store bought minced ginger. ‘Fresh’ is the keyword here.
To make this thoran, start by spluttering mustard seeds just because these little seeds are the backbone of almost all curries in Kerala cuisine. Then lightly fry our secret element, ginger. You’ll also need to make a quick mixture of coconut, green chilies and turmeric which is then added to ginger. Finally, the cabbage goes in. Don’t forget to season with salt.
The next step is cooking it over a low flame. I usually don’t add water to cook cabbage. Instead, I cover the pan with a lid, reduce the flame to very low, and stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Done! Simple, quick and easy classic dish on your dinner table in minutes!
One final tip – Your favorite chicken or fish curry and steamed rice is a must with this cabbage thoran.
- 4 cups chopped cabbage
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 cm ginger, crushed
- Salt to taste
- ¾ cup grated coconut
- 2 green chilies, chopped
- 1 shallot or small onion
- ½ tsp ground turmeric (turmeric powder)
- Place coconut, green chilies, onion and turmeric in the bowl of a food processor. Grind to a coarse paste. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Splutter mustard seeds. Fry curry leaves. Add ginger, and fry for a few seconds. Add coconut mixture. Fry, stirring, for a minute. Add cabbage. Season with salt. Mix well. Cook, covered, for 3-4 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Serve with rice.