If you’re not familiar with Indian food – Keralite food to be exact – then you probably don’t know what thoran is. It’s basically just a method of preparing vegetables that calls for curry leaves and shredded coconut. The unique citrusy flavor of curry leaves infuses into the butternut squash, which is coated with coconut oil and unsweetened coconut. I think the reason I love using the thoran method of preparing vegetables is because it highlights the vegetable (or technically a fruit in this case) without overpowering it.
You can find unsweetened shredded coconut at your local Indian grocery store for a great price (it’s actually what I use when I make homemade coconut milk). You can also find curry leaves there – or you can order fresh curry leaves on amazon. I always buy extra and store them in my freezer.
You can make thoran with any type of vegetable – in fact, I have several other thoran recipes on the blog and this doesn’t even begin to cover the possibilities:
- 2 pounds peeled butternut squash
- 1 onion
- 2 Serrano peppers
- 3 tablespoon coconut oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 15 curry leaves
- ½ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut (can find
- 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- Add the butternut squash to a pot and cover with water. Bring this to a boil and once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.
- Meanwhile blend the onion and the Serrano peppers in a food processor.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat.
- Add the mustard seeds and once they begin to pop, add the curry leaves and the onion/serrano mixture.
- Saute for 5 minutes then add the shredded coconut, salt and turmeric. Mix well, then add the butternut squash and the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
- After a minute, turn off the heat and serve.