Beet Thoran (Indian Beet Stir-fry)


Beet Stir-fry

If you’ve been looking for an awesome way to cook beets – look no more. Beet thoran, an Indian beet stir-fry, is my favorite way to eat beets! The beets are cooked with coconut, onion, serrano pepper, and spices – it’s absolutely delicious!

If you’ve never heard of the word “thoran,” it basically means “stir fry” and is a traditional Keralite way of cooking vegetables. You can make anything into a thoran; you need to grate or chop vegetables, mix them up with a few other ingredients and stir-fry it all together. When I say you can make anything into a thoran, I’m not kidding. Think zucchini, butternut squash, cabbage, to name a few!

I learned how to cook thoran after marrying my husband, Roby, whose family is from Kerala, and now it’s my favorite way to cook veggies. Out of all the thoran I’ve tried/made, I have to say beetroot thoran is my favorite (my hubby’s favorite is green bean thoran). Let me know what you think of this beet thoran!

Beet Thoran (Indian Beet Stir-fry)

Beet Stir-fry

Beet Thoran (Indian Beet Stir-fry)

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  • 3 cups grated beets 4 medium beets peeled and grated
  • 1 ½ cups white onion diced (1 large onion)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 15 curry leaves
  • ¼ cup grated coconut*
  • 1 green chili minced (2-3 if you like it spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne optional
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup water


  • Dump the grated beets, onion, garlic, curry leaves, grated coconut and green chili into a bowl and mix.
  • Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium heat and add mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add the beet mixture, turmeric, cayenne and salt and mix well.
  • Add water, cover the pan and cook on low for 5 minutes.
  • Remove lid and stir fry for another 5 minutes or until the liquid dries.


*I use the brand “Daily Delight” – fresh frozen grated coconut
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Mardee says

    I noticed that you have 4 Tbs of grated coconut listed twice – is that a mistake or does it call for 8 Tbs?


  2. Pongodhall says

    I just love this. So far, I just love your recipes!
    You know that 3 ingredients naan that becomes so much else too is nothing short of brilliant and I thank you very much as I am not a good cook but I yptry so very hard to be and recipes like this are so enabling.

  3. Cindi@MyPrimalAdventures says

    I’ve never seen or heard of curry leaves–could I use anything else in its place? Paste/powder?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Cindi! There really isn’t a good substitute for curry leaves; they have such a unique taste. Curry powder is a spice blend and is not related to curry leaves in any way (confusing, I know). If you can’t find these leaves at your local ethnic market, you can always order fresh curry leaves on amazon for less than $2:

  4. Ash says

    Ash, I am so going to make this zucchini and beet stir fry, I was just wondering if paleo /whole30 allows the use of asefetida (hing). Curry leaves and hing goes together very well.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Ash, that’s awesome! Asafoetida is typically diluted with wheat and so its off limits for paleo. I know they have gluten-free asafoetida but even that is cut with rice flour and therefore still not paleo. If you’re doing a whole30 or are strict about paleo then you should probably avoid using it.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Paleo-Curious! I wouldn’t use the dried flakes. If you visit your local Indian or ethnic food store, you’ll find some inexpensive frozen grated coconut (~$3). I currently use the brand Daily Delight – fresh frozen grated coconut. Thanks for asking this question! I will update my post for others who might be wondering the same thing.

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