Instant Pot Beet Thoran


This simple South Indian side dish is my favorite way to eat beets! Beet thoran is a flavorful stir-fry cooked in curry leaf spiced coconut oil with onion, fresh or frozen grated coconut and a few spices. Making this side dish in an instant pot makes cooking this thoran a breeze!

instant pot beet thoran

It’s no secret that I love beets – after all, the name of my blog is My Heart Beets. This simple beet recipe is one of my all-time favorite side dishes to make when preparing a Keralite meal.

In the past, I used to chop or grate raw beets (which isn’t very easy to do) and then cook them (see my old recipe… definitely not as easy as this one). With my instant pot recipe, I first steam the beets in the pressure cooker which makes it easy to remove the peels and then chop up the soft beets. Then, I stir-fry them. It’s so much easier to make which means we eat this thoran far more often.


If you’ve never heard of the word “thoran,” it basically just means “stir fry” and is a traditional Keralite way of cooking. You can make anything into a thoran! You just 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. Here are just a few thoran recipes on my blog: green bean, zucchinibutternut squashcabbage, sardines (yep, even sardines…).

I only started making thoran after marrying my husband, Roby, whose family is from Kerala. It’s now my favorite way to cook vegetables because while flavorful, it’s not overpowering.

I feel like typically Indian vegetable dishes are heavily seasoned, especially north Indian recipes. Don’t get me wrong – both are equally good in completely different ways. It’s just nice to enjoy a lightly seasoned veggie dish sometimes, where the vegetable really shines. It’s like, in this dish, the beet is the star and the other ingredients merely supporting actors. I’m currently imaging a large beet dancing in the middle of a stage with lights shining down on it… a jar of coconut oil dances in the distance.

Sometimes I tell myself that I write these random things in my blog posts to see if anyone is actually paying attention… but the truth is that this is actually what goes on in my mind. I’ve already imagined the rest of this beet themed musical (okay well, we’re actually currently in intermission) while writing this post.

Out of all the thoran dishes I’ve tried/made, I have to say beetroot thoran is my all-time favorite. My husband’s favorite is green bean thoran, so give that a try next!

instant pot beet thoran

I hope you love this recipe and find it super easy to make. One thing to keep in mind – depending on the size of the beets you use, you may need to adjust the cook time. I find that 15 minutes works well for me for medium to large beets but if you’re using smaller beets, you can probably reduce that time to 10-12 minutes.

instant pot beet thoran

Instant Pot Beet Thoran

instant pot beet thoran

Instant Pot Beet Thoran

It’s no secret that I love beets – after all, the name of my blog is My Heart Beets. This simple beet recipe is one of my all-time favorite side dishes to make when preparing a Keralite meal. In the past, I would chop or grate raw beets (which isn’t very easy to do) and then cook them but with this recipe, I first steam the beets, chop them up, then stir-fry them. It’s so much easier to make which means we eat it far more often. If you decide to use small or large beets for this dish, you may need to adjust the cooking time.
5 from 5 reviews
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Servings 2 -3
Cuisine Indian


  • 5 medium beets
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ½ onion finely diced
  • ¼ Serrano pepper or green chili adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 20 curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup grated coconut*


  • To prepare the beets, add 2 cups water into the steel inner pot, then place a steamer basket or the wire rack that came with your pressure cooker into the pot. Place the unpeeled beets on top of the rack, then secure the lid, close the pressure valve, press the steam button and set the time for 15 minutes at high pressure.
  • Open the valve to quick release any remaining pressure.
  • Once the the beets are cool enough to touch, remove them from the pot. The peels should easily slide off. Place the beets on a cutting board and chop them into small pieces. Set aside.
  • Dump out any water still remaining in the bottom of the pot, then press the sauté button and add the coconut oil. Once the coconut oil melts, add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onion, Serrano pepper, garlic and curry leaves. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are cooked through.
  • Add the turmeric and salt, stir, then add the cooked beets and mix well. Stir in the grated coconut.


*Find frozen unsweetened grated coconut at your local Indian grocery store.
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. Lea says

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was delicious. Thank you. I am going to have it with some radish leaves as a cold salad tomorrow. Likely my new favourite way to eat beetroot also. 🙂

  2. Pramila Koshy says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley, I make a beetroot dish everyday coz my hubby has hypertension & beet is said to lower BP. Thanks for the recipe. I’ve added it to my menus. Tried it yesterday & was a hit…

  3. Sonia says

    Hi Ashley,

    I love beetroot thoran too, it’s my favourite. I was reading your recipes and noticed that you call Kerala stir-fry dishes as ‘Thoran’. Thorans are known to be coconut based, very light on oil content. The Stir Fry is called ‘Mezhukaperuti’ which is basically veggies stir fried in spices in a bit more oil than for thorans.

    • Sabarish says

      Thanks for this. Thoran has recently made a big comeback of sorts in my kitchen. My little one also has started liking the coconut flavor in it and has made it easier for me to add more veggies to the diet. I have felt the same wway about thoran, it’s allows the taste of the actual vegetable to come through while aafing some flavor to it. Kind of like how life partners should be…

  4. Sarah P. says

    5 stars
    Another winner! I had five pounds of beets and fresh turmeric from the farmers market; green chili and curry leaves in my garden; and everything else in the cupboard, with the exception of shredded coconut. I decided to make it without and it was still incredible. New favorite recipe for beets. Thanks!

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