A thoren is a dry curry from the region of southern India known as Kerala. This vegetable dish is one of our favorite green bean dishes. This recipe comes from Curried Favors by Maya Kaimal Macmillan, page 75. The coconut in this recipe must be unsweetened. There is a separate entry under the “Where Do You Get This Stuff?” tab on purchasing unsweetened grated coconut.
This recipe cooks quickly because the vegetables are cut into small pieces.
2 pkg. (10 oz. each), thawed, or 1 lb. fresh green beans
¾ cup grated unsweetened coconut
1 green chile (Thai, serrano, or jalapeno)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with side of knife
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
¼ to ½ cup water, as needed
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dried red peppers
10 curry leaves or 2 bay leaves
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp uncooked long-grain rice
1. Cut beans into ¼-inch pieces and set aside.
2. In a small bowl combine coconut, green chile, crushed garlic, spices, and salt with enough water to make a moist ball; set aside.
3. In a covered wok or large frying pan over high heat, heat mustard seeds, red peppers and curry or bay leaves in oil. When mustard seeds begin to pop, uncover and add rice. Stir until it turns white, 20 to 30 seconds.
4. Add beans, turn heat down to medium-high, and stir-fry until beans turn bright green and are nearly tender. If using fresh beans, add 1 to 2 tbsp water and cover with a lid (fresh beans take longer to cook than frozen).
5. Add coconut spice mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are done, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste for salt.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes.