Weary with the greens, try magenta 💕: Beetroot and carrot thoran 🥕(Kerala)

Missing the cold lunches in office? Or realising what you have been missing all these days? Hot meals🍲 !! Food always tastes better hot and now we have the luxury of eating hot meals straight off the stove; let’s make the most of it.

We have not been able to buy fresh meat and fish the past week in the midst of the lockdown. Meals have become mostly vegetarian now; eggs are still available though. Think veg and the colour green to mind; salads mostly. But the veggies have more colour to offer, only we need to explore.

Below is a simple South Indian veg meal – rice with pappadam, sambar and beetroot-carrot thoran. Do not forget the mango pickle. No greens seen but orange and magenta rule – the veg meal is light, colourful in addition to all the fibre and nutrient it offers.

South Indian veg meal - rice with pappadam, sambar, beetroot-carrot thoran.
South Indian veg meal – rice with pappadam, sambar, beetroot-carrot thoran.

The exacting recipes for the individual dishes are available in plenty on the net. Here I am just walking you through the beetroot-carrot thoran – a favourite of mine because of its spectacular colour and sweet taste.

[1] The only pain point in making the dish is grating the beetroot and carrot. The rest of the process is easy-peasy. A point to remember is that beet has slightly bitter taste, we have to keep the volume to 1/2 carrot and 1/2 beet. In the pic below, beet quantity may look more, it’s because the carrot was grated first and is at the bottom of the vessel. The mix of colour is rich and beautiful😘. If you add more carrot and less beet the final colour will be  dark orange and not magenta.

For the beetroot - carrot thoran - 2/3rd carrot and 1/3rd beet, grated
For the beetroot – carrot thoran – 1/2 carrot and 1/2 beet, grated

[2] Next step is to coarsely grind the mix of grated coconut, onion, garlic, green chillies. Thoran is a coconut based veg dish and all Kerala homes will have grated coconut stored in the freezer, grating coconut it is a laborious process and best done once a week in bulk.

Coarsely grind a mix of grated coconut, onion, garlic, green chillies.
Coarsely grind a mix of grated coconut, onion, garlic, green chillies.
Coarsely ground mix of grated coconut, onion, garlic, green chillies.
Coarsely ground mix of grated coconut, onion, garlic, green chillies.

[3] Next is the tempering – in a kadai, heat oil (I use coconut oil), add mustard and wait for it to splutter. Next add a few sliced shallots, curry leaves, whole red chillies, turmeric powder and sauté. 

To this add the grated beet-carrot mix and stir well. Sprinkle some water and let the contents cook with the lid closed. I use a non-stick vessel as am cooking without much water.

Add the beet-carrot mix after tempering
Add the beet-carrot mix after tempering

[4] After about 8 minutes, add the coarsely ground coconut mix, stir well and again close the lid to cook well. 

Add the coarsely ground coconut mix to the beet-carrot
Add the coarsely ground coconut mix to the beet-carrot

[5] After the beet and carrot is cooked well, the colour becomes a uniform magenta. 

The beet and carrot is cooked well, the colour becomes a uniform magenta. 
The beet and carrot is cooked well, the colour becomes a uniform magenta.

The beet-carrot thoran is ready !! Try it, the dish is tasty, the colour is spectacular and all good stuff.

Stay safe.

Till next post, take care !!

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