Canned Tuna Thoran, Kerala Cuisine With An Easy Hack
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Kerala is famous for its distinct cuisine, known for its use of aromatic spices, coconut, and fresh seafood. One such dish that exemplifies the region's culinary prowess is the Tuna Thoran, a convenient preparation of canned tuna cooked with grated coconut, mustard seeds, and curry leaves.

The history of Thoran as a dish can be traced back to ancient times when people living in Kerala had limited resources and had to use whatever ingredients were available to them. Thoran was born out of this need, as it is a simple dish that can be made with any vegetables or protein available. Over time, it became an integral part of the daily meal in Kerala households, and each family has its own unique way of preparing it.

The Tuna Thoran is a modern twist on the traditional dish, as it uses canned tuna instead of fresh seafood. This variation was likely influenced by the region's growing commercial fishing industry and the availability of canned tuna in the market. Nevertheless, the Tuna Thoran remains true to the traditional flavours of Kerala cuisine, with the addition of coconut and aromatic spices.

The significance of Thoran in Kerala cuisine goes beyond its simplicity and versatility. It is a testament to the region's commitment to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and creating flavourful dishes that are both nutritious and satisfying. Thoran is also a symbol of the region's culinary identity and heritage, passed down through generations of home cooks and chefs.

Video Credits: Veena's Curryworld/YouTube


  • 2 cans of canned tuna fish, drained
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • ½ cup grated coconut
  • 1 tsp finely sliced ginger
  • 3-4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 green chillies, slit
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Oil
  • Coriander leaves for garnish


  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add onions and saute until translucent.
  • Add ginger, garlic, slit green chillies, and curry leaves, and saute for a few minutes.
  • Add tomatoes along with salt and stir until the tomatoes are mashed well. Sprinkle some cilantro.
  • Add chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder, and stir for a few minutes until the oil separates from the masala.
  • Add the tuna flakes and fry well for 5 minutes on low heat.
  • Next, add grated coconut and mix well. Cover the pan and cook on low flame for 5 minutes until it is completely dry.
  • Finally, sprinkle some pepper powder.
  • Serve hot with rice.