Thoran - Have You Tried These 4 Varieties From Kerala?
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Also known as God’s own country, Kerala is not only known for its natural beauty and unexplored places but also for the multitude of delectable delights it offers. The cuisine of Kerala offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies, prepared with the flavour and aroma of local spices. Rice, fish, and coconut are some most common ingredients used in the cooking of Kerala. Appam, idiyappam and thalassery biryani are some of the well-known dishes of Kerala, popular in other parts of the country too.  However, there's a vegetarian dish called Thoran that is also worth a try. 

Also known as upperi in some parts of Kerala, this is a dry vegetable dish that is prepared by combining vegetables with coconut and is usually eaten with rice and curry. During the festival of Onam, thoran is an essential part of Sadya, which is a lavish feast with more than twenty dishes. There are many varieties of thoran and each of them uses some basic ingredients like coconut, mustard seeds and shallots but tastes very different from each other. The variety depends on vegetables that grow in the particular season. It is a comfort side dish that is simple, healthy and prepared without any fuss.  

Here are four varieties of thoran that you can pair perfectly with rice for lunch: 

1. Idichakka Thoran 

Prepared with young jackfruit, this dish is super healthy and loaded with fibre. Popular as Panasa pottu koora in Andhra, it is prepared by combining shredded jackfruit with spices like cumin, green chillies and coconut. It can be prepared within minutes and it is also gluten free. This delicious thoran is best served with mixed vegetable sambar and steamed rice. 

2. Peechinga Thoran 

Ridge gourd or peechinga, commonly known as tuai in Hindi, is not among the favourite veggies for most of the people unless it's cooked as thoran. In Kerala peechinga thoran is prepared in many ways and this comforting dish is best served with tomato rasam, kovakka fry and hot rice. The unique thing about this dish is that it is not mixed with any other vegetable as it would affect the distinct taste of the thoran. 

3. Chemeen Thoran 

Thoran dish is usually prepared with seasonal vegetables but if you are a seafood lover, this dish is definitely for you. It is a side dish that goes perfectly well with rice and fish fry. Prepared with fresh prawns cooked in a delicious coconut-based masala, you just need to sauté the spices and add chopped prawns, marinated chilli, salt and turmeric powder and cook until the prawns are done. 

4. Mushroom Thoran 

This Kerala-style stir-fried mushroom prepared with desiccated coconut and spices is perfect to fit in every day's meal. It is not only delicious but also healthy. Add finely chopped mushrooms into the delicious paste made with coconut and shallot then temper with mustard, cumin seeds and curry leaves. It has a mild flavour and goes well with rice and dal. 

So, which one of these are you going to try first?