cabbage thoran

Thoran is a dry, stir-fried curry from Kerala made from whatever fresh vegetables are available. This cabbage thoran, or muttokos thoran is a very traditional dish, often featured at feasts and celebrations. This dish is also referred to as upperi.

Thoran is a similar dish to poriyal and there are recipes for both dishes in this book. Although similar in that they feature just one vegetable and coconut is used, they do have some differences.

Poriyal is made by finishing the dish with freshly grated coconut. Thoran is made by cooking the vegetable with the grated coconut. You get a different texture and a different taste profile from the coconut. A similar recipe to this one, but for a poriyal, is our cabbage poriyal.

Thoran is cooked in coconut oil and almost any seasonal vegetable can be used – from jackfruit and raw papaya to green gram and banana stem. The key ingredients, common to all thorans, are black mustard seeds, green chilies, turmeric powder, curry leaves and coconut.

Your vegetarian friends will love this dish.

This version includes carrots, which is the Keralan tradition. They add a little sweetness and visual appeal.

Mildly spiced and brightly coloured, this cabbage thoran is one of those dishes that retain the delicate taste of the vegetable without drowning it in spices and strong flavours.

We serve thoran with pea pulao.

the recipe

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  • wide pan with lid


  • 300 g cabbage - finely sliced

to cook

to serve


  • Heat the coconut oil in a large pan on medium heat, and, when hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, after just a few seconds, add the curry leaves, cumin seeds and dried chillies. Stir for 30 seconds, then add the ginger, turmeric, salt and asafoetida and fry for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the cabbage, carrots, and coconut. Mix well and cook, covered, over a medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender, adding a tablespoon of water if they start to stick to the pan.
  • Stir in the green chillies and cook for another minute.

to serve

  • Turn the thoran into a serving dish, garnish with the coriander and serve.


  • A small cabbage weighs approximately 800g.

private notes

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Serving: 150 g | Calories: 236 kcal | Carbohydrates: 16 g | Protein: 3 g | Fat: 20 g | Saturated Fat: 16 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Sodium: 709 mg | Potassium: 406 mg | Fiber: 7 g | Sugar: 7 g | Vitamin A: 5641 IU | Vitamin C: 95 mg | Calcium: 71 mg | Iron: 2 mg

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