Food - Drink
Cabbage Thoran: The Delicately Flavored Indian Dish You Should Know
By ZIBA REDIF
Stir-frying and curry spices play an important culinary role in many Asian cultures, especially in South Asia. Cabbage thoran is one underrated dish you should know, a lightly spiced stir-fry from Kerala, India that has many of the key features of South Indian cuisine, such as richness, tanginess, and a mild coconutty flavor.
Cabbage thoran is a vegetarian dish that's tasty enough to be devoured by omnivores and non-meat eaters alike. Besides cabbage, it's made with a colorful medley of vegetables, chillies, shallots, fresh coconut, fresh curry leaves, black mustard seeds, and seasonings like cumin and turmeric, all cooked in coconut oil.
Cabbage thoran is one of the many meals that form a Sadya, a unique Kerala-style feast that consists of up to 28 vegetarian dishes; this feast stars in Onam, one of the biggest festivals of Kerala and Vishu. "Thoran" is actually a term for any dry curry made out of vegetables, though cabbage is the classic choice.
To make thoran, finely chop or grate your veggies, then fry mustard seeds in a pan for about 15 seconds, add curry leaves and chillies, cook until fragrant, then stir in shallots and vegetables. The dish is typically accompanied by boiled rice, daal, or deep-fried puris, but you can also eat it with poppadoms and pickles.