Beetroot Thoran (South Indian Beet Stir-Fry)

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


When author VK Sreelesh's in-laws get together in the South Indian state of Kerala, they prepare traditional Keralan dishes such as this beet thoran, which his mother-in-law, Shyamala, and her cousin Jayanti make with tender ruby-red beets that are stir-fried with chiles, turmeric, and coconut oil. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2014 issue with Sreelesh's article Cooking Cousins.


  • 1 12 lb. beets, peeled and cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 12 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 small green Thai chiles or 1 serrano, halved
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 13 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp. coconut or canola oil
  • 12 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • Kosher salt, to taste


Step 1

Bring beets, turmeric, chiles, onion, and 1 cup water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered, until beets are just tender, about 20 minutes. Uncover and stir in coconut, oil, curry leaves, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is slightly dry, 8–10 minutes.

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