Thoran is from South India - more specifically, Kerala - and is a dry one, made by stir-frying vegetables with coconut, curry leaves and mustard seeds over a high heat. The coconut becomes more fragrant with the toasting of its flesh while the curry leaves impart their flavour to an otherwise simple dish.
You can use different vegetables with this; cabbage also works, as does green beans. Anything that can take a bit of stir-frying heat.
Serves 4 as a side
2 large beetroots, peeled and chopped into cubes
1 red onion sliced into half moons
2 green chillis chopped roughly
2 tsp black mustard seeds
3 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut - though grated fresh is best but a bit of a ballache
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 small handful of coriander, chopped
A hearty pinch of salt
Simmer the cubes of beetroot in water for 5 minutes, until tender. Drain well.
Heat up some vegetable oil and add the mustard seeds. Take the curry leaves off the sprig and add them. When the seeds begin to pop, add the red onion and the chilli and stir fry until softened. Add the beetroot, turn the heat right up and stir fry for a minute, then add the coconut and continue to stir-fry for another few minutes. It should be smelling nice and fragrant now. Add the lemon juice, salt and coriander, take off the heat and serve immediately.