Beans Thoran – Sautéed Beans with Coconut



The last bag of frozen beans for dinner tonight and I can wipe the freezer clean before I take off to India for a long work cum pleasure trip.

Thorans are vegetables cooked with spices and ground coconut very characteristic of the Kerala Cuisine. All tender firm vegetables are cooked mostly as either a Mezhukuverati or as a Thoran, in Kerala. Both, involve sautéed vegetable. But the latter has coconut and the former doesn’t.


1 lb French cut frozen green beans, thawed or fresh beans, stringed and chopped fine
1 big shallot or 2-3 small ones
1-2 green chilies
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup fresh grated coconut / frozen coconut thawed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp whole black mustard seeds
2 tsp raw white rice
2- 3 sprigs of curry leaves
1 whole red chili
salt to taste
2-3 tbsp water



  • Coarsely grind the shallots, green chilies, garlic, coconut, cumin, salt and turmeric in a food processor and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a  skillet. Add mustard, rice, red chili and curry leaves, sauté for a few seconds until the mustard pops and the rice swells up and turns golden.
  • Add the green beans, salt to taste and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Gather the beans together to make a mound .
  • Make a well at the center of the mound.
  • Pour the ground mixture into the well and cover the top with some of the beans.
  • Add 2 tbsp of water and close the skillet  tight with a fitting lid.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and cook approximately 10 -12 minutes until the beans are cooked and tender (add more water if needed, but be careful not to over cook it).
  • Mix all the ingredients together well, and serve hot with white rice.
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    3 Responses to “Beans Thoran – Sautéed Beans with Coconut”

    1. Hannah says:

      Yum–I made this tonight and it was delicious! Definitely going into my “keeper” recipe book; I can’t wait to serve it to my friends. Thank you–I’ll be trying more of your recipes soon!

    2. Sree says:

      hi Julie, I tried out this recipe today and hubby loved it!! Thanks!! Excellent flavor – even the kids tried it. I do have one question though. When I sauteed the raw rice in the oil, even after a few minutes it did not turn golden. I am used to sauteeing urad dhal and channa dhal in that manner, but not rice. I was worried that it would be too hard if someone bit in to it so I remove the raw rice and started over. How is it supposed to soften?

      • julie says:


        glad u liked the dish. about seasoning with raw rice, it is just like u do with the dals. make sure the oil is hot. when u drop the rice there should be a sizzling noise. the rice slightly puffs up and after about 30 seconds or so it turns brown. it is not going to be hard to bite. just like the dals it will soften while cooking along with the veggies.


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