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Keralan Mung Bean Thoran with Temple Rice and Spicy Yoghurt

Thoran is a traditional quick Keralan vegetable dish made with cabbage and greens and very lightly stir-fried. We have added carrot for colour and mung beans for a protein boost.

Keralan Thoran with mung beans

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-free | Serves: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes to cook mung beans and 10 minutes to stir-fry.


  • 100g dried mung beans
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 6 cm ginger, finely minced
  • 2 hot green chillies, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 100g cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 4 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tsp jaggery
  • salt
  • ½ lemon, juiced


  1. Cook the dried mung beans in plenty of water until tender, but still keeping their shape which takes about 15 to 20 minutes, drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the sunflower oil in a wok or large frying pan and when hot add the ginger, green chillies, garlic and curry leaves, fry for a minute.
  3. Then add the mustard seeds and when they pop add the cabbage, carrots, toasted cumin seeds and turmeric, stir frying until the cabbage begins to wilt, you may need to add a little water to help the cabbage steam.
  4. Add the spinach, cooked mung beans and desiccated coconut and heat through.
  5. Season to taste with jaggery, salt and lemon.
  6. Serve with Samba Sadam rice and Khadi (see recipes below)

Samba Sadam Rice

(Temple Rice with Cashews, Pepper and Cumin)

Serves 4 | Dietary: Vegan, Gluten free

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 180g basmati rice
  • 360ml water
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 100g cashewnuts
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, roughly crushed
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. To cook the rice, wash the rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Put the washed rice in a saucepan with the measured water, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave for 10 minutes with the lid on to finish cooking in the steam.
  2. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the sunflower oil and fry the cashews until golden, then add the pepper and cumin and fry for a few seconds, then add the rice and salt and mix well to evenly coat the rice in the spiced oil. Serve at once.


(Spicy Yoghurt Dip)

Serves: 4 | Dietary: Vegan option, Gluten-free

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 3 minutes


  • 500ml plain or soya yoghurt
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp kalongi/nigella seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • a few curry leaves
  • 1 ½ tsp ghee or sunflower oil
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • pinch of salt


  1. Spoon the yoghurt into a serving bowl.
  2. Heat the ghee or sunflower oil, add the chillies, kalonji, cumin and curry eaves. When the seeds start popping and smelling fragrant, but be careful they will burn easily, decant into the yoghurt and stir in.
  3. Add the lemon juice, season with salt to taste.

Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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