Keralan Mung Bean Thoran with Temple Rice and Spicy Yoghurt


Prep time: 
30 minutes


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.


  • 4 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 100g spinach
  • 100g cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • juice from one lemon
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 hot green chillies, thinly sliced
  • 6cm piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • jaggery sugar, optional
  • 100g dried mung beans
  • 500ml plain yoghurt
  • 2 red chillies desseded
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • ½ tablespoon cumin seeds
  • a few curry leaves


  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 sugar, salt and half the lemon juice.
  6. Spoon the yoghurt into a serving bowl.
  7. Heat the ghee or sunflower oil, add the chillies, nigella, cumin and curry leaves. When the seeds start popping and smelling fragrant, but be careful they will burn easily, decant into the yoghurt and stir in.
  8. Add remaining lemon juice, season with salt to taste.
  9. Serve with Samba Sadam rice and Khadi