Curly kale thoran

Thoran is a generic Malayalam term given to any dry mixed vegetable dish garnished with fresh coconut.  It has taken us a while to experiment with non traditional Indian vegetables and greens but having just attempted a curly kale thoran we think we have been missing out on this wonderful leafy vegetable which is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and rich in calcium.  There appears to be more than one variety of kale – we’ve tried the curly variety in today’s thoran and in the past have stir fried an Italian variety called ‘cavolo nero’ with a splash of tamari soy sauce, Shaosin wine, palm sugar and spiced black rice wine vinegar.


What do I need to make it?

  • 200 gm curly kale washed
  • 1/2 cup dried borlotti bean pressure cooked with 1 cup of water
  • 2-3 dried red chillies
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp split urad dahl
  • 1/2 tsp channa dahl
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • Handful fresh curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat a wok with the coconut oil – first add the mustard seeds and wait for them to start spluttering before adding the urad and channa dahl.    Once the dahls start to brown a bit add the curry leaves and dried red chillies – stir for 15 seconds before adding the curly kale.   Add a 1/4 cup of water, turmeric powder, mix, cover and cook over a low heat till done.    Remove the lid, add the cooked borlotti beans, fresh coconut and adjust the seasoning before taking it off the heat.

Gardening woes

I must admit that trying to grow my vegetables without pesticides is a challenge.  My home made oil based pesticide does not seem to deter pests.  I was upset to see the leaves of my brussel sprouts completely stripped.  On careful investigation and to my utter horror I saw colonies of caterpillars on the leaves.  I tried to remove them manually using forceps but just gave up when I saw the biblical proportion.  I do not think I am going to grow brussel sprouts again next year.  My beautiful bluish green cabbage leaves have large holes in them and the slugs seem to have taken over every inch of the garden.  My squash and pumpkin plants have been afflicted by some sort of black powdery bug which is so sticky and difficult to remove.  We have had small victories like a few beautiful cauliflowers and rhubarb chard and baby green tomatoes are looking promising.  My initial enthusiasm has almost turned to despair and just hope that I will have some vegetables before winter for the hard work I have put in.