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Blogging Marathon# 35: Day 1/ Week 2

Theme: Regional Dishes – Course Specific

Dish: Kerala Cabbage Thoran & Sambar

We are starting our Week 2 of Blogging Marathon# 35 and my theme for this week is ‘Any Regional with Course Specific dishes‘. After seeing Rajani’sKerala Sadya recipes during the mega month long marathon, I have been planning to try my hand at Kerala dishes. Finally I made 3 dishes for this week’s marathon.

The twist that Valli put to this seemingly simple theme is that we have to post a different course every day. So for the first day I’m posting 2 Kerala Lunch dishes, a simple Cabbage thoran and a hearty Sambar.

Cabbage Thoran:

There are so many lovely blogs featuring Kerala dishes and I found this simple Cabbage thoran recipe on Nags blog. In our household, all veggie preparations are called ‘kuras’ or ‘curry’, it doesn’t matter if it is a dry curry or a gravy curry. So when I’m amazed with the names that Kerala curries have.

Thoran‘ is a mildly spiced curry where the flavors of the vegetables shine through. My mom makes similar dish, but the use of coconut oil gives it a distinct flavor that is quite different to what we are used to.

Cabbage Thoran

  • Servings: 4-serving
  • Time: 50 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Summary

  • Cuisine: Kerala
  • Style of Preparation: Vegan
  • Course: side dish
  • Preparation Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

3 cups Cabbage – finely grated (about half a head of medium cabbage)
1 Red onion – medium, finely chopped
2 Green chilies – finely chopped
1 tsp Cumin seeds – roughly crushed
½ tsp Turmeric
½ cup Coconut – grated
8 ~ 10 Curry leaves
1 tsp Mustard seeds
to taste Salt

Steps

  1. Combine grated cabbage, red onion, green chilies, crushed cumin, turmeric, coconut, curry leaves and salt in a wide bowl. Mix well and set aside for 5 mins, so that the cabbage lets out some water.
  2. Heat 2tsp coconut oil in a saute pan, add the mustard seeds and once the seeds start splutter add the cabbage mixture. Pat down tightly and cover the pan. Cook on very low flame for 12~15 minutes or until cabbage is cooked through, stirring occasionally. Make sure that the flame is really low and the cabbage doesn’t burn.
  3. Uncover and adjust the seasoning. Serve with steamed rice.

Kerala Sambar:

Second recipe for the day is Rajani’s Kerala Sambar. We make sambar the similar way, but the use of coconut oil for the tempering makes a big difference in taste and gives it the Kerala flavor. Also adding hing to the boiling veggies was new to me, I’m used to using hing only in tempering. Also Rajani’s recipe mentions the cucumber as one of the veggie, I’ve never added cucumber to sambar and after tasting this sambar, I was wondering why I never thought of that myself.

This recipe doesn’t have tomatoes and gets its sourness from just tamarind extract. Also no special sambar masala needs to be made, just use whatever you have in your pantry.

Kerala Sambar

  • Servings: 4-serving
  • Time: 50 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Summary

  • Cuisine: kerala
  • Style of Preparation: Vegan
  • Course: side dish
  • Preparation Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

½ cup Toor dal
2 cups Mixed Vegetables – cut into long pieces (I used 1 small cucumber and 1cup of pumpkin. Other vegetables like drumstick, okra and zucchini can also be added)
2 tbsp Tamarind extract
2 ~ 3 tsps Sambar Powder (I use MTR brand)
½ tsp Turmeric
a big pinch Hing/ Asafoetida
to taste Salt
For Tempering:
2 tsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
8 ~ 10 Curry leaves

Steps

  1. Pressure cook toor dal until very soft and mushy. Mash with the back of a spoon and set aside.
  2. Precook the veggies either by boiling in water or in the microwave for 4~5 minutes until tender. I usually microwave them because it is quick and easy.
  3. Add the cooked veggies to a medium sauce pan along with tamarind paste, turmeric, sambar powder, hing, salt and 2cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Add the mashed dal and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Taste and see if it needs anything, this is the time to add more salt, sambar powder or tamarind. Add more water if the mixture looks too thick. Simmer gently until sambar reaches desired consistency. 
  6. For the tempering: Heat coconut nut oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and once they start to splutter, lower the flame and add fenugreek seeds. Once fenugreek seeds change color add curry leaves and pour the tempering over sambar.
  7. Serve hot with papads and steamed rice.

Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 35.

14 thoughts on “Kerala Cabbage Thoran & Sambar”

  1. Even I don’t add cucumber to sambar or pappu charu but my cousin does, and it tastes so good. Cabbage thoran and sambar make a perfect meal!

  2. What a wonderful combination! Even I was drooling at all of Rajani’s Sadya meal and hope I get to them soon as well 🙂

  3. That’s such a wonderful recreation Pavani…I love kerala cuisine and have bookmarked some in Rajani’s series..love your entire setup..

  4. I love both your dishes. Don’t you think our kooras are exactly similar to their thorans? My mother prepares all vegetables the same way sans onions. 🙂

  5. Looks yum I never use cucumber for I am not sure how family will accept them. Only just now we accept pumpkin. I hav emiles to go before I cucumber my sambhar. Love the tempering ingredients.

  6. Pavani, I had tried commenting here a couple of times before from iPad, but finally gave up bcos of the unfriendly keyboard. Wanted to say how lovely everything looks! I make thoran in a slightly different way, but coming to think of it, its all the same finally! And thanks for trying out the sambar recipe.

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