Beet Coconut Stir Fry or Beetroot Thoran is a quick and easy stir-fry of chopped beets with grated coconut. I lightly season it with salt, turmeric and coriander, and finish it with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This light and refreshing dish does full justice in highlighting the sweet and earthy flavors of beets.
Beets, the Super Food
Beet, or beetroot, is a popular super food that is gaining visibility for a wide variety of health benefits. Based on my internet research, and to name a few, beets are rich in antioxidants, amino acids, and help in reducing blood pressure. Beet greens are rich in Vitamins A, K and C. They taste somewhat similar to kale and swiss chard. In the past few years, I’ve seen beets feature in many restaurants, as appetizers, side dishes, and even as part of entrées . I’ve been experimenting with beets in my recipes, and am loving the results. Although, I must confess that I have yet to fall in love with beetroot ice-cream 🙂
This recipe for Beet Coconut Stir Fry (Beetroot Thoran) is on repeat menu in my home. It’s inspired by one of my favorite south-Indian side dishes, Thoran.
What is Thoran?
This recipe comes from the state of Kerala, the southern most tip of India. Thoran is a traditional style of sautéing vegetables with grated coconut, curry leaves, mustard seeds and green chilies. You can use a variety of vegetables here, like beans, cabbage, carrots, potato, french beans and drumsticks. In Thoran, the vegetables are lightly seasoned with salt and turmeric, and served as part of an elaborate Kerala style south-Indian meal platter.
Here’s how to make Beet Coconut Stir Fry (Beetroot Thoran)
Heat oil on medium-high heat
Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle
Chopped beets go in, stir
Add grated coconut
Add salt and spices
Cover and cook for 2 minutes
Open lid, saute for 30 seconds. Done!
Instant Pot Recipe for Beet Coconut Stir Fry (Beetroot Thoran)
This recipe doesn’t require any pressure cooking. But you can certainly make this dish in your Instant Pot, using the SAUTE feature:
- Turn on SAUTE at high. Wait till the display reads “hot”. Add mustard seeds and wait for them to sizzle and splutter. If you’re adding curry leaves or green chillies, add them now. Add chopped beets and stir. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add grated coconut and spices, and stir well. Cover with a glass lid and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove the lid and saute for another 1 minute. Check for seasoning and squeeze about a teaspoon of lime juice in it before serving. This step is optional.
How to keep your hands stain-free while handling beets
If you’re like me, you probably found out the hard way, that it is IMPOSSIBLE to get those beet stains off of your hands! Try explaining those rosy magenta fingers at a client meeting! I invested in two products that take care of this problem for me. They are reasonably priced and multi-functional, so I get my money’s worth each time I use them in my kitchen.
The first item is Food Grade Disposable Vinyl Gloves. They fit nice and snug and don’t slip off while you’re working. I use these gloves when I’m making kebabs, burger patties and anything that is a little messy.
Chopping Beets: The second item that makes chopping these beets a breeze, is my Ninja Master Prep Chopper & Blender. It’s one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, and I use it almost everyday! My kids call it my Sous Chef 🙂 I peel the beets and quarter them, add them to the chopper and pulse 5-7 times, or, till I get the desired chop-size. And just like that, I have chopped beets! I use this chopper to chop onions, garlic, ginger and a lot of other preps that make my life a lot easier.
More Coconut Dishes From My Kitchen
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- 2 teaspoons Ghee or Light Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Dark Mustard Seeds
- 4 cups Beets peeled and chopped (pulsed 5-6 times in a food processor)
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Fresh lime juice (add at the end)
Heat a heavy bottom skillet on medium-high heat. Add oil and mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds begin to sizzle and splutter, add chopped beets and saute for two minutes.
Add grated coconut, spices and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove the lid and saute beets for 30 seconds to 1 minute and turn off the heat. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lime, about a teaspoon. Serve warm.
Turn on SAUTE at high. Wait till the display reads "hot". Add mustard seeds and wait for them to sizzle and splutter.
If you're adding curry leaves or green chillies, add them now. Add chopped beets and stir. Saute for 1 minute.
Add grated coconut and spices, and stir well. Cover with a glass lid and cook for 2 minutes.
Remove the lid and saute for another 1 minute. Check for seasoning and squeeze about a teaspoon of lime juice in it before serving. This step is optional.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.