Summer Recipe: Beetroot Thoran

This delicious, summer recipe is always a success and easy to make. It even makes it more tasty when you can get those freshly harvested summer beets with green leaves still attached. 

“Beet Thoran” is originally a recipe from Kerala with many chilies, spices, and curry leaves, stirred in coconut fat. Are chilies in summer a good idea? Chilies in summer can still be good for pitta; it helps to open up the pores and induces sweating to cool down the body. 

Delicious Beetroot Thoran


  • For the Pitta individuals keep in mind to be gentle with chilies and/or chili powder. 
  • Beets are slightly Pitta increasing, but the coconut will counter this.
What you need:
  • Fresh beet root: 5-6 cups 
  • Fennel bulb: 2 cups 
  • Garlic: 1 clove 
  • Onion: 1 small onion
  • Coconut: 3/4 cup (desiccated one, or fresh or frozen for best result)
  • Green or red chili : ½ to 1 (adjust based on strength of the chilly or use ¼  teaspoon red chili powder
  • Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Urad dal: 2 tablespoon (optional)
  • Ghee: 2 tablespoons (can be replaced with olive oil or use a mixture of both)
  • Salt: ½ teaspoon or to taste
  • Herbs de Provence: to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper: to taste
  • Fresh spring onions: use on top while serving
How to prepare:

Prepare the beets, fennel, onion and garlic, preferably with a kitchen cutter/chopper (machine). Grating the beets potentially makes them to retain water, which does not fry well. You can put the beets, fennel, onion, garlic and coconut all together in the cutting/chopping machine or chop with a knife in fine slices.

Heat the ghee in a pan and add the cumin seeds and fry until they pop, add finely chopped chilies and (optional) urad dal and stir until the dal turns lightly brown.

Add the beet root mixture. Keep stirring on medium to high heat, this way potential wetness can evaporate. Do this for 5 – 10 minutes.

Add salt and black pepper and half-cover. Occasionally stir to prevent water forming at the bottom. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes. 

Finally add the herbs the Provence and again a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper and switch off the flame. Serve with some freshly cut/chopped spring onion on it.

You can enjoy this meal with rice, pasta or potatoes, and some green vegetables and/or a small summer salad.


If you buy your fresh summer beets with their leaves still attached, you can serve them as a salad as these kind of partly dark green leaves are a great Pitta reducing kind of nutrition. Simply wash the leaves, chop them and shortly sauté them in some ghee or olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let it cool down a bit and serve with the Summer Beet Thoran. 

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