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Carrot Thoran

One of the simplest South Indian side dishes to make is a thoran, which is a vegetable-based side dish made with a few spices and fresh grated coconut. I think the most commonly used vegetable to make a thoran is cabbage. Though one of my favorites, too, I have a love for the sweet and spicy balance that carrot thoran brings.

There are a few ways to make a thoran. I have noted two methods below. You can grate the carrots, slice them, dice them. Whatever you want! If you decide to make this recipe or have any questions about how to make it, head over to my instagram @thefamiliarkitchen so we can connect and I can see how it turned out for you!


  • Carrots, 10, grated (about 4 cups)
  • Shallots, 2, sliced
  • Grated Coconut, 1 cup
  • Turmeric, 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds, 2 tsp
  • Green Chili Pepper, 2, slit longways
  • Curry Leaves, 1 sprig (about 10-12 leaves)
  • Dry Red Chilis, 2
  • Salt, 1 tbsp
Carrot Thoan

A South Indian side dish called Carrot Thoran


Grind. In a small blender or food processor, grind the coconut, shallots, and turmeric together just until combined. Set aside.

Season. In a saute pan on medium high heat, add the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds green chilis, red chilis (broken in half), and curry leaves. Cover until the mustard seeds start popping.

Cook. Add the carrots to the pan. Mix and then cover for about 3-4 minutes to let it cook. Once the carrots are just firm, uncover and add in the grated coconut mixture. Stir and cook this, uncovered, until everything is combined. Add salt. Done!

ALTERNATE METHOD (without grinding first)

An alternate way of making thoran is to heat the pan with coconut oil and add the mustard seeds, green and red chilis, sliced shallots, and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds pop, add in the carrots and turmeric and cook covered until the carrots are just firm. Add in the grated coconut and salt and mix. Done!

Carrot Thoan

A South Indian side dish called Carrot Thoran



When I was a kid, one of the first things my mom taught me how to make was a hot cup of chaya (homestyle tea). It was like a rite of passage…and an invitation to her colorful, spice-filled kitchen. The most exciting part back then was daringly pouring the steamy, caramel-colored goodness from one steel cup to another so I could cool it down and get that classic, frothy texture to sit atop the tea. It’s a recollection of my childhood every time I do it. That same magical feeling still shines through my recipes, both new and old. There’s just nothing like creating a dish so full of evocative flavor and love. It’s what gives me joy and the inspiration to share this experience with you every day! It’s something I hope offers you adventure, a little piece of home, and maybe even something a little familiar.

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