Thoran is part of everyday eating down south. A 'thoran' is a simple dish made with any vegetable with a little bit of seasoning thrown in. In Kerala it is called thoran and is seasoned with coconut, cumin, shallots, green chillies and at times garlic with a large measure of curry leaves thrown in. In Tamil Nadu, it is 'poriya'l seasoned with onions, green chillies, and garlic. It's 'Pallya' in Karnataka and more or less similar to the tamilian version.
Banana flowers are a great source of Vitamin A and C. Traditional Indian wisdom propounds the beneficiary effects of the banana flower in women as a natural uterine tonic. Green gram is a great source of good protein.
Green gram (moong/cheru payar) - 1 cup
Curry leaves - 3-4 sprigs
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Dry red chillies - 3 Nos
Salt to taste
For masala seasoning
Small onions (shallots) - 4 Nos
Garlic - 3 Nos
Green chillies - 4 Nos
Cumin (jeera) - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder (cayenne pepper) - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Peel of the outer magenta coloured petals of the banana flower. Finely chop the creamish white interior portion of the flower. Wash them in a bowl of salted water. Soak the green gram for an hour. Pour adequate water in a skillet and cook the green gram in it. When the green gram is 3/4th cooked and the water is evaporated, add the finely chopped banana flowers and simmer covered.
Grind all the ingredients of the masala to a coarse paste. Add to the green gram- banana flower mixture and saute for a couple of minutes till a fragrance emanates.
Heat a teaspoon of oil in another skillet. Crackle the mustard seeds, and saute the dry red chillies and curry leaves. Add to the green gram- banana flower mixture. add salt to taste.
Great accompaniment to plain, steamed rice.
PS: Rub a little oil on hands before cleaning and chopping the banana flowers to prevent staining.
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