There are times when you go grocery shopping and the refrigerator is overstuffed with fresh stock of meat and poultry and fresh vegetables and all sorts of things that you buy in a flash of creative enlightenment (or perhaps it was just the promotional offer!), irrespective of whether you later put them to good use or not. Then sometimes you open the refrigerator and all you see sitting in there is bits of leftovers… a piece of this and chunk of that and then you really have to create something with your imagination.. Well there is always the tempting takeaway option… but it is always rewarding to create something out of nothing, and be proud that you didn’t copy the recipe from anywhere, and managed to bring all the odd tid-bits together so well…(and of course you cleaned out the refrigerator and didn’t even waste food. Brownie points for that!)
So on one such day, I found in my little cold storage, some leftover carrot, beetroot and ivy gourd (tendli), remnants of more ambitious cooking projects. I didn’t feel like throwing them away so I thought of making a simple mix vegetable Kerala style, with a bit of coconut, typically called a ‘thoran’. Vegetables I finely chopped for this kind of preparation, and are steamed or fried, with or without tempering, but always with a bit of coconut.
The chopping may be tedious, but a big advantage of finely chopping the vegetables in this recipe, is that most kids can’t really tell what vegetables it contains and you kind of fool them into eating the healthy veggies… that’s a good bit of fooling! You can always use the food processor for the carrots and beetroot, but I recommend chopping the ivy gourd / tendli by yourself as it lets out water.
Some grated coconut, adds a distinct south Indian flavor. Using coconut oil enhances this flavor, but you can use vegetable oil if you prefer. Cook all the vegetables in a little oil on low flame till they turn semi-crisp. Then add the grated coconut. Mix well and it is ready to eat.
Carrot, Beetroot and Tendli Thoran / Mixed Vegetables Kerala style
Coconut oil / Vegetable oil (for stir frying)
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 medium Carrot – finely chopped
1 small Beetroot – finely chopped
7 – 8 Kovakya/tendli/Ivy gourd – finely chopped
1 medium Onion – finely chopped
2 Green chilies – thinly sliced
2 – 3 Garlic pods – finely chopped
Few Curry leaves
Salt to taste
5 tbsp Coconut – grated
- In a pan pour oil and add the turmeric powder.
- Then put all the ingredients except coconut. Add salt to taste and mix well.
- Cook on low flame till the vegetables turn semi crisp and then add the grated coconut.
- Mix well and take it off the heat after a minute.
Serve with steamed rice and dal.