Green Beans Thoran (Green Beans With Coconut)

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins

A delicious accompaniment to almost any Indian meal, this Kerala classic can be prepared with French beans, stringless beans, the oriental asparagus bean known as lobhia, or in fact almost any kind of firm vegetable cut into small pieces. Adjust the amount of chili to your personal preference. The original recipe called for 5 tablespoons vegetable oil, but this can be easily cut down. Use coconut oil, if you wish, to be authentic. For your convenience, this dish can be cooked ahead, and heated gently at the time of serving. Adapted from a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wash, string beans if necessary, make several bundles (for convenience) and slice them crosswise into 1/4-inch segments.
  2. Coarsely grind the shallots, green chilies, garlic, coconut, cumin and turmeric in a food processor or blender, and set to one side.
  3. Place the oil in a wok or large skillet, which has a lid, and heat over a medium-high flame.
  4. Add the mustard seeds and rice, and stir and saute for a few seconds until the mustard seeds begin to pop and splutter and the rice swells and turns golden.
  5. Add the curry leaves and red chili, and after a few more seconds, when the chilli swells and darkens, add the green beans.
  6. Continue to stir and fry for 2-3 minutes, then roughly pile them into a mound in the cooking vessel.
  7. Form a hole in the center of the mound and place within it the coarsely ground spices.
  8. Now cover over the spices with some of the beans, season with salt, and add the water to the pan.
  9. Immediately cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and cook approximately 10 minutes until the beans are tender.
  10. Mix all the ingredients together well, and serve hot.
Most Helpful

Fantastic - we have had many holidays in India and always eat this dish (generally with a huge Pomfret ). Cooked it tonight with plain griddled monk-fish and it was fantastic. Memories of sitting in a beach shack watching a Goan sunset came flooding back to a cold London evening!! Thank-you, great recipe and one to keep

Maggie #5 February 11, 2007