This recipe is from Kerala region of India. A thoren is a dry curry made from chopped vegetables, coconut, mustard seed and curry leaves.
- 15 fresh curry leaves or 4 bay leaves
- 3⁄4 cup coconut (finely shredded dried unsweetened)
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon raw rice
- 2 whole dried hot red chiles, stemmed
- 3⁄4 lb green beans, trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Finely chop 5 of the curry leaves (1 bay leaf not chopped), and put in a medium bowl. Add coconut, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and garlic, and mix well.
- Add enough water (about 7 tbsp) to make coconut mixture moist enough to just hold together when pinched between thumb and forefinger, then set aside.
- Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and rice, and fry until mustard seeds pop, about 2 minutes. Add chiles, fry for a few seconds, and carefully add remaining 10 curry leaves (3 bay leaves). Be careful - leaves will spatter when they hit the hot oil.
- When leaves have crackled but are still green, about 30 seconds, add green beans, salt, and 2 tbsp water, and stir to mix well. Cook, stirring often, until beans begin to soften yet are still slightly crunchy, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in reserved coconut mixture, and cook, stirring often, until beans are tender, about 5 minutes more. Add salt to taste.
- Do not eat curry or bay leaves - remove as you find them.