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Keralan Stir-Fried Beets

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Thoren, as this dish is called in Kerala, is made of finely chopped vegetables stir-fried with grated coconut and spices. The ingredients are added to the pan in rapid succession, so have everything prepped and measured before you begin.

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  1. 1 cup finely grated dried unsweetened coconut
  2. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  3. 1 serrano or Thai chile, cut in half lengthwise
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  6. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  7. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  8. 1/3 cup water
  9. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  10. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  11. 2 whole dried red chiles
  12. 10 curry leaves or 2 bay leaves
  13. 1 tablespoon long-grain rice
  14. 4 large beets (about 2 pounds), peeled and coarsely grated
  1. In a small bowl, combine the coconut, garlic, serrano chile, salt, cumin, cayenne and turmeric with the water. Set aside.
  2. In a large wok, warm the oil over moderately high heat. Add the mustard seeds, dried red chiles and curry leaves and cover. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the rice and stir until the rice just turns opaque, about 5 seconds. Add the beets and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until barely softened. Add the coconut mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beets are just tender, about 5 minutes. Serve at once.


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