Warm Beet Salad, or Beet Thoran

This recipe comes from Janice D'Souza, who grew up in the Manglorean Catholic community of South India. See the notes regarding shortcuts and ingredient sources. Janice says this is her favorite vegetable dish. See other recipes in Janice D'souza's Mangalorean meal from Kentucky ingredients here.

This dish serves four generously.


1/4 cup cooking oil of choice, or enough to coat the bottom of a large black skillet generously

2.5 - 3 pounds beets, about five medium

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

8-9 curry leaves

Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. If beets are young, local and organic, leave the skin on. Otherwise, peel the beets. (A vegetable peeler can make this easier.) Cut the beets into long thin strips (julienne) or dice. Be careful! Beets are round, hard, and prone to rolling as you cut. Cut a slice off one side and lay the beet on that flat side for more stability while you cut.
  2. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat; add oil, then beets. Stir occasionally, and cook until the beets are just cooked through but not soft.
  3. Turn off the heat. Add coconut, curry leaves, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Serve.


  1. Sources of freshly grated coconut: For people not in the habit of extracting shredded flesh from a fresh coconut, Janice recommends buying frozen shredded coconut from any Indian grocery.
  2. Curry leaves are also available at Indian groceries. Janice suggests freezing extra curry leaves; frozen ones work well in her recipes.