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HomeFoodBanana Peel Thoran | Kaya Tholi Thoran

Banana Peel Thoran | Kaya Tholi Thoran

It is only right to not throw away vegetable peels, when you can do so much more with them. Forget using them only for a compost. Make use of them to support the ongoing root-to-stem movement for a better, greener future. A common ingredient in cooking, banana peels are used to make this Banana Peel Thoran or Kaya Tholi Thoran. It is an easy, tasty dish from the list of banana peel recipes. Next time you make Raw Banana Chips at home, reserve the peel and make this thoran too.

banana peel thoran served in a white bowl kept on a wooden table.

What is thoran

Thoran, also known as ‘upperi,’ is a dry vegetable dish popular in the South Indian state of Kerala. Make it with assorted vegetables but add coconut in generous quantities. A specialty of this dish. It also features in the traditional Onam feast, sadya. Otherwise, generally consumed with rice and dal or rice and curry.

Some of the classic thoran recipes have veggies like cabbage, beetroot, French beans, ash gourd, jackfruit, elephant foot yam, etc. Some unique ones have bitter gourd, spinach, green tomatoes, etc. Generally, every recipe uses a set of basic spices, curry leaves and lots of coconut cooked originally in coconut oil.

This raw Banana Peel Thoran a.k.a Kaya Tholi Thoran is a popular one from the category of banana peel recipes. Just the skin of raw bananas and a few simple spices, coconut, curry leaves make for a comforting dish.

About Banana Peel Thoran

If you’ve ever cooked a Raw Banana Recipe, you’ll know exactly how the flavors in the Banana Peel Thoran too will be. Banana peel recipes are as it easy to make, and so is this preparation too. But don’t be settled with the simplicity of this recipe, as it packs a punch of tastes and textures in it.

I have altered this recipe of Kaya Tholi Thoran a bit, and it is a mix of both traditional and my own homely version. Generally, a thoran made in southern Kerala does not have onion or garlic. But I have added onion in my recipe. You can add garlic too.

kaya tholi thoran thoran served in a white bowl on a wooden table top.

Also, the classic recipes have fresh coconut ground with cumin seeds and green chilies in them. Since I didn’t have fresh coconut, I used desiccated coconut powder in this Banana Peel Thoran recipe. You can also cook the dish in vegetable oil, if you are averse to the flavor of coconut oil. I know a lot of people not liking it.  

Since I am a huge fan of all things coconut, I paired this Kaya Tholi Thoran with just some steamed rice without even having anything else as an accompaniment. It was a satisfying meal for sure. So much that I usually have it like this only. You may serve it with Dal Fry and rice too.

Rise of root-to-stem

Just like the farm-to-table trend which spread like wildfire in the last few years, root-to-stem cooking has also garnered much attention as it is considered a more economic and sustainable method. This concept basically involves using those parts of fruits and vegetables, (read: peels, tops, cores, seeds, stalks and stems, etc.) which are traditionally discarded or used for composting.  

The root-to-stem a.k.a ‘zero waste’ movement also encourages the usage of not so good looking, in extreme terms, ‘ugly looking’ plant produce keeping sustainability in mind and also helping farmers in turn.

By using these in creating delicious recipes, you essentially aim to maximize the use of fresh produce and minimize the wastage. Another similar concept called ‘nose-to-tail’ refers to a similar way of cooking with meats.

For instance, this South Indian Banana Peel Thoran or Kaya Tholi Thoran is one of those many banana peel recipes that can be done. There are banana peel recipes and other dishes like lau’er khosha bhaja (stir-fried, tempered bottle gourd peels) in Bengali cuisine too that truly follow the root-to-stem culture. Other Indian regional cuisines also have similar dishes.

From curries, dry veg preparations and flatbreads to sauces, stocks, chutneys, pickles, desserts and more; fruit and veggie scraps of all kinds are used to make easy, delectable everyday food in households pan India.

It means that this particular way of using fresh produce has been a part of the classic way of Indian cooking, much before it actually became a trend world over. We really believe in a greener, cleaner way of eating and following the root-to-stem idea is a testament to that.

More Thoran Recipes To Try!

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banana peel thoran recipe

banana peel thoran

Kerala style banana peel thoran is a delicious stir fried dish made with banana peels, spices and coconut.

4.75 from 4 votes

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

preparation to make banana peel thoran

  • First rinse the bananas. When removing the peels, soak them in a bowl of water, so that they don’t darken.

  • You can also soak them in water in which about 1/4 tsp turmeric powder is added.

  • Slice the black dark spots from the peels if there are any and chop them finely.

making banana peel thoran

  • Heat oil in a pan. First crackle the mustard seeds.

  • Add the chopped onion or shallots. Saute till the onions are transparent.

  • Now add the red chili, green chili, cumin powder, asafoetida/hing, and curry leaves.

  • Saute for some seconds. Add the turmeric powder and stir.

  • Add the banana peels and the coconut.

  • If using fresh coconut, then coarsely ground the grated coconut, green chilies and cumin seeds and add it at this stage.

  • Sprinkle salt and stir. Add about 1/4 or 1/2 cup water. Cover the pan and let the peels cook till they are done.

  • Check in between to see the doneness and also to see if the thoran has not dried up whilst cooking.

  • Add some more water if required if the peels are still not done and cover and cook further.

  • When the peels are cooked and if there is some moisture or water in the pan, then just dry it on low flame.

  • Serve the banana peel thoran hot with some steamed rice, accompanied with dal, sambar and rasam.

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Source: Dassana’s Veg Recipes

Besan Chilla

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