I haven’t been a lover of Salads. I occasionally have salad but to me it still tastes foreign. Even though I love veggies, Lettuce is one veggie which I find hard to like. I often buy Lettuce dreaming about making some awesome-must-try salad but usually it sits in the fridge for a long, long time.
During my mother’s visit to the US, she suggested that I make a Kerala style thoran with Lettuce. She had made Lettuce thoran when she was in Dubai and tried convincing me to do the same. I was quick to dismiss her suggestion as silly because you know people use Lettuce only in salads. You don’t cook lettuce! End of Story!
A few months later, my mother got the chance to make Lettuce Thoran while at my sister’s house and this time I knew she was serious about it. When my sister raved about it, I knew I had to try this funny sounding Lettuce Thoran. Well…. you know the end of the story this time, right? The lettuce thoran turned out awesome and I instantly felt completely naive and ignorant about Lettuce. I should have listened to my mother’s suggestion rather than allowing many bags of Lettuce to rot in the fridge.
If you ever need to make a side dish with Lettuce, search no more. You can try this wonderful Kerala style Lettuce and Coconut Stir Fry. Serve it with Rice or spread it on a tortilla while you make a wrap. I know it’s hard to find Lettuce in India but do try this recipe if you get a chance.
- Romaine Lettuce Hearts – 3 big clusters
- Diced Onions – 1 small
- Crushed/Finely Chopped Garlic – 3 or 4 cloves
- Slit Indian Green Chillies – 2
- Grated Coconut – 3/4 to 1 cup
- Coconut Oil – 1.5 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
- Curry Leaves – A small sprig
- Salt – to taste
- Wash the lettuce thoroughly. Trim the base of each cluster and separate the leaves. Chop the leaves and stem into small pieces.
- Heat 1.5 tbsp coconut oil in a non stick pan and splutter mustard seeds.
- Saute the onions, curry leaves, garlic and green chilies on medium heat until the onions turn translucent.
- Next add the chopped lettuce to the pan along with salt to taste. Saute for around five minutes. Do not cover the pan!!!
- The lettuce would have let out water. Add the coconut mixture to the pan along with 1/4 tsp turmeric.
- Increase heat to medium-high and saute for 3-4 more minutes so that the water evaporates.
- Once cooked, the stems should be tender. Serve with rice.