My Brussels Sprouts with Coconut recipe is based on a style of cooking in Kerala called thoran. It is a side dish made of finely chopped vegetables and gently seasoned while it is cooked. The most common thorans that I have eaten are made with finely chopped green beans or cabbage. Virtually any vegetable can be the main ingredient. I chose to use Brussels sprouts in this recipes simply because my kids and I like them.
There is no sauce or curry in a thoran so it is usually eaten with sambar, a thick lentil soup, and plain rice. The seasonings that are used in a thoran are mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chiles and turmeric but the most important ingredient beside the vegetable is coconut. It is coconut that identifies this recipe as a thoran.
Thorans are popular with those who are not familiar with Indian food or do not like curries and spicy hot food. The spices are heated in hot oil to bring out their flavor before the Brussels sprouts are added and cooked until they start to brown. Then the coconut is added and the dish is cooked until the vegetable is tender, or to taste. It is one of the easiest Indian recipes to make as well as one of the healthiest.