Celery Payaru Thoran Recipe - A Vegetarian Dish from South India

Celery Payaru Thoran

Celery Payaru Thoran Recipe - A Vegetarian Dish from South India
Region / culture: South India | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet


Celery Payaru Thoran
Celery Payaru Thoran

Celery Payaru Thoran is a traditional South Indian dish that combines the crunchiness of celery with the earthy flavors of green moong (cherupayar) and coconut. This dish is a perfect blend of textures and flavors, making it a popular choice for a healthy and delicious meal.


Celery Payaru Thoran has its roots in Kerala, a state in South India known for its rich culinary heritage. Thoran is a popular dish in Kerala cuisine, which typically consists of finely chopped vegetables stir-fried with coconut and spices. The addition of celery and green moong in this recipe adds a unique twist to the traditional Thoran, making it a nutritious and flavorful dish.


How to prepare

  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  3. Crush the garlic and cumin together, then add it to the oil and fry for a few seconds.
  4. Add ginger, chopped onions, green chillies, curry leaves, and red chillies. Fry for a minute.
  5. Add the celery and coconut, and cook until the celery is half cooked.
  6. Add the cooked cherupayar and cook covered until everything is evenly cooked.
  7. Season with salt to taste.


  • Add roasted peanuts or cashews for extra crunch.
  • Include other vegetables like carrots or beans for a colorful twist.
  • Substitute green moong with chickpeas or black-eyed peas for a different flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to chop the celery into small pieces to ensure even cooking.

- Adjust the amount of green chillies based on your spice preference.

- Be careful not to overcook the celery, as it can become mushy.

- Use freshly grated coconut for the best flavor and texture.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Celery Payaru Thoran hot with steamed rice or roti for a complete and satisfying meal. It can also be enjoyed as a side dish with other South Indian delicacies.

Cooking Techniques

Stir-frying the vegetables with coconut and spices helps to retain their natural flavors and textures, creating a delicious and aromatic dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If celery is not available, you can use cabbage or spinach as a substitute. Green moong can be replaced with any other lentils or legumes of your choice.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the celery and green moong mixture in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Simply reheat and season before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the Celery Payaru Thoran with fresh cilantro leaves or grated coconut for a vibrant and appetizing presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs well with tangy tomato rasam or spicy sambar for a traditional South Indian meal. It also complements plain yogurt or pickle on the side.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a pan or microwave until heated through before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Celery Payaru Thoran contains approximately 150 calories, making it a light and nutritious meal option.


Celery Payaru Thoran is a low-carb dish, with approximately 10 grams of carbohydrates per serving.


This dish is a good source of healthy fats from coconut and oil, providing around 8 grams of fats per serving.


Green moong (cherupayar) is a rich source of plant-based proteins, contributing about 6 grams of protein per serving.

Vitamins and minerals

Celery is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, and folate. This dish provides a good amount of these nutrients, helping to boost your overall health.


This recipe contains coconut, which may be an allergen for some individuals. Please be cautious if you have a coconut allergy.


Celery Payaru Thoran is a nutrient-dense dish that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It is a healthy and flavorful addition to your meal plan.


Celery Payaru Thoran is a flavorful and nutritious dish that celebrates the vibrant flavors of South Indian cuisine. With a perfect balance of textures and spices, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your recipe collection. Enjoy the goodness of celery and green moong in every bite!

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I discovered this recipe is a cherished memory that I hold close to my heart. It was many years ago, back when I was just a young girl living in a small village in Kerala, India. My grandmother, Ammachi, was a renowned cook in our community and she passed down her culinary skills to me with love and patience.

One hot and humid afternoon, I was sitting in the kitchen watching Ammachi prepare our lunch. The aroma of spices filled the air as she chopped vegetables and stirred pots on the stove. I asked her what she was making, and she smiled and said, "Celery Payaru Thoran, a traditional dish that has been in our family for generations."

I was intrigued and eager to learn more. Ammachi began to explain the recipe to me, her voice soft and soothing like a lullaby. She told me that the key to making a delicious Celery Payaru Thoran lies in the freshness of the ingredients and the careful balance of spices. She showed me how to wash and chop the celery, how to cook the lentils just right, and how to temper the dish with mustard seeds and curry leaves for that perfect finishing touch.

As I watched and listened, I could feel the connection to my roots growing stronger. Cooking had always been a way for me to connect with my heritage and honor the traditions of my ancestors. Ammachi's teachings were a gift that I would carry with me for the rest of my life.

Over the years, I perfected the recipe for Celery Payaru Thoran, adding my own twist here and there to make it uniquely mine. I shared it with friends and family, who all raved about its delicious flavor and comforting warmth. It became a staple at our family gatherings and a dish that I was proud to serve to anyone who crossed the threshold of my home.

But the true magic of the recipe lay not in its taste, but in the memories it evoked. Every time I made Celery Payaru Thoran, I was transported back to that hot afternoon in my grandmother's kitchen, watching her hands move with grace and skill as she brought the dish to life. I could almost hear her voice guiding me, her laughter filling the room with joy.

As the years passed and my own children grew up, I passed down the recipe for Celery Payaru Thoran to them, just as Ammachi had done for me. I watched with pride as they learned to make the dish themselves, their faces lighting up with delight as they took their first bite. The circle of tradition continued unbroken, linking past, present, and future in a chain of love and respect.

And so, whenever I make Celery Payaru Thoran now, I do so with a heart full of gratitude for the woman who taught me the art of cooking and the importance of preserving our culinary heritage. Ammachi may no longer be with us in body, but her spirit lives on in every dish I create, in every memory I hold dear.

I am forever grateful for the gift of her knowledge and the love that she poured into every meal she made. Celery Payaru Thoran will always be more than just a recipe to me – it is a connection to my past, a celebration of my present, and a promise for the future. And for that, I am truly blessed.


| Celery Recipes | Coconut Recipes | Curry Leaf Recipes | Dried Chile Pepper Recipes | Fresh Chile Pepper Recipes | Moong Dal Recipes | South Indian Recipes | South Indian Vegetarian |

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