Swiss Chard and Red Cow Peas(Vanpayar) Thoran

Thoran or coconut based stir fries are always an unavoidable part of our naadan oonu. I like to try thoran with different varieties of veggies. Thoran with leafy vegetables is one of our favorite. Adding a legume variety like red cow peas makes it extra tasty and even the not so great veggie fans in our home enjoy it with no complains. Did I mean my little ones! na..not at all:) Let me tell the truth… I was not a great fan of these leafy vegetables in my childhood, but not sure when It started but somehow gradually my taste buds accepted it…

Swiss chard leaves and red cow peas

Swiss chard is not very tender like spinach, so I like to use it in thoran recipe as it retains its shape without turning mushy. And it reminds me of the naadan cheera thoran that my mother in law used to prepare back home. So that adds a nostalgic element to this dish. No wonder this is our family favorite…

Stories apart, these chard leaves and their crispy stalks are very nutritious and is a good healthy option. Do ty this thoran and enjoy…If you try my recipes, do tag me #bethsyummygaraden on Instagram and Facebook…

Happy Cooking…

If you like coconut based recipes, check these…

Beetroot pachadi

Butternut Squash and drumsticks in Coconut Gravy


  1. Swiss chard leaves chopped 1 bunch(about 8 to 10 stalks)
  2. Red cow beans about 1/2 cup
  3. Coconut grated 3/4cup
  4. Garlic 1 clove
  5. Shallots/Small onions 2 to 3
  6. Green chili 4
  7. Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp.
  8. Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp.
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Dried red chillies. 2
  11. Oil 1to 2 tbsp.


  1. Soak red cow peas overnight or 6 to 7 hrs. in water. In a saucepan, boil red cow peas with water enough to cover it and salt. When the water is boiled, reduce flame to low and cook it covered until the peas is well cooked. Check if there is enough water and add more hot water in between if needed. Once the peas is cooked, if there is any leftover water in the pan , cook it uncovered on high flame so that water is evaporated.
Cooked red cow peas
  1. In a mixer, grind grated coconut, garlic, shallots, green chili, cumin seeds and turmeric powder in to a coarse mixture.
Coarsely ground coconut mixture
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan. When oil is hot enough, splutter mustard seeds and dried red chili. Add chopped chard leaves and mix well. Add the coconut mixture on top of it and form a heap. Sprinkle salt over it. Cover the frying pan with a lid and cook for 1 or 2 minutes on low to medium flame.
Tempering oil and adding chard leaves
Adding coconut mixture and cooking covered
  1. Open lid, add cooked red cow peas and mix everything well and spread it in the pan and cook on high flame until the thoran is dry. Enjoy it with hot rice.
Adding cooked red cow peas and cooking uncovered


  1. For a faster alternative, you can soak red cow peas in hot water for half an hour and then cook in a pressure cooker for 6 to 7 whistles.
  2. Pat dry the leaves before chopping it to remove any excess water.
  3. Avoid cooking the chard leaves covered for long time as the leaves may turn mushy and lumpy.