My Treasure…My Pleasure

Authentic Kerala Cuisine & much more…

Cheera Thoran

Posted by Annita on September 17, 2007

Cheera/ Spinach is an excellent source of many vitamins,minerals and anti-oxidents.It is available in different colors and texture,but for a Malayalee, cheera/spinach always means purple colored flat thin leaves.These purple colored cheera otherwise known as Kerala spinach is seen only in Kerala and it has less water content and less nutrition when compared to green Palak or Amaranth leaves.Many delicious side dishes can be prepared from Cheera ,among these cheera Thoran,Cheera Aviyal and Cheera Pachadi are the most popular ones.

This year a dear friend of mine offered me some Cheera seeds,and i planted them in several  containers.It was a great success and we were so happy that we could savour our favorite Kerala Spinach here in U.S too.I wish I could post all those wonderful Cheera recipes mentioned above,but I got only a small bunch just enough to make a thoran.Now its getting cold here and my cheera plants are slowly dying off.But I’ve preserved some seeds ,so I hope I could plant more cheera next year and blog about other dishes too.

Cheera Thoran

This is my entry for GBP Summer 2007.Thanks to Deepz of Letz Cook for hosting this and hats off to you, Inji for coming up with such a wonderful event.

Cheera Thoran


Cheera Thoran

Cheera/Spinach chopped fine – 5 cups
Grated coconut – 3/4 to 1 cup
Shallots chopped – 4 or 5
Green chillies chopped – 4
Garlic chopped – 1/2 tsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – a sprig
Salt – to taste
Oil – as needed


Grind grated coconut,turmeric powder,green chillies,jeera seeds and garlic into a coarse paste and keep aside.Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds into it.Allow it to splutter,then add curry leaves,stir and add the chopped spinach.Stir for few minutes and mix in the ground paste.Add salt,stir and cook until all the water evaporates and thoran becomes dry.Serve with rice.

Cheera Thoran

Now this is over to you Deepz….


32 Responses to “Cheera Thoran”

  1. Nita said

    looks delicious! wish i cld get hold o some o this kerala spinach though

    Thanks’re always welcome at my place…:))

  2. meeso said

    I love to try any spinach dish…this looks really good!

    Thank you Meeso

  3. Mishmash! said

    Annita….u re so lucky..i havent tasted this cheera since my last vacation at home :( the colour itself is so nostalgic!!!
    address tharatte…enikku cheera seeds tharo..? :P just kidding ok :)

    Take Care

    Yes Shn,send me the address..I’ll surely send it to u…:))

  4. Cynthia said

    You’re so lucky to have a green thumb to be able to do this.

    Thank you Cynthia

  5. Suganya said

    Yay! I have planted the same type of spinach. Was very pessimistic. But a tbsp of seeds from a bunch of keerai I bought is growing well!

    Yeah..good suganya..I was very excited when i got that cheera seeds…

  6. Jeffrey said

    Hi, can you clarify if cheera is same as spinach. The spinach I see here in Europe is always green in colour rather than the red one. Spinach is called ‘palak’ in Hindi, don’t know what cheera is called.

    In Kerala,any type of spinach is called ‘Cheera’..And they are distinguished by its color like red cheera,green cheera etc…I don’t think you’ll be able to find red cheera in Europe..Palak is the most common type of cheera found all over India and elsewhere…But Malayaalees somehow prefer this red cheera to Palak,and so Palak is not so popular in Malayalee homes.This red colored spinach is easily available in Kerala.

    • Philomina said

      Yes dear, you are right spinach in Hindi is called Palak, but cheera is not palak. Cheera is called amaranth (red or green) depending on the colour. It is totally different in appearance and taste from spinach.

  7. Happy cook said

    Wow you are lucky to have cheera in your garden. Last time i ate them were when i was back at home in Kerala
    Excelent dish

    Yeah…it tastes so good when we’re having it after a long time…:))
    Before i was not a gr8 cheera fan…

  8. Bharathy said

    Excellent!!Chumanna cheera is supposed to be healthier and has a richer taste!Simply keralite delicacy!!

    Yes Bharathy..Its something we Malayalees can’t resist,rt?

  9. Latha said

    Hi Jeffrey,

    I think Cheera is very similar to amaranth… Normally in south-indian cooking we use more of these greens (typically available in various types, shapes and colours) than palak, and amaranth is just one of them. Am I right, Annita? (what we call Keerai in Tamil but it’s again sirukeerai, mulaikeerai etc., etc.,)

    Yeah latha..Red cheera is very similar to amaranth…BTW..where did you get my name as Jeffrey…Yeah..i’ve noticed you’ve addressed me as Annita again in the comment…:)))

  10. Keerai said

    Yummm, Keerai masiyal, keera kootu, puli keerai….

    Funny thing is, as much as keerai is central to Kerala/Palghat cuisine most keerai eaten in Kerala comes from across the border, primarily Coimbatore which also serves as the source for most of the bananas, jasmine/flowers, etc. consumed in Kerala. Lately I heard even banana chips are being processed/shipped across from Coimbatore and into Kerala when, not long ago, bananas, banana chips etc. were identified with Kerala.

    Hey Keerai,
    Thanks for the info..

  11. Hi again Annita, it’s amaizing…; the spinach looks exactly same like it grow in Kerala – u must have got Green Hands too. U r a blessed one, Annita. I’m so glad to see this ‘cheera’ and ‘thooran’ in picture at least. Thanks a lot…!

    Best Wishes, from Dhanya.

    Thanks again,Dhanya

  12. Lissie said

    hi annita, you have a very good site! cheera thoran looks delicious!! i am a mallu and i love this dish.

    Thank you,Lissie

  13. Jubi said

    Hey Annita..

    You are really lucky to get the Cheera seeds… The last time I ate Cheera thoran was almost two years ago…

    Its very nice to see the picture of the Cheera plant… I love to eat it…. Am coming over to your place……

    You are most welcome,Jubi..Just gimme a ring and come..:))

  14. Vini said

    Hi, your red cheera thoran brought back memories. My bro and I used to compete mixing it with rice to see whose rice would be darker :). Not easy to find it in the US…luckily in the new place we’ve moved to, the Indian store is owned by a malayali…so lucky me, have lots of it in the freezer and tastes really good. Nice blog..will be back.

    Ooh..u r so lucky to get that red spinach here,Vini..I envy you..:))

  15. Nags said

    i loooove cheera. this reminds me of my grandmom’s cooking!

    Thank you Nags

  16. mocha1476 said

    Neighbours Envy and Owners pride. The Cheera in your yard. It has been ages since I had it. I love cheera avial a lot . OMG u make my mouth water

    Thank you and welcome to my blog

  17. Deepa said

    Thanks Annita for the recipe… I am expecting now and I was craving for Red Cheera Thoran, which is difficult to get in US. Thank god, I just got lucky and found it in farmers market.. Just prepared thoran using your recipe… It came really well.. Thanks a lot.. :-)

  18. deepam84 said

    enikkum cheera seeds tharumo???

    Ooh…i’m sorry ligi…i lost that seeds during our move to pittsburgh…

  19. MARY said

    Hi Anita,

    I accidently bumped into your blog and I must say you are my dream come true.

    I am a working woman, now in Dubai.

    While I was working in Kerala as a teacher at the TKM college of engineering, I was much into cookery, icing & floral settings-running classes at home for these…and once in a while doing demonstrations in Doordarshan, for a period of twenty years.

    I had a feeling that these days Kerala girls have little interest in handicrafts and when I saw your blog-honestly I did thank the Lord for you.

    God bless you in all you do – Be a blessing to your family – blessings from me with all my heart.



    Engineering Manager

    Burj Dubai Tower Project


    Thanks a lot for your inspiring words…

  20. RN Samaritan said

    If you have a plentiful cheera harvest, you can also freeze the cheera leaves after chopping them and after heating them in the microwave for 1 minute. I was told that microwaving for 1 minute would stop the cheera from maturing any further and the thoran would turn out softer when you cook them later.
    We also use the tender stems cut into 1/2 inch pieces in saambar curry.
    If you let the cheera plant flower in the garden (normally its harvested tender before it flowers, but leave a couple of stems to mature into flower stage), the seeds fall into the soil will re-grow in the next spring, even after a hard snowy winter.
    Thanks for your recipe.
    Just thought to share a few tips…..

    Thank you RNS…I really appreciate your tips….It’ll be helpful for many…

  21. roopa said

    Hi annita

    How r u? Happy New year
    i like ur bogs.In cheera thoran receipe instead of shallots we can use onion.

    i am waiting for ur reply
    thank u for ur nice receipe


    Yes…u can use onions too…

  22. roopa said


    in this receipe ………….
    add the chopped spinach before we add Shallots na.

  23. Lina Anup said

    Dear Anitta Chechy……

    I am a regular visitor of your site since I got married.My husband is very particular about the foods and its homely taste.Being fan of north Indian cuisines I was like an alien to kerala taste.When I got married and was brought to Saudi the cooking was like a roket science for me.It was your blog which saved me just like that.Thanks a lot ………..


  24. Anupama said

    Hey Anita,
    Yummy receipe
    I am fromMangalore and we do get these leaves and it is called Harive soppu there .
    thanks for teh simple yet delecious receipe.

  25. Anand said

    I’m trying to get some harive soppu in London. I love those greens.. reds… ? Anybody, any ideas?



  26. Sujitha said

    where are the shallots used in this recipe?

  27. be said

    Dear Anitta

    your red cheera thoran looks beautiful. are spinach and green cheera same?. if you know the answer please send it to y mail.

    if you want to know the amazing benifit of spinach use the below link

    please do not foget to give details about the similarity of spinach and green cheera.

    may god bless you

  28. asha said

    cheera needs to be cooked with open lid?

  29. Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there any way you’ll be able to take away me from that service? Thanks!

  30. wordpress said


    […]Cheera Thoran « My Treasure…My Pleasure[…]…

  31. Truman Capote~ To me the greatest pleasure of writing is not what its about but the music the words make.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: