Eat your flowers while you can - for GBP Summer 2007

Zucchini flower thoran

Thanks to T, now we have a thriving vegetable patch and something to show off for the green blog project this summer. Getting preoccupied with the thousand little nothings associated with a move, we ended up starting our vegetable patch a bit late, so now we have flowers when we should be talking vegetables! Pumpkin and Zucchini thankfully belongs to the same botanical family Cucurbitaceae, and I hear that their flowers are equally edible and tasty. This crumb of information is pure joy for me who had the privilege of eating a decent amount of pumpkin flowers growing up, and then for the past several years was deprived of that vantage. So when I saw these zucchini flowers blooming in my backyard, I got a very pleasant premonition about the events to unfold in my kitchen.

Stuffing and frying Zucchini flowers, I am sure is an excellent way to savor these blossoms, but first I had to make a simple Kerala style thoran hoping my best that these flowers will taste similar to pumpkin flowers. The word Thoran is a generic name for a simple Kerala style vegetable preparation, though there is no reason to be surprised when you hear somebody talking about a fabulous fish thoran that they once tasted. While most of the thorans depend on cumin, grated coconut, curry leaves, mustard and chillies playing along with the vegetable for the flavor, onion and garlic gets into the list of ingredients based on the practice in your neck of the woods in the state. Thoran in essence is mildly spiced; you should be able to eat many spoonfuls of this dish, without ever shedding a tear or running for a cup of water, and it tastes best served with rice. This post is on its way to the Green Blog Project- Summer 2007 event hosted by Deepz of Letz cook. To read more about this blog-green revolution and to meet the ‘YOU KNOW WHO’ that started it, visit this blog.

There are two kinds of Zucchini flowers, males and females; both are edible and easily distinguishable from each other. Male flowers have thinner stalks while the females have stems resembling zucchinis. You might want to leave all or a desired number of female flowers back on the plant for the future zucchini harvest, but can reap most of the male flowers leaving a couple for the fertilization process. Best time to collect is in the morning, being the fragile flowers they are storing for more than two days is not recommended. I used flower stalks along with whole flowers in this recipe. 5 to 6 cups of chopped flowers will give you a cup of prepared thoran, so collect as much as you can.


Chopped zucchini flowers and stalk – 5 cups
Chopped Green chilies – 1/4 tsp (or according to your taste)
Cumin – a pinch
Garlic- 1 clove, chopped
Curry leaves – 3 -4
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Coconut grated – 1 /4 cup
Salt – to taste

Mix chopped zucchini with grated coconut, a pinch of salt and chopped garlic. Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and cumin. Quickly add the chopped flowers, mix well. At this point these flowers will release a surprising volume of water, shrinking into 1/4th of the initial quantity. When this happens, you might want to move the flowers over to the side of the pan, so that the water will drain into the middle of the pan. Let the water evaporate to a teaspoonful or so (takes about 2 minutes)., mix everything again and stir till the thoran is dry and ready ( 1-2 minutes in high heat)


J said...

Good to see you blogging again, Archana! Thoran with flowers is news to me, must try that sometime.

Anjali Koli said...

Archana we missed your posts and pictures. Good to hear you are now settled and would love to see you more on the blog.

I have tasted flower stir fries made from Drumstick flowers and some wild greens and not to mention banana flowers.

Enjoy the harvest!

Suganya said...

Glad to have you back Archana. I have to say yr zucchini curry was the best I have ever had. Loved it! I wanted to take a pic but what better picture one needs than yrs :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome pics Archana!!!! Good to see you back

Nirmala said...

Wow Archana! Your're back! I had checked u're site atleast once everyday...Wonderful pics...So post some cakes Archana...I am searching for nice cakes..and yummy looking pics...

Sia said...

good to see u resume blogging archana. i have used courgettes for stuffing and deep frying and been looking for some other recipes to try with. u have come up with a perfect recipe at perfect time:) good to know that u r enjoying ur summer harvest:)

Anonymous said...

It's beautiful, Archana, and I love how you served the thoran in the floral bowl! Nice to see your garden plants and your post, too :)

FH said...

Look who is back!:))
Since you have been gone,there are at least two more Archanas now!:D
Zucchini flowers look gorgeous,never cooked with them,must try now.Thanks for the recipe.Great entry.Mine is coming.

Mrs. K said...

Yeah! There are more archanaas now, and whenever I see one, I would click the profile to see if it is you. :) Missed you badly.
What an unusual thoran!

Mishmash ! said...

Probably the first thing that attracted me was that blue background and that cute white bowl...i did not see the thoran for long :D i read about using zucchini flowers for cooking when i blogged a zucchini thoran...and here you re with a recipe now :) Btw, did it taste like pumpkin flower ?


Anonymous said...

There she is, finally!

The flowers look so beautiful! Did you know that kaddu/sitaphal (pumpkin) flowers are edible too!

A, mama of twins said...

Really Pretty ! Yes, I am of the "new" archanas and I get confused with all the archanas too!

Glad to see you back.

Shah cooks said...

HOW did u feel like chopping up those beautiful flowers!! lovely photo, though i have never tasted it, i am sure it must be good.

indosungod said...

Archana nice to see you back. A garden full of beautiful flowers is a pleasant sight and what great way to use them up.

Anonymous said...

Zucchini flowers looks so pretty with nice color. I never knew pumpkin flowers and zucchini flowers are edible and thoran etc are made with it. Good to know. I would like to grow some Zucchinis in a pot, is that possible? Thanks Archana for blogging again and sharing such unique recipes.


Anonymous said...

Hi Archana

Your thoran looks yummyyy as usual..this is the first time we are hearing abt this thoran..Since u have tempted us with ur pics we will definitly give a try..he he

zobars said...

Ooh la la. those flowers are so good and your pictures are just too too cool. Well I will have to try this one of these days. I have a neighbor who grows zucchini maybe she can try it too. Thanks for coming back to the blogosphere. Can't wait for your next post. Yipeeeeeeeee !!!!!!!!!!!

Suganya said...

Zucchini flower thoran......Sounds very different....Never tried this before...Those flowers look awesome..

Seema Bhat said...

Archana, I missed your posts and lovely presentations buddy. Welcome back.

Chandrika said...

Archana, it sure looks like a yummy treat. I have never had a chance to taste Pumpkin Flower thoran. I bet it must be delicious. And the post was informative and delightful. And 'YOU KNOW WHO'? Harry Potter magic at your household eh?

arundati said...

its great to have you blogging back!! i have tagged you for a memme, if it isnt too much to ask....

Sudha said...

Wow archana nice to see u back..missed u dear...

saakshi said...

Hi Archana, I am back to blogging too after a longggggg break. I love ur blog. It's so colorful and lively. Keep up the good work.

Mandira said...

great to see you blogging again, glad the move well. we are still unpacking our boxes. The thoran looks delicious.

Poonam said...

Hi Archana, Glad to know about your blooming garden! Pictures looks so good.

Purnima said...

Hi Archana,
The flowers in pic are too pretty! lovely dish too!
u r simply wonderful!

Prema Sundar said...

Nice to see u Archana. really missed ur posts.
Zuchini flower thoran sounds interesting ... haven't tasted anything like this before.

Unknown said...

I just made this dish - and it was delicious!

Thanks for explaining that both the male and female flowers are edible. I have lots of males, and so far, no females, so this is a great use of those flowers that were just going to waste.

Have you ever coated the whole flower in chickpea flour and fried it?

Bharathy said...

Ah lovely flowers!Never knew Zuchini Had such lovely flowers..:)Hhow..Ddid Yyou chop those garden grown,but I can't help asking..)

Anonymous said...

Just dropped in to say hello to u Archana !
Great to hear that u have settled into ur new home.


Anonymous said...


pls post. we miss you and all your creations.

Anonymous said...

അര്‍ച്ചനക്കുട്ടീ വരൂ വരൂ
ഒരു കേക്കുകാലം തരൂ തരൂ........

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana! You have an award waiting for you in my blog.hope you will accept it.

archana said...

Thank you, try it out whenever you get a bunch of Zucchini flowers.

I am glad to be back too, wish i could post more often. I love banana and drumstick flowers.

Thank you dear, we had a bumper Zucchini crop this year. Oh, my, my dear Suganya,your pics are always my favorite. So if you make it again, please do take a snap for me, will you?

Thanks Mary

Thank you dear, may be i should bake a cake for you soon. Frankly, i ran out of my cake photo stock.

Hope you like it. We are actually having too much of Zucchini this year, may be next year we will stick with just one plant.

Nice to see you here Linda. I love those bowls too, those are really tiny dipping bowls.

I am the original, rest are clones ! Ha Ha Ha. Saw your harvest already. Thank you.

Mhhhh, such a popular name !!!! Thank you dear.

Alright, do you see the thoran now ? I have not explored other Zucchini flower recipes yet. It tasted so much like Pumpkin flower thoran,

Nice to see you here too. My mother cooks with pumpkin flowers whenever it is avaialable. Sadly, those vendors who used to sell pumpkin flowers somehow disappered from our local vegetable market for the past couple of years.

Archana MoT
I know you. Our name rocks !

We are currently suffering from an over production of Zucchinis, so i chop all the flowers out of the plant without the slightest remorse. Thoran tastes good.

Nice to see you too. I just love these flowers, they are fabulous on the plant and the plate.

Atleast in Alappuzha, people used to make pumpkin flower thoran, that is why i tried the same with these flowers. I guess you can grow Zucchini in a fairly big pot, and let it spread on the ground/deck

V & S,
Please do, it tastes good. Plants started flowering weeks after you left, otherwise we could have made it when you were here.

Thank you for these kind words. I could have given you some flowers too, may be next year.

Seema, Sukanya
Thank you friends.

I am glad that you liked it. I am a BBIG fan, was counting days to the book release party.

IThank you. I will have to do a lot of meme cathing up. But trust me, i am on it.

Sudha, Saakshi,
Thank you. It is no nice to see you here too.

Hope you are all settled in by now. I am still kind of allergic to unopened boxes !

Poonam, Yummy, Prema,
Thank you for your kind words. It feels so good to be back in your company.

Wow, i am super glad that you liked it. Lucky you, i wish i had that plant. I do not know what to do with my Zucchini harvest. Frying with besan is an excellent idea, never tried it, but love to do so. Thank you.

I guess once you know the perils of having too much Zucchini around, you will have no guilt in chopping these flowers off the plant. Males and females, all of them !!! Ha..Ha..

Nice to see you friend. How are you doing these days?

I will, tomarrow. Thank you for coming in today


Kekkilla kekkilla RPeekutty
Cake-photos ellame theernnupoyi !
( "Innuvendinnuvendomale" enna tune-il padinokku )
Thamasiyathe postunnathyirikkum.
Thank you dear.

An award !!!! I WILL TAKE IT !!!! Thank you dear. said...

Awesome Picture Archana, good to see you blogging again!


Nabeela said...

You must indeed love your traditions a lot if you're ready to buy macy's banana leaf plates :)
I recently bough maple leaf shaped platters from macys to gift to a friend who was moving to Canada...we all laughed over it :)

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Please write anything else!

Anonymous said...

Good job!

Anonymous said...

Hi Archana, i am new to you. Your site looks very beautiful. Your recipes pic are very nice. Especially zucchini flowers, its use only for decorate the center of rangoli in my native. But the zucchini flowers recipe is new for me. I must try this. Thank u very much. from Suganthi


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