When you have beetroot in the fridge and you are tired of boiled, roasted or pickled beetroot, try this spicy, crunchy Indian recipe.
I added some borlotti beans to this dish, but that is optional. Traditionally it is made with beetroot alone.
Beetroot in Australia is also known as Red Beet. It is such a healthy food – it cleanses the blood and kidneys, reduces inflammation, cleanses toxic wastes to help liver and spleen function, and encourages healthy blood cell formation. Fresh beetroot juice with apple or orange juice is very delicious. Be careful though – if you eat sufficient beetroot, your, em, uhm, excreta, erm, might turn bright red. Don’t be alarmed.
Another way to eat beetroot is raw. Beetroot can add a refreshing touch to a salad, in a sandwich (yummy with cheese) or as an accompaniment to other veggies. Try grating it finely to add to other vegetables, mixing grated beetroot with raspberry vinegar, mixing grated beetroot, grated orange rind and orange juice, or just plain grated beetroot on lentil burgers – great! Grated beetroot and grated carrots sauteed together makes a wonderful warm salad.
Beetroot leaves are also very nutritious – add the smaller, fresher ones to your salads.
A wonderful side dish. Or serve with rice, roti or any flat bread.
It would make a wonderful addition to any holiday season meal – such a beautiful colour. But be careful. It is so delicious that it might get eaten before it leaves the kitchen.
Crimson Beetroot Fry
Prep time: 2 mins to get the ingredients together
Cooking time: 1 hour for beetroot if using large ones, plus 5 mins for the dish
Serves: 2 – 4 people, depending how you use it
1 bunch beetroot
fresh borlotti beans (optional)
2 Tblspn black mustard seed
1 pinch asaphoetida powder
1 Tblspn cumin seed
1 tspn turmeric powder
0.5 Tblspn Garam Masala
1 Tblspn Urad Dal
Salt to taste
0.5 – 1 Tblspn Ghee
Trim the beetroot, leaving a small piece of the top stalks (1 or 2 cms). This stops the beetroot from bleeding as they cook. Cook the beetroot in plenty of water until they are done.
Shell the borlotti beans, if using. Boil them in plenty of water until they are cooked.
When the beets are cooked, cool them a little. Remove the skins and tops of the beetroot. They will slip off easily in your fingers. Cut the beetroot into regular sized pieces, or cube them into 2.5 cm dice.
Heat the ghee in a wok. Add the mustard seeds and let them pop for a moment. Add the cumin seeds and urad dal, in that order. After a moment or two of frying, add the asaphoetida, salt, garam masala, and turmeric.
Stir for a moment, and add the beetroot pieces and borlotti beans with a scant Tblspn water. Stir until the beets and beans are covered with the spices. Cover and allow to warm through over low heat, about 2 – 5 minutes.
Serve with rice or rotis or as a side dish.
Add coconut right at the end of the cooking. A delicious variation.
Cook beetroot with their skins on. Once cooked, the skins slip off really easily. Your fingers get red – wear some plastic gloves if this worries you.