Oh Gastronomebychoice. My baby beetroot was calling me from the bottom drawers of the fridge but I was uninspired. Maybe sliced beetroot with some oil, black pepper and horseradish? Maybe a beetroot dip? Maybe roast them? Oh, nothing seemed quite right today.
Also calling me were some fresh borlotti beans that I had bought at the markets for their colour alone. Crimson of beetroot flecked through the pods, AND through the beans. How wonderful a bowl of those looked on my kitchen bench.
Inspired at last.
What I love about this dish is the spicy crunchiness that the spice mix gives to the dish.
Click on the links to take you to the Dictionary to see information about some of the ingredients. Other information, not yet in the Dictionary, I have included inline.
- Black Mustard Seeds
- Borlotti Beans, Fresh. Sometimes spelt Berlotti Beans.
- Home made Masala (curry powder)
- Urad Dal
Beetroot in Australia are also known as Red Beet. It is such a healthyfood – 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. You just need to peel it and it’s ready to use. Beetroot can add a refreshing touch to a salad, in a sandwich (yummy with cheese) or as an accompaniment to other veges. 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!
Beetroot leaves are also very nutritious, but that is a whole other post! (In the mean time, just add the smaller, fresher ones to your salads.)
I cooked the beetroot and beans together – I could do this because the beet were really tiny baby ones. If you are using large red beet, cook the beans and the beet separately.
I cook beetroot with their skins on, to avoid all that hassle of peeling them beforehand. Once cooked, the skins slip off really easily. Your fingers get red – wear some plastic gloves if this worries you.
You can use the Borlotti Beans alone in the recipe, or beetroot alone. The basic recipe is quite versatile. I used a home made masala, but if you don’t have that, substitute with 2 tspn coriander powder plus 0.5 – 1 tspn red chilli powder.
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. (Holiday Season in Australia is mid December to end of January – the most beautiful time of the year, just made for lazing on our glorious beaches and eating outside.)
But be careful. It is so yummy you might eat half of it before it leaves the kitchen.
Crimson Beetroot and Borlotti Fry
Source : inspired by Gasttronomebychoice
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 and/or fresh borlotti beans (use enough borlotti beans to supplement the beetroot, or if using alone without beetroot, use enough to feed your folks)
2 Tblspn black mustard seed
1 pinch asaphoetida powder
1 Tblspn cumin seed
1 tspn turmeric powder
0.5 Tblspn Garam Masala, home made, or use 1 tspn coriander powder plus 0.5 – 1 tspn chilli powder
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.
Boil the beetroot in plenty of water until it is cooked. The time will depend on the size of the beetroot. If the beetroot are all different sizes, you can cut them to size (but more bleeding of colour will occur), or just remove the smaller ones as they cook.
Shell the berlotti beans. 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, masala mix or coriander and chilli powder, and turmeric.
Stir for a moment, and add the beetroot pieces an borlotti beans with a scant Tblspn water. Stir until the beets and beans are covered with the spices.
Cover and allow to warm through – 2 – 5 minutes.
Serve with rice or rotis or as a side dish.
Update: a comment from tbc (the budding cook) in gourmandebychoice’s post suggests adding coconut right at the end of the cooking. Sounds like a delicious variation.