Recipe credit: Darshana Muzumdar
Serves 4 people as a part of an Indian meal.
There are many ways to cook beetroot, but very few are as tasty as this dish. It’s one of my favorites to add color to a meal as well. Some Jains eat vegetables like potato and beetroot so this dish has been included in the Jain friendly category.
- ½ kg beetroot
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- Jaggery to taste (optional as beetroot is sweet on its own)
- ½ tbsp groundnut/coconut oil
- Salt to taste
For the Masala
- ¼ fresh coconut grated
- 1½ tsp coriander seeds
- ½ tsp urad dal (black gram dal)
- ½ tsp methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)
- 4-6 dry red chillies (this will vary according to how hot the chilies are)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- a 1-inch ball of tamarind
- 1 tbsp coconut/groundnut oil
Wash and peel the beetroots. Cut off the top and bottom and chop into one centimeter cubes. Put them in a thick bottom steel pot and add one and a half cups of water. Heat half a tablespoon oil in an iron tempering ladle and add mustard seeds. Wait until they all splutter. Add curry leaves and roast for another 5-10 seconds taking care not to burn any of the ingredients. Add this to the beetroot pieces, add jaggery (if using) and salt and cook them on low heat till the pieces are tender. Alternatively, steam or cook the beetroot whole till it is cooked through till the middle. A small knife should go through it smoothly. Cut off the top and bottom and peel it. Cut it into cubes and continue as above.
Prepare the masala while the pieces are cooking: heat a little of the oil in an iron kadhai or wok and add grated fresh coconut and the red chilies. Roast on medium heat till it is almost reddish brown. This is important as the coconut changes flavor when roasted till brown. Add the turmeric and sauté for about 10 seconds or till you get the aroma of the turmeric. Put this into a blender/mixer jar along with the tamarind and keep aside. Lower the heat of the kadhai to low, add a little more oil, and repeat with the coriander, black gram dal, and fenugreek seeds, roasting them one by one and adding them to the blender jar as they get roasted. Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste with as little water as possible. Add this to the cooked beetroot pieces, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and serve hot with rice and dal or roti.
For the Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) version:
Do not peel the beetroot.
Do not use oil. Heat an iron tempering ladle and put the mustard seeds in it. Sauté till all of them splutter or pop. Add the mustard seeds to the chopped beetroot. Put the curry leaves in the hot ladle and saute for about 5-10 seconds. Add these to the beetroot pieces.
For the masala, heat a small iron kadhai or wok and roast the fresh grated coconut and red chillies and turmeric as above without using any oil. Transfer these to the blender jar and roast the rest of the ingredients without any oil one by one. Follow the rest of the recipe as above.