Beetroot Curry

What to cook with a freshly picked last blast of summer colour?

We have the highest temperatures on record for October, and heat always makes me think of Indian style cooking, There’s something beautiful about eating spicy food on a warm sunny evening, washed down with a cool beer. I think back to days travelling through South India and Sri Lanka or to meals at the Rassa in North London. Either way I’m transported.

Now I have a confession, I love beetroot but my erstwhile partner doesn’t. But I decided a while back that it wouldn’t stop me growing and eating it, and well, if I’m cooking and I fancy making one of my favourite dishes, he can either sit back and look at it, or join in! Mean? Maybe a little.

I love the earthiness of beetroot and combined with some simple flavours of curry leaves and mustard seeds, it’s a winner!

Indian style Beetroot Curry

I took inspiration for this dish from 2 of my favourite chefs – Rick Stein and Das Sreedharan, mixed it up with a little of what I like, and here is my version.

Ingredients ~

  • 100g of freshly grated or desiccated coconut
  • 1 or 2 fresh green chillies (the choice is yours!) finely chopped
  • 1 inch of peeled and chopped fresh ginger
  • About 4 large or 6 small beetroot, lightly cooked and peeled, and cut into chunks or cubes
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tbls of vegetable oil
  • 12 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • Optional – 2 tbls of Greek style yoghurt

Method ~

  • In a grinder mix the coconut, chillies, ginger, 1/2 the cumin seeds and 1/2 of the  mustard seeds and grind it all finely.
  • In a frying pan or wok, heat a tbls of vegetable oil, when it is hot add the remaining cumin and mustard seeds, and when they start to pop add the curry leaves.
  • Now add the beetroot and then the turmeric to the pan, stir gently and cook on a medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the coconut mixture and stir in well, taste for seasonings, and if needed add a pinch of salt. Lower the heat, cover the pan with a lid, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Options include adding some fresh greek style yoghurt towards the end of the cooking process, it gives the dish a lovely creamy taste, and gives the beetroot a bit of sauce. or you can eat it as a “dry fry”.

Cooking notes ~

  • If the mixture seems too dry add a tbls of water when cooking.
  • I use the beetroot leaves in stir-frys or I add them to dals. Nothing goes to waste!

Serve with a dal, nilgiri or lemon rice. Delicious!

Gardening Notes ~ The Beetroot are a mixture of Di Choogia, Burpees Golden, and Albino


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