Keralan beetroot with coconut

IMG_8347The beetroot is out and about in the farmers’ market. I love it and am always looking for new recipes. This one with the ubiquitous South Indian coconut (you can read about the health-gving properties of the coconut here)  curry leaves (fresh are worth it if you can get them) and spices is a perfect accompaniment to a curry or anything with tamarind in it. I had to devise a meal with no acidic foods for a gout sufferer – so no tomatos, shellfish but plenty of antioxidants like turmeric, ginger and tamarind  – so a tamarind fish curry and and Ayurvedic sautéed okra and cauliflower. It was very good together. This is also quick and easy despite a long-ish looking list of ingredients.Serves 4 as a side dish

4-5 medium beetroot
2 tsp back mustard seeds
20 fresh or dried curry leaves
55 g desiccated or fresh grated coconut
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 large green chillis,
thumb of ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp cumin seeds
300 ml coconut yoghurt
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1tsp salt

First prepare the beetroot, by placing in a pan of hot water and boiling until soft enough to stick a knife through (if they come with leaves I stir-fry these like spinach or add them to soups, as I do with carrot tops). Takes about 40 minutes depending on size of your beetroot.

To make the coconut paste,  in a food processor (my little Braun is excellent)  place half the mustard seeds, half the curry leaves, all the coconut, garlic, green chillis, ginger, cumin seeds, and the yoghurt – the latter gradually so you get a really good paste, and put on one side.

Now peel the beetroot – the skin comes off really easily once it is cool. Cut into wedges/slices.

Now heat the oil in a large frying pan and make a quick tarka out of the remanning mustard seeds and curry leaves. As soon as they being to crackle and pop, add the beetroot and stir fry for a couple of minutes until it changes colour. Now add the coconut paste, the salt and cook for 8-10 minutes until the coconut paste goes a bit brown at the edges. Also good cold! I garnished with coriander form my garden.


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