Delicious ways to up your beetroot intake
Here are some interesting dishes you can incorporate beetroot into.
At first glance, the humble beetroot comes across as an underrated vegetable. Its earthy sweetness, as intense as its deep pink colour, is an acquired taste. But the beauty of this veggie is that it is also extremely versatile and lends itself to a variety of dishes -- both sweet and savoury. Here are some exciting and unusual ways in which you can add beetroot to your everyday menu.
Red velvet cupcake
This crowd-pleaser is a natural favourite and probably one of the easiest recipes to incorporate beetroot. Interestingly, the original red velvet recipe calls for beetroot puree. The roots of this reddish-pinkish cake can be traced to World War II where supplies of products such as sugar and butter were rationed. To make up for this, some bakers began adding beet puree to their cake batter to get a natural sweetness, soft and moist texture and striking colour.
Beet rasam or saaru is a tangy, sweet and spicy recipe that is easy to prepare. To make the dish, grind steamed beetroot and tomato to a coarse paste. Cook this paste along with chopped garlic, tamarind paste, slit green chillies and water on a low flame. Add rasam powder and bring to a boil. Temper with ghee, mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried red chillies and hing. Serve hot with steamed rice, pickle and papad.
Beet-enriched paniyaram tastes not only great but also looks beautiful with their vivid colouring. This popular breakfast or snack option is an excellent way to use up leftover dosa batter when bulked up with grated, steamed beetroot puree, semolina (rava), grated coconut, cardamom powder and salt to taste. Heat a little ghee in each hole of the paniyaram pan, add a spoonful of the batter, cover with a lid and cook on a low flame for a few minutes. Flip over and cook for a while until you notice the edges turn brown. You could also try a savoury version with grated ginger, chopped onions and curry leaves. Either way, it tastes delicious!
This easy, vegan recipe is bursting with flavours and works well for a quick weeknight dinner. Blend roasted beetroot, boiled chickpeas (chole), coriander roots, green chilli, garlic cloves and cumin powder into a coarse mixture. Form small balls and flatten them slightly into patty shapes. Brush the patties with a little oil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C for around 15-20 minutes or until they are crisp. You can also shallow fry them on a pan with a little oil until they turn crisp. Serve warm with salad or stuff in pita bread and slather with tahini or a yoghurt-based sauce.
Here’s a recipe you can add to your list of festive specials. Grate beetroot and coconut and keep aside. Heat some ghee in a pan and add grated beetroot and coconut to it. Sauté on a low flame until the raw smell disappears. Add sugar, cardamom and nutmeg powders, and cashews and raisins, which have been sauteed in ghee earlier. Mix well and cook on a low flame until the mixture turns thick and starts leaving the sides of the pan. Pour it on to a greased plate, and flatten the mixture evenly. Let it cool a bit and cut it into squares. Once it has cooled down completely, store it in an airtight container.
Are there any other beetroot recipes you would like to share? Let us know in the comments section below.