Glorious pink-red beets, that are sautéed with a simple mix of curry leaves, coconut and green chillies lends to an earthy, sweet and a tad bit spicy salad of sorts, that works as a great side with rice! Done in 30 mins.
Beets are one of those vegetables, where people either love them or hate them. I understand the hate part – they are earthy but a little sweet too and you cant really place it anywhere near other vegetables in terms of their taste. It is a little confusing, I agree.
The hate part is also because, you don’t know what else to make with them. The only roasted beets that you have had in salads, there is only so much of it you can consume in a life time. Don’t get me wrong, I love roasted beets salad with greens and goat cheese and pistachios. But there is so much more you can do with beets!
I belong to the category that loves beets!! I make a ton of lot of things with beets – Beetroot Risotto, Beetroot Halwa ( a sweet Indian style pudding with beets and condensed milk), Beetroot Kichadi ( grated beets that are cooked and mixed with a slightly spicy and tangy coconut-yogurt sauce) and I don’t really spare the Beet Leaves as well – like in this beautiful Beet Leaves Thoran.
This Beetroot Thoran is also very similar to the beet leaves thoran, and you can very well combine the root vegetable and the leaves together to make a thoran as well. Thoran is a quick sauté that us, Malayalees, the people of the Southern Indian state of Kerala love to make with a variety of vegetables like these – Beans Thoran and Cabbage Thoran.
If you are interested in more delicious, mouth watering vegetarian recipes from the state of Kerala, you can take a look at the Kerala Sadya Recipes collection.
Ingredients for beet thoran
- Red beets – red beets are the ones that are commonly available in India. I am not even sure if you get the other varieties there at all or not. So, this recipe is traditionally made with red beets. But I have used golden beets also and they taste just as good without the gorgeous color.
- For the tempered seasoning – this is an integral part of Indian cooking, where you start off the dish with this or end with this, depending on what you are cooking. For this recipe you need oil, black mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- For the coconut mixture – freshly frozen grated coconut is crushed with Thai green chillies or serrano peppers and added to the cooked beets. Freshly frozen grated coconut can be found in the freezer aisle of any Indian grocery store.
- Salt, of course!
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- 2 medium red beets peeled and chopped into small cubes
- 1 tbsp grape seed oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 10 curry leaves
- 2 Thai green chillies
- salt to taste
- ¼ cup grated coconut I use freshly frozen grated coconut. You can find it in the freezer aisle of any Indian grocery store.
- Cook the chopped beet cubes in water, till soft. Drain and keep aside. ( you can save the drained water to be used as stock as well)
- Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Add the mustard seeds and once they splutter, add the curry leaves to the pan.
- Toss in the cooked and drained beets and salt.
- Pulse the coconut and green chillies together in a food processor or crush in a mortar pestle, till they are just about mixed.
- Add the coconut mix to the beets and mix well. Let the mixture cook for a couple of minutes.
- Remove from heat. Serve with rice.