Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Vegetarian Beet Borscht

Vegetarian Beet Borscht

This vegetarian version of Russian Borscht is a delight to make during summer time, when fresh beets, carrots and potatoes are in abundance at local farmers markets. I also add the cabbage and fresh dill to the pile, following the traditional borscht recipe. The attractive fire-red color is from beets but thanks for the success of this dish must go to the Indian spice-blend and the modest amount of powdered cashews that I usually add. They help to create a rich, flavorful sauce that binds all the ingredients in an endearing way.

Although I have enjoyed the beet borscht as a light soup at restaurants, I usually make it as the main meal of the day at home, by adding big bulky style pasta. Daring liberties are taken with good intentions, so I would like to think the darling people of eastern Europe would approve of my beet borscht.

Red Onion, Lime, Carrots, Beets, Cabbage, Fresh Dill and Red Potatoes ~ From Ritu Bazar for Borscht

(for two adults with a healthy appetite, for two meals)

Beets, carrots and red potatoes – peeled and cubed, 2 cups each
Cabbage – coarsely cut to pieces, about two cups
Red onion – finely sliced, about a cup
4 cloves of garlic – finely sliced
Quarter cup – roasted cashews, powdered to fine
Quarter cup – fresh dill, finely chopped
Quarter cup – lime juice
1 tablespoon – cumin:clove:cinnamon:coriander powder
½ teaspoon – chilli powder, salt and turmeric (or to taste)
1 tablespoon – ghee or butter
1 cup ( I chose the Trottole pasta for this recipe.)

In a sturdy big pot, heat the ghee or butter. Add and saute garlic and onions to soft. Add potatoes, beets and carrots. Saute for about ten minutes, stirring in-between. Next in line would be the delicate cabbage. When cabbage starts to wilt, add the seasoning – cashew powder, fresh dill, spice blend, lime juice, chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Mix and cook for couple of minutes.

Add in about 6 cups of water. Cover the pot with lid and simmer the ingredients on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. By this time the potatoes, beets will be turning to tender. Have a taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

Add in the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Ladle the pasta-beet borscht into serving bowls and enjoy!

Beet Borscht with Pasta and Kiwi Fruit ~ Our Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Beetroot,Cabbage,Potato,Suwa (Dill) (Wednesday August 8, 2007 at 7:23 pm- permalink)
Comments (21)

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21 comments for Vegetarian Beet Borscht »

  1. HI Indira,

    After a long time, u made something with Beetroot. Nice photos. I loved the vegetable basket.
    Don’t u think this recipe will be too sweet with all the beets and carrot?
    Beetroot is not my husbend’s cup of tea so I have to reserve this recipe for last resort.


    Comment by laxmi — August 8, 2007 @ 9:08 pm

  2. wow..never heard of this even though i was in stpetersburg and moscow for a few days!fabulous recipe…i am simply bowled over by the variety in your recipes!

    Comment by madhuli — August 8, 2007 @ 10:06 pm

  3. Beets with cashews? I should try this for my kids with rice isntead of pasta. They make a big fuss to eat beets but this sounds delicious and rich!

    Comment by Nirmala — August 8, 2007 @ 10:50 pm

  4. Looks awesome as always. I have never done anything with beets except in the last month when I tried making chutneys. Now I have a nice beet soup recipe and this. Great. Thanks Indira. Hope you’re feeling better now.

    Comment by Raaga — August 8, 2007 @ 11:29 pm

  5. Lovely, I love borscht. I sometimes make it with lots or garlic and chillies!

    Comment by Saju — August 9, 2007 @ 3:29 am

  6. The fruit in your pic looks more like a guava !

    Comment by bashindira — August 9, 2007 @ 6:59 pm

  7. looks great! love the color with beet and pasta

    Comment by roopa — August 9, 2007 @ 7:04 pm

  8. Hey Indira,
    This dish was our dinner today. All I would say is colorful,flavorful,healthy one pot meal. Very satisfying. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!


    Comment by Nina — August 9, 2007 @ 7:32 pm

  9. oops..forgot to menction..I also added some baked tofu to the dish to boost up the protien level, as my lunch was pretty light today. And baked tofu was readily available from my fridge!


    Comment by Nina — August 9, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

  10. The pics are pure art

    Comment by sandeepa — August 10, 2007 @ 7:38 am

  11. As a Russian, I can tell you that borscht is one of my favorite soups. And while you take liberties with it and it’s not quite traditional, if it’s tasty and makes you happy, then why not? My family has always made 2 versions of it – hot and cold. Cold is of course, great in the summer. Your borscht looks terrific! I’ve yet to make a foray into Indian cooking 🙂

    Comment by radish — August 12, 2007 @ 5:17 am

  12. Looks delicious! I am sure that even my grandmother, whose borscht is renowned in my family, would approve it. There are many versions of borscht in Ukraine (its original birthplace, although it is popular all over the former Soviet region). In the Southern parts of Ukraine, vegetarian version is often made with white beans. Eggplant (cubed and lightly sauteed, or simply raw) is added too. Red pepper is a must as well. On the coastal regions, you often find a bit of hot chilli pepper in your bowl. Of course, there are as many versions of borscht as there are cooks.

    Also, since borscht always needs a sour tang to counteract the sweetness of beets, you can add tomatoes, or sour apples, or even tamarind. While the latter is not something you would find in Ukraine, it works really well.

    Comment by Victoria — August 12, 2007 @ 6:11 am

  13. Hi Indira,

    I tired your lime pickle….it has come out well…can i keep it outside for one month or so? i think the lemon rind are still not done…otherwise i tasted a bit of it..and wow it was good..thanks for such a good recipe….

    Comment by rashmi — August 13, 2007 @ 9:18 am

  14. Beautiful pictures, as always. I love that copper saucepan. And the peeled kiwi fruit is really sweet (I wouldn’t have recognized it as kiwi, by the way — it looks a bit like guava, but not quite). I always think that when someone peels a fruit so carefully for you although it’s hard or tedious to peel, it’s an expression of love! My mother always shells pomegranates for me. My grandmother sometimes peeled grapes for us. And a friend of mine would always shell peanuts for me when we shared a bag.

    Comment by Uma — August 13, 2007 @ 10:17 am

  15. Laxmi: Beets and carrots certainly make this recipe sweet. But the cabbage, potatoes, lime juice and spices addition provides a balance to the dish.

    Madhuli: Moscow? WOW! That must be one exciting trip.
    You are full of surprises.:)

    Sweet beets cooked in this recipe tastes quite good, Nirmala. I think your little darlings are going to like it.:)

    Thanks and you are welcome Raaga.

    Your version sounds interesting, Saju. How much garlic and do you add red or green chillies?

    BI: It’s a peeled kiwi fruit.

    Thanks Roopa.

    Nina: We have to extend our imagination little bit, but this recipe really tastes superb, isn’t it? I am glad to hear that you had a lovely dinner, Nina.
    Tofu addition sounds great! Idea for my next try.:)

    Thanks Sandeepa.

    Thanks Radish for your kind words about my Borscht. I had a great time preparing and enjoying the meal.
    I think you are going to LOVE Indian cooking.:)

    Hi Victoria: I was hoping that you would comment on this recipe.
    The white bean version you mentioned sounds interesting. I’d like to try. Beets, carrots, cabbage, potato plus white beans, eggplant, red bell pepper and tomatoes with garlic, salt and chilli pepper – I am going to try like this. Thanks Victoria.

    Rashmi: Lime pickle. Yum!:)
    The pickle stays good even without refrigeration. Just don’t use any wet spoons etc.

    Thanks Uma!
    Peeling a fruit is a tedious job and I totally agree about love part.:)
    This particular kiwi photographed was a nice one. The peel came out effortlessly and the fruit looked and tasted good.

    Comment by Indira — August 13, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

  16. Yes Indira…This recipe is a keeper! I am going to share it with all my loved ones. I loved the addition of pasta. Do bake the tofu before adding it as it was very yummy that way. I baked tofu as per Susan Voisin of Fatfreevegan. Apply soy sauce to tofu slices and after 10 min, bake at 375 F for 30-35 min! Hope you had a great weekend!

    Comment by Nina — August 14, 2007 @ 9:13 am

  17. This looks delicious Indira. Beautiful photos too. I will be trying this!

    Comment by Niamh — August 16, 2007 @ 8:26 am

  18. Dear Indira,
    Today I made this for my kids. Since its for their tender stomachs I added 1/4 spoon of the spices and only beetroots. It was great to taste and they loved it. (i was very much tempted to have it with hot rice ;)) Thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe!

    Dear Nirmala,
    How wonderful! I am glad to hear that your kids loved it. Hot, hot rice with little bit ghee suits this dish very much.:)
    Have a great day!
    – Indira

    Comment by Nirmala — August 16, 2007 @ 11:58 pm

  19. Dear Indira,

    I came across your Cooking with Consciousness food blog for the first time a few weeks ago. After many years, I have recently begun food preparations again.

    As I began the transition into healthier foods I have been wanting to make a beet recipe. I came across your borscht recipe. Your combination of spices was intriguing and since I had them all I gave it a try with modifications.

    The modifications were as follows: used tomato instead of potato; used red cabbage; one tablespoon whole cloves ground into powder instead of ground cloves; no chili; coconut oil instead of ghee.

    Instead of cooking, I pureed it with water for a cold borscht soup.

    Right after making it, the taste of cloves was overpowering. I refrigerated it overnight and the next day the clove flavor had blended together so well with the other spices. The end result was a more full-bodied flavorful extravaganza. It was supurb and I felt like a master cook as I enjoyed it for my meal that next day.

    Thank you so much for all the visually appealing recipes and I look forward to trying more.


    Comment by Nora — August 17, 2007 @ 6:39 am

  20. Your recipes are just awesome…mouth watering photographs and makes me want to start cooking and trying it out…I love your eloquent and simple style … I always have a hard time preparing a beet recipe and hopefully this one will turn out perfect! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes! I hope to try most of them soon! [:)]

    Comment by Shreya — January 10, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

  21. Hi Indira,
    We(me and my hubby) tried this recipe yesterday and happy to tell you that it turned out very delicious.Hope to see more fusion recipes in future.Thanks

    Comment by Sudha — January 27, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

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