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

Sambars for Supper~ Beetroot Sambar

Red and Gold Beets
Beets ~ Gold and Ruby

The flavor and the color of beets are unique. Their sweetness is more like saccharine than sugarcane. One thing is for sure, they do brighten up any meal with that bold, ruby-red color. But the new variety, the golden beets that I see at farmers markets in recent years is little bit different. They taste more like carrots than beets and they do not stain or bleed like red beets. I personally feel that golden beets taste much better than red beets. But, they are still in designer, fancy stage and I look forward to the days when they become more affordable.

After the yesterday’s curry, I had three each, red and golden beets left from Sunday’s farmers market purchase. I have added few carrot pieces to the bunch and made a hearty sambar with toor dal. The sweet beets and carrots, creamy rich toor dal and spicy sambar masala, together with rice and papads ~ it was a good supper today.

Red Beets, Gold Beets and Carrots ~ for Sambar
Red Beets, Gold Beets and Carrots ~ for Sambar


Pressure-cook the dal:
Take one cup toor dal and two cups water in a pressure-cooker. Cook the dal to very soft and mash to smooth with an immersion blender or wood masher.

Prepare the vegetables:
Carrots, red and golden beets, 3 each – peel, cut to thin, two-inch length pieces
tomato and onion – one each, finely sliced

Do the Popu and Simmer:
In a heavy pot, heat a teaspoon of oil until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Keep the heat to medium. Add a sprig of curry leaves and toast to pale gold color. Then, add a pinch each cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the onions. Saute to soft. Next goes tomatoes, carrots and beets. Saute for about ten minutes.

Then, stir in half teaspoon each – turmeric, salt, red chilli powder and a tablespoon each –sambar masala powder and tamarind pulp. Also the cooked and mashed toor dal along with three cups of water. Mix everything thoroughly and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover the pot and simmer until the vegetables are soft. Stir frequently and well, as the toor dal tend to sink to the bottom and stick. Garnish with few sprigs of finely chopped coriander leaves if you wish and serve warm. Tastes great mixed with rice.

Beetroot Sambar
Beetroot Sambar ~ Under the Golden Sun Rays

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Beetroot,Toor Dal (Wednesday August 22, 2007 at 11:00 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Gold and Red Beets Curry

Shopping at farmers markets is a great experience. Here, the atmosphere and the hungama usually resembles a pelli-chupula party than a humble raitu bazar. The bridegroom is the fresh produce and the merchants are the proud papas and mamas.

“We did nothing but best for our produce. Actual soil, real Sun and no chemical sprays. It’s all ORGANIC.” They boast.

“How much? 10? What? Are these for real?”, a skeptical smile.

“Do you want nutrient-rich experience and a blessed, healthy life or not?” The looks say it all.

“How can a poor man stand such times and live?” No such soulful cry from the surrounding performing artists.

Natural yet painfully artificial, it’s different kind of atmosphere here. But the lure of open air shopping is irresistible, so I go. In between the greediness, there are always few good stalls with decent prices. At one such stall, I purchased the gold and red beets last weekend. I have added the kobbari kaaram and prepared a curry for meal today. With kobbari kaaram at hand, it’s real easy to create a multitude of habit forming dishes. And, the sweet beets love the spicy kobbari kaaram touch.

Gold and Red BeetrootsGolden and Red Beetroots
Gold and Red ~ Beaming Beets


Gold and red beetroots :
Peel, cut to thin rings and then dice to small pieces, like shown in the image, one cup each
Chana dal – 2 tbs, presoaked in water for 30 minutes beforehand
(added for it’s sugar-control properties and nutty crunchiness)
Kobbari Kaaram – 4 tablespoons
Turmeric and salt to taste or ½ teaspoon each
For popu or tadka: 1 tablespoon ghee, a curry leaves sprig and
¼ tsp each -cumin and mustard seeds

In a wide skillet, heat the ghee until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Keep the heat to medium. Add the curry leaves and toast to pale gold color. Then, toss in the cumin and the mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the chana dal and beets. Stir-fry for couple of minutes and then sprinkle about two tablespoons of water. Cover the skillet and steam-saute the pieces to tender, mixing in-between on medium-low heat. When the beets reach the softness you desire, then sprinkle the kobbari kaaram, turmeric and salt. Mix and cook couple of minutes. That’s it. A colorful sidedish would be ready to serve with rice, chapati or pasta.

Rice mixed with Gold and Red beets Curry, Mudda Pappu with Ghee and Pickled Cucumbers ~ Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Beetroot (Tuesday August 21, 2007 at 10:14 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

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)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Red Cabbage, Beetroot and Redbeans Curry

Beetroot is one vegetable that I am trying to incorporate into my diet more often. I need iron and beetroot is famous for its folate and iron content, with added bonus of some natural sugar.

Along with steamed and plain stir-fry, one other way I prepare a beetroot curry is by cooking in combination of red cabbage and red beans. Beetroot stains everything it touches and perfect to cook with red cabbage. When it comes to red cabbage, the vegetable may sound fancy but it is almost similar to regular cabbage in taste and texture. When red cabbage cut to half, the color is more purple than red, sometimes solid, sometimes combined with delicate streaks of white. Looks beautiful but it can’t escape the typical cabbage smell and taste. Together with, beetroot and red beans, this ruby red curry is a good, decent one to have on a rainy day with gray skies like the one we are having today.

Soaked Red Beans (Adzuki), Grated Beetroot, Shredded Red Cabbage


1 red cabbage – Shredded using a mandoline
4 small beetroots – peeled and finely chopped lengthwise
½ cup of red beans (chori, Adzuki)
soaked in warm water for about 3 hours to rehydrate and drained.
1 red onion – finely sliced lengthwise
6 dried red chillies+2 garlic+½ tsp of salt – grinded to fine paste
½ tsp of turmeric and salt (or to taste)
Popu or tadka ingredients along with 1 tsp of peanut oil

In a big skillet, heat peanut oil. Do the popu or tadka (toast curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds). Add and saute onions and red beans for about five minutes.

Add the beetroot pieces. Sprinkle two tablespoon of water. Cover the skillet, and cook beetroot and red beans until they reach the tenderness you desire. At this stage, add the shredded red cabbage. Because cabbage cooks fast, we add it only after beetroots are cooked properly.

Add the red chilli-garlic paste that we have prepared along with turmeric and salt. Mix thoroughly. Cover and cook for another five minutes.

Serve hot with chapatis or tortillas with a cup of yogurt on the side.
(I have also added few teaspoons of toasted fresh coconut (Deepavali Puja) to the curry at the end.)

Red Cabbage~Beetroot and Red Beans Curry with Chapatis ~ Our Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Beetroot,Cabbage,Red Beans (Chori) (Tuesday October 24, 2006 at 6:42 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Beetroots & Carrots ~ Steamed

Simply prepared and deliciously seasoned baby beets and carrots is one of my favorite light meals/snack.
Baby Beets and Carrots in a Steamer Basket
What you need:
5 to 6 small sized beetroots
10 to 15 baby carrots
A saucepan fitted with steamer basket to cook them
1 tsp of ghee, salt and pepper to season

Put enough water in a saucepan so that it doesn’t touch the steamer basket when placed. Bring water to boil. Place washed and whole beetroots and carrots in a single layer in the steamer. Place this steamer in pan and cover it tightly with a lid so that steam won’t escape. Steam them until tender for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the steamer from the pot and let stand until cool enough to handle, then peel the beetroots and cut them into quarters.

In a pan, melt one tsp of ghee on medium heat. To it add the quartered beetroots and carrots. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and toss them once to combine. Remove from heat, squeeze some limejuice and serve immediately.

Baby Beets and Carrots Coated with Ghee, Salt and Pepper

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Beetroot,Carrots (Tuesday September 13, 2005 at 9:05 am- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Beetroot Curry


Few beetroots peeled and sliced into bite sized pieces, tossed and cooked in one teaspoon of peanut oil, then seasoned with salt and red pepper flakes. Served with chapatis, our meal is a simple fare today.

Chapati, Beetroot Curry and Yogurt

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Beetroot (Wednesday June 29, 2005 at 1:51 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: