Valentine's Special: Beetroot Curry/ Beetroot Pachadi
Want to impress that special someone with an edible palette on their plates to set the mood? You want your plate to be popping with festive colours? Or, you've recently become veggie and you're looking to change things up a bit and eat the colours of the rainbow?
I've got your back! :D
Why I loved making this dish
Honestly, this dish was one of the funnest I'd made and it definitely didn't hurt that it was one of the easiest - literally took 15 minutes to cook! The fun was mostly in the grating though. To you I'd recommend, RELEASE YOUR INNER CHILD!
I took that recommendation to heart... :D by the time I'd finished grating the gorgeously red hued beetroot, the kitchen looked like the scene of a murder and I had stained red hands to match. The game is afoot, Watson!
I thoroughly enjoyed myself :D Word of advice, though, please don't wear white...
So what did I make with the beets? Pachadi is just the name of this type of dish in Kerala. Beetroot pachadi, particularly, is another staple in an Onam Sadya (a veggie feast usually eaten on a banana leaf). It gets its unique flavours from 1. curd/ yogurt and 2. ground mustard seeds (which you can buy from any Indian store and lends it a nice toasted flavour). For a truly authentic flavour, the yogurt should be slightly sour (stir in 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice).
Basically, this dish is made in four main steps:
1. cook the beets,
2. make the coconut paste and add it to the cooked beets,
3. then to give moisture and a. hint of sourness, add the yogurt. Because we don't want the yogurt to split, we're not heating the yogurt for long so this step takes all of 2 minutes, if that!
4. add the tempering, because no Kerala dish is complete without tempering!
You can make pachadi out of any vegetable that suits your fancy (we made pineapple pachadi in much the same way!). So, step 1 can be substituted with your veg of choice (particularly one that gets soft e.g. pineapple, carrots, cucumbers...) and now you've got another dish in your repertoire!
Small wok/ kadai/ shallow pan
Now for the ALL IMPORTANT recipe!
Grate beetroot (I used the grater with larger holes). In a deep pan, medium flame, cook beetroot with 1/4 cup water, salt and turmeric powder. Cook till soft.
Grind coconut, green chilli, mustard seeds and cumin with 2-3 tbsp water.
Add the coconut paste to the cooked beetroot. Cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes.
Blend yogurt in blender for 2 seconds with salt (alternatively, whisk curd lightly). Add this to the beetroot. Add additional salt as required. Cook on low flame for 1 minute, mix till all ingredients are well incorporated.
In small wok/ kadai, heat coconut oil, splutter mustard seeds. Add dry red chilli and curry leaves. Saute till dry red chilli changes colour. Pour this tempering over the beetroot. Mix well and serve :) Enjoy with rice!
Grind the coconut paste whilst the beets cook - it won't take long, so make sure you have all the ingredients at the ready :)
For a more authentic taste, use slightly sour yogurt. Alternatively, add 1 tsp of lemon juice to the yogurt.