Please allow me to begin by saying that I hope that dear RP will forgive me for completely destroying her fantastic beetroot pachadi 🙂 The color was so lovely, I could not resist wanting to try. All week long I looked forward to the weekend when I would have the time to spend, uninterrupted, to cook the fresh beets.
The problem was, I was feeling a little dismayed tonight, and was powerless to change it. I was full of excess energy. When that happens, I turn to the kitchen — usually to my own devices and often with disastrous results. This time I had a great recipe to begin with. I do not know what one could call the finished dish, but the inspiration was all from you, RP! 🙂
Fresh beets in the local market are sold in bunches of four. I bought one bunch — half for pachadi, half for pickles. I cooked all the beets together, even though RP’s recipe called for peeling and dicing before cooking. I didn’t think turmeric would hurt the pickle I planned to make, so I cooked all four beets in boiling water with turmeric and salt. Cooled them quickly under running cold water, then peeled — skins slip right off. The tip I read here was to leave one inch of beet greens attached to the root, to prevent color bleeding. I did this but the beets bled some nonetheless. Not a problem as long as you peel over the sink.
So enough of my nonsense talk… on with a recipe already.
I can’t believe I have the nerve to call it…
Beets and Greens Pachadi
a la RP
2 medium fresh beets
greens from one bunch of beets
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp oil or ghee
1 small red onion, diced fine
2-3 green chiles, slit
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 c coconut milk
1 c yogurt
salt to taste
1 tsp oil or ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
5-6 curry leaves
2-3 dried red chiles
Scrub beets well under cool running water. Trim the tops one inch above roots. Boil roots with turmeric and pinch salt in water to cover. Test after 20 min, and every 5 min thereafter — especially if the beets are varying in size. We don’t want mushy beets for pachadi or pickle. Beets are cooked when they can be pierced with a fork with small resistance.
While beets are cooking, wash beet greens thoroughly and slice thin. Reserve.
Remove cooked beets to cool water bath, or rinse immediately under cold water to stop the cooking action. Leave 5-10 min, or until cool enough to handle.
When cool, remove tops and tiny root portion and slip the skins off. Dice beets and set aside. I did this on a plate to save my cutting board from staining.
In medium saucepan, heat 1 tsp oil or ghee over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until wilted and fragrant. Add green chiles and cook a further 3-4 minutes. Add cumin seeds and sliced beet greens. Raise heat to med-high, cover the pan and cook 5 min or so, till leaves have wilted and give off moisture. Stir if necessary to get uncooked greens to bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium, add coconut milk and cook 5-10 minutes. Add cubed beets and cook a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in yogurt.
In a small pan do the tadka and pour over the beets and greens.
Serve hot with rice or, if you are a beet lover like me… just a spoon 🙂
Thanks RP, for inspiring me to try fresh beets at last!
Please see RP’s Beetroot Pachadi here