Last weekend, I picked up some amazingly sweets beets and carrots. These were from the Briarcliff Manor, indoor farmer’s market. This weekend the outdoor markets have begun and I shall be tell you all about the produce from the Pleasantville Farmers Market as I start cooking the stuff.
The beets and carrots would actually be good for halwas. They have a generous amount of concentrated sugars since they have been underground thought the winter. I have been roasting the beets and using them for salad and using them with the lettuce that is now a plenty in the backyard, however there was a recipe that I tripped upon actually through conversation with a friend of mine, about a South Indian style chutney made with these red beauties. I am sure that there are all kinds of innovative uses for these vivid beauties since in India they are considered very healthy and “good” mothers find all ways to introduce them into their childrens diet.
What I have discovered however is that the best way to eat these red iron rich vegetables is to roast them. This deepens their flavors and in turn offers a nice dense taste to the vegetable. I actually did the same with this chutney, in that I roasted the beetroots first. This also simplified the process of cooking since, the beetroots roasted pretty much unattended and need the whole condiment got put together in about 15 minutes.
To roast the beets, I wrap them in foil and then bake them in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes. I have noticed that this is the time it takes to cook fresh beetroots to sweet and buttery perfection.
So now onto the chutney recipe
A spicy and peppery take on the nutritious beetroot, that converts it into a delightful condiment.
- 2 to 3 medium sized beetroots
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon unsalted peanuts
- 2 green chilies
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 6 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Wrap the beetroots in foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, cool slightly and peel and coarsely chop.
- Heat the oil on medium heat for 1 minute add in the cumin seeds and the asafetida.
- Almost immediately add in the ginger and sauté lightly.
- Add in the peanuts and cook for 2 minutes, until the peanuts are fragrant and toasty.
- Add in the chopped beetroot and cook for another two minutes.
- Place the cooked mixture in the blender and add in the green chilies.
- Squeeze in the lemon juice.
- Pulse the blender a few times to get the ingredients soft and them blend until smooth.
- Place the pureed mixture into the serving bowl.
- Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and wait till they crackle. Add the curry leaves and pour the seasoned oil over the chutney. Gently stir in the cilantro leaves, if using.
- Mix slightly and serve the chutney as a side dish with rice and lentils or dosas.