Friday, March 06, 2009

Beetroot curry

The words 'Beetroot kulambu' doesn't make me gape with a look of horror on my face now. But it did once. I was 12 then. Both Amma and Appa had to goto a very early wedding at 4 am in a different town. And my neighbor, an Aunty who lived with her family, in the house above ours, volunteered to serve us breakfast. My younger sister and me liked that Aunty, so we didn't think much about the breakfast, until she arrived with the food and declared it was her special idlis with beetroot kulambu. You should have seen the look on our faces. We were speechless. Being tweens at the time, Beetroot was one of the many vegetables we hated with passion. We could barely swallow the 1 tbsp of beetroot poriyal Amma forced us to eat. And we've always had chutneys, chicken curries, kurmas, sambar to go with idlis..Never ever heard of anybody making beetroot curry to go with ildis.

And, here this Aunty had made a kulambu (of all things blasphemous) out of the dreaded beetroots and was heaping it on our plates while we were watching with our wide eyed pale faces. We never uttered a word. Just shook our heads to whatever she was talking and dipped our idlis as lightly into the curry as humanly possible without touching the beetroots. We forced ourselves to swallow it without ever biting into the idlis. And then, she asked something eagerly which made us almost cry.
'Want more?' 'NO, NO, NOOOO Aunty, we are full! Very full.. Thanks for the breakfast, It is VERY tasty!! Thank you!' She believed us, or so we thought until Amma came back. Now Aunty caught hold of her before we could tell Amma what happened and warn her (or beg her not to expose us). We didn't really hear Amma come back or the Aunty talking to her, but we did manage to hear Amma laugh. Roaring with laughter was more like it. She laughed and laughed and then applauded the Aunty for making us eat beetroot without a word, which Amma could never do. Needless to say that the next few days were sheer torture - Aunty kept teasing us if we wanted anymore of her very TASTY beetroot kulambu.

I guess a lot of things have changed in the next 18 years. I
make beetroot kulambu these days. And eat it thinking that it is yummy! I adapted this recipe from my chicken curry recipe. It pairs well with rotis, idlis or dosas. I don't think it goes well with rice though.

Beetroot Curry
Beetroots - 2 big ones, peeled and chopped into cubes

Onion - 1/2, chopped into big pieces

Ginger - 1 inch

Garlic - 3 pods, peeled and chopped into twos
Curry leaves - few

Cinnamon - 1

Clove - 2

Saunf / Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp

Grated Coconut - 4-5 tbsp

Red chillies - 2

Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste

Heat oil in a pan and add the cinnamon, clove and fennels seeds. When they are roasted, add everything else except coconut and the beetroot and saute well for a few mins. Add coconut and roast for another minute. Let it cool and grind this with some water, into a fine paste.

Put the chopped beetroot and ground paste into a pressure cooker, add salt and pressure cook for one whistle. Ready to serve hot with rotis, idlis or dosas.


indosungod said...

This curry is something I should try. I have always liked beetroot. Beetroot pachadi and beetroot poriyal I cook often.
Funny right, we would eat without a word in someone else's house what we would never even take a sniff in our house.

Asha said...

I love Beets in everything. I saw a Beets Uppittu in one blog, how cool is that? I have got to try this too!

Have a fun weekend Kay! :)

Kay said...

Indo, very true... Never spoke a word in anybody else's house. Ate what was served.

Asha, these days I love it but I can't believe that there was a time I hated it! :) Beetroot uppittu, Wow!! Great idea! The next time I make beetroot halwa, I'll save some for making Uppittu!

Divya Kudua said...

Haha loved the story..its funny how we,as kids silently gobble up anything which others serve but complain about the same when amma serves it..hmm,wouldnt mind eating ANYTHING amma-made now,if given a chance!! Beetroot curry looks delicious and I simply love the fiery maroon colour!!

Subhie Arun said...

this is new too me..i onli knoe how make beetroot thoran and beetrooot halwa...surely will give a try...thx for sharing!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I make it the exact same way but instead of chopped beets, I add grated beets to the curry.

Kay said...

yeah Divya, agree totally with you. I'd eat anything made by her now.

Subhie, if you try it, let me know how it went.

Kavitha, great minds think alike. :) I have another recipe for the grated beetroot one too.

Anonymous said...

I have made several dry on beets..But this is quite interesting..lemme try this too

Elizabeth said...

What a nice idea to add curry leaves. Next time we have some on hand, I'll have to try that!

Beetroot curry is one of my favourites as well. But then I always liked beets, even as a child when I pretty much detested every other vegetable. The only vegetables I liked were green beans, corn and beets.


Vani said...

I love beets! Even used to eat it as a kid - one of the rare veggies that I really liked! Loved your childhood story :)

Meenal Mehta said...

Hi Kay ,

Hope you are doing well.My name is Meenal and we used to link back to each other in the past and then I disappeared.I have returned from the dead to no go back again:)I can you are still linked to me .Wanted to drop by and say hello and wish you a Happy holi

take care

Meenal Mehta said...

forgot to add ..loved the recipe and the story:)

Meenal Mehta said...


I have a small gift waiting for you
(In my new blog post)

in my New Blog Post... Please do accept it.

Subhie Arun said...

i have tried it..kay..its turns out well and v nice too..tq for sharing...if u got time visit my blog ..introducing malaysia food-Nasi LEMAK...

Kay said...

It was nice reading everybody's comments!! Thanks!

I think, my dislike for beets in my childhood was mainly due to the fact that Amma half-cooked it thinking it was super nutritious to eat that way!! :o

Subhie, glad you liked it. :)

Meenal, ofcourse I remember you. Thanks for the friendship award! :)

Unknown said...

Kay, I too learned to love my beets later in life, but I do love them with a passion now! Thanks for a lovely recipe that's new to me. Love the color.

Miri said...

I like beetroot but only raw grated in a salad or boiled and cut into circles! I think that it loses its natural flavours when its overcooked - might be just me though!

Kay said...

Vaishali, yeah, the taste buds mature and discover new tastes.

Miri, My mom would LOVE you and ADOPT you in a heartbeat!!! :) As for me, I think I'll just be your friend. ;) Raw beets? No thanks, not right now. Let the taste buds mature even more.

Food for thought said...

Love beetroot in any form. Your kulambu is new to me. But should try this one soon. Couldn't control my laughter on reading ur story. Very funny:)

Kay said...

merajugr8, Glad you had fun reading! :)

Ann said...

Wow.. sounds very nutritious..and picture looks promising to be yummy..
Huh.. I must search for beets and get brave to cook them once like this!

shammi said...

Just curious... why do you say it doesnt go well with rice? :)

Kay said...

Ann, it tastes good too! spicy though.

Shammi, just my silly personal preferences. :) It doesn't taste bad with rice, but in my opinion, it tastes really good with rotis, dosas, etc

srivy said...

Hi, Happy Sri Rama Navami!

Madhuram said...

Kay, Indira mentioned about you and this is my first time here. I love your style of writing and especially loved your "about me" para. My son's middle name is mischief too.

My son is like that too, he eats anything which is served in my friends' place but makes a scene at home. So now I have started tricking him by telling that R aunty gave this while you were sleeping, S aunty gave this while you were in shcool and he eats it.

I have also sent you a mail to tabtomorrow ID.

Kay said...

Thanks srivy! Belated Happy Sriramnavami to you too!

Madhuram, I got your mail and replied back. Thanks for your sweet words.

Dazy said...

I have some good mania for beetroot curry. But my kids don't like this. And also is not easily available in summer. I plan to make it for my hubby and give him a surprise in the winter.