Prep 20 mins
Cook 15 mins
This recipe was recommended in a book review of "Mangoes and Curry Leaves" aptly subtitled, Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. I asked in the Recipe Request forum if anyone had the recipe. Thanks to excellent sleuthing by Tasha Leah, I was given a link to the recipe, and I want to share it with anyone who loves Indian food (actually a Sri Lankan recipe). The taste was exceptional, and the meal looked like a plate full of jewels when served with Amazing Peas (indian), and carrot curry. I used roasted beets that I had in the freezer, so the dish was quick and easy to make. With beets abundant and cheap in the markets right now, why not roast some to freeze for making this dish throughout the winter? (Roast in foil, and peel before freezing).(Directions for using precooked beets will be found at the end. I have made minor adjustments to the recipe to suit available ingredients in my area.
- Peel the beets.
- Cut them in julienne strips by first thinly slicing them, then cutting into strips about 1/4 inch wide. Set aside.
- Place a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid over medium high heat.
- Add the oil, and when it is hot, add 4 of the curry leaves, and the minced chiles and shallots.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beets and stir, then add the vinegar, salt, and sugar and stir and turn to mix well. Raise the heat to high and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. The beets will give off a little liquid as they cook.
- Mix half the coconut milk with the water, then add to the pot and bring to a vigorous boil.
- Stir well, cover tightly, reduce the heat, and cook at a strong simmer until the beets are just tender, about 20 minutes. Check the water level after 10 minutes of cooking and add a little more if it is almost dry.
- Add the remaining 1/4 cup coconut milk and remaining curry leaves.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning. Sprinkle on coarse salt, if you wish. Transfer to a serving dish, and serve hot or at room temperature.
- PRECOOKED BEETS WITH TROPICAL FLAVOURS.
- This is a quick (10 to 15 minute) version of this dish, using 2 1/2 to 3 cups of cooked and peeled beets. (Canned beets are not a substitute). Chop the beets into bite sized cubes. All the other ingredients remain the same, EXCEPT the coconut milk should be reduced to 1/4 cup. Follow the instructions above, but add all the curry leaves with the chilies. Stir fry the beets for only one minute, and after you add the liquid, simmer the beets for only 5-10 minutes, partly covered. Transfer to a shallow bowl, taste for seasoning, and adjust, if you wish. Let cool to room temperature before serving.