Beetroot Pachadi is a type of pachadi that incorporates the health of the root of the beet. Beetroots have been eaten for their health benefits and sweet taste for many years. My Indian neighbor shared a recipe that is ideal for the curry lover as well as those who want to enjoy a beautifully-colored vegetarian side dish.
A pachadi is the Indian term for food that has been pounded and contains fragrant spices.
The main ingredient is usually yogurt. This recipe was not only delicious and healthy, it added an amazing color of pink to my table.
I had often seen the beetroot served at the traditional Jewish and Russian table as Borscht, but did not know it as an Indian dish from the Kerala region. As a child I marveled at the beautiful color of Borscht, yet would not eat it. I think that the reason was that it was not tasty enough and really had no spices. Since then, I have come across recipes for roasted beets or beet and kale salad, healthy uses of beets but not quite exciting. This dish takes care of that fact and adds a lively curry or chutney to a meal.
Originally, since prehistoric times, the leaves and stems from the beetroot were eaten; in days as late as that of Rome, people began to eat the root, which has the sweetness of taste. Growing naturally along the coasts of the countries of North Africa and Asia, the beet also grew in Europe. In the time of Napoleon, beet sugar was the source to be used for sugar and sweetness, since sugarcane was restricted by the British.
According to Dr. Mercola, there are numerous good reasons to eat beets, aside from their sweetness of taste. He maintains that beets:
- Can make blood pressure lower
- Add a boost to stamina
- Aid in detoxification
- Are a rich source of fiber and nutrients
- Have anti-cancer benefits
- Aid in fighting inflammation
Studies have shown that eating beets and drinking beet juice have lowered blood pressure; beets are now considered a super food for their potential health benefits. Filled with fiber, beets also contain the essential vitamin, folate and the trace element of manganese. Fiber also plays an important part in keeping digestion healthy, so beets offer another good point.
With this knowledge, I now know that eating the beet and beetroots has benefits that might not have been previously considered. I am not a big eater of beets; salads and the occasionally-included beets are my main go-to for this healthy vegetable. However, the discovery of Beetroot Pachadi has made the beet more interesting and a source of amazing tastes. With this in mind, I welcome you to experience this delightful and healthy recipe.
Beetroot Pachadi Recipe
This is the traditional Kerala style recipe for Beetroot Pachadi. It is often served on the occasions of Vishna, Onam and Sadya in India. It is similar to what is called Raitha in the north of India. Quick and easy, it only takes about twenty minutes to make.
Beets do not need to be peeled before cooking; it is somewhat difficult to peel the raw beet. After cooking, it will slide off easily. Be sure to scrub the beets thoroughly. Many people put the raw beets in a food processor; otherwise if peeling the raw beet, wash it and let dry. Then peel and grate.
- 1 cup of grated beetroot
- 1 teaspoon of ginger
- 2 or 3 green chilies
- 1/4 cup grated coconut
- 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- salt to taste
- Cook the grated beetroot with a bit of water until it softens.
- Grind up the chilies, grated coconut, ginger and mustard seeds into a paste. Add about 1/4 cup of the yogurt.
- Add this paste to the grated and cooked beetroot and cook for a few minutes. Then add the rest of the yogurt. Add salt to taste.
- Heat oil in pan, add curry leaves and mustard. Cook until seeds start to pop, then add it to the pachadi that has been set aside. Mix all well and serve on steamed rice.
You can also thin with added buttermilk to the yogurt. Enjoy this pink delight and brighten your table. This recipe can serve four guests or family members. Beetroot Pachadi can be served on the traditional banana leaf or spread on crackers as a snack. If you have the time, cook the rice and serve it on top.
Beetroot Pachadi Andhra Style
This dish incorporates the beetroot into a chutney that is served on rice or as a healthy side dish. It might make use of red and green chilies and can be served with parantha for breakfast. Learn more about it here.
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chopped or grated beetroot
- 1 or 2 green chilies
- 2 or 3 red chilies
- 1 sprig curry leaves or curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 clove of garlic or a piece of ginger- about 1/4 inch
- 1 teaspoons of chana dal or bengal gram
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of skinned black gram or urad dal (black split lentils)
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 2 tablespoons of dried coconut
- tamarind paste or lemon juice as needed
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add mustard seeds first. When crackling, add the other spices, chana dal and urad dal. Then saute this mixture for two minutes. Add chopped garlic, curry and chilies and set aside.
- Add more oil and saute the chopped or grated beetroot until tender.
- Put everything aside to cool. Combine without adding any water. Add the lemon juice or tamarind. Sprinkle with the grated coconut. Serve with rice or parantha or as breakfast chutney.
South Indian Beetroot Recipes
Beetroot Stir-fry / Beetroot Poriyal
A basic poriyal is made from vegetables that are sauteed with spices, then topped with grated coconut. You can use other vegetables instead of beets. In this dish, beets are the main vegetable. The beetroot is cooked and then chopped or grated and is the main feature.
- 2 big beets
- 2 teaspoons of oil
- 1/2 teaspoon urad dal
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 green chillies chopped (thai or serrano)
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 large red onion-chopped
- salt to taste
- 5 tablespoon shredded coconut
- Steam the beetroot after peeling and cook to desired tenderness. Or cook and then peel for easier handling.
- Heat oil and add urad dal, cumin and mustard seeds until splattering. Add green chilies, curry leaves and ginger. Saute for a minute. Add onions and cook until tender.
- Add cooked and chopped beetroot, cook until all are combined. Sprinkle with coconut and toss.
- Serve with rice.
Another South Indian recipe is Beet Palya; it is a stir fry that is made in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. Palya is garnished with cilantro and contains beets that have been cubed and is somewhat similar to the Beetroot Poriyal; it is considered a curry.
If you are a vegetarian, these classic beet recipes are a great way to wake up your taste buds. High in iron, beets can be served as a great main dish with a little rice, creativity and some know-how from India. Be aware, though, that working with beets is best done in old clothes; beets have a great color, which tends to stain. If you need to dye a fabric a bright pink, think of using beets!
If you enjoy Indian cooking, this recipe is a great addition to a special meal served, Indian-style, to friends and family. It brightens the table in addition to being a treat for the taste buds. Moreover, its amazing health benefits are also in its favor. Whether it’s a way to get the kids to eat beets by being served on flatbread or a snack to go on crackers, this dish has many benefits. Even for those who can’t pronounce its name, it is a memorable dish.
Beetroot is not only healthy but can taste delicious. I am thankful to my Indian friend for sharing this recipe. It can be included in kids’ lunches or as a tasty side dish even without a full Indian meal. Those who have said no to beets might reconsider after they see this recipe. Beetroot Pachadi has made me friends with beets again, and I hope by sharing this recipe, the humble beet can win more friends.