Seasonal local food recipe No.381 – Madhur Jaffrey’s Punjabi-style beetroot


We grow a lot of beetroot, so I’m always on the outlook for new recipes. This is a subtly spicy side dish that goes well with dal, one of my  all-time favourite comfort foods.

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

2 tbsp olive oil
1 pinch ground asafoetida
(or half a pinch each of onion and garlic powders)
½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
2 large beetroot (about 675g), peeled and cut into 2cm dice
2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼–½ tsp chilli powder
250ml water
2 medium tomatoes, blanched, peeled and finely chopped

Put the oil in a nonstick frying pan on a medium-high heat. When hot, add the asafoetida, quickly followed by the cumin seeds, and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Add the fenugreek seeds, stir, then add the beetroot, ginger, coriander and cumin. Stir for two to three minutes. Add the turmeric and chilli powder, and stir for a few seconds.

Stir in the water and half a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat and cook gently for 20 minutes, until the beetroot is tender. Add the tomatoes and cook, uncovered, stirring over a high heat, for another two to three minutes, until the tomatoes are tender and well combined, and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Season as needed and serve.

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