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Simple Cooking #3: Beetroot Sabzi

At the grocery store the other day, a lady asked me ‘How do you cook this yellow pumpkin?’ I too had and still have, the same question about various vegetables that I see on the grocery store shelf.

One such vegetable whose method of cooking puzzled me was the beetroot. I would look at the juicy beet but stop short of buying it because I could not think of any other way to cook it but to boil it. And that did not seem very appetizing. Today I understand that you can use beetroot in various ways like juicing, making halwa, parathas and what not. You can eat not only the root portion of the beet but also its leaves as well.This dark red vegetable is nutritious, being rich in fibre, folate, manganese, iron and vitamin C. It has a high content of inorganic nitrates which help blood flow and reduce blood pressure.

Today’s dish is one that was taught to me by my maid who was a Tamilian. It is the simplest of dishes, but one which I have come to relish for the nutty flavour provided by the tempering of urad dal.

Enjoy this simple recipe of :

Beetroot - 1

Mustard seeds - ½ tsp

Split Urad Dal - ¾ tsp

Curry Leaves - few


  • Cut the beetroot into juliennes or cubes

  • In a pan, take 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and saute the mustard seeds and urad dal till the urad dal turns a light brown.Throw in the curry leaves.

  • Add the chopped beetroot and cook covered, adding some water as required

  • Add salt to taste

  • Once soft and done, let the water dry up

  • You can garnish it with some freshly grated coconut


Although I usually go in for cooking with the least ingredients and spices, you can also add onions, hing or asafoetida, carrots and/or potatoes if you so wish. In my cooking for my family I usually avoid red chillies. But you can spice up the dish by adding dry red chillies to the heated oil right at the beginning.

Eat mindfully and enjoy.


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