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Beet and Batter

Posted May 14 2009 5:01pm
Beetroot has been one of those vegetables on my list of uncertainties that has caused me to vacillate between "avoid" and "don't avoid." Beets are notoriously rich in sugar, and were prized for this very property in the 19th century.

The glycemic index of beetroot is classed as medium, being around 64 or so. I've been avoiding this vegetable for some years now, however much of a childhood favorite it was. Recently, however, I learnt that just like pumpkins, though the GI is on the higher side, the glycemic load of beetroot is low, varying between 4 to 6 on various nutrition-related websites. This means that though beetroots are a concentrated source of sugar, they release this sugar very slowly during the digestive process and thus do not really cause much of a blood glucose spike. So I've reintroduced this veggie in our diet, though I'm still cautious about it and careful to mix this vegetable with other low GI food groups when planning a meal with it, in order to exact maximum benefits of the same.

I feel that the nutrition profile of this vegetable justifies my action of bringing it back to our dinner table. Beets are said to be an excellent source of folates, good sources of fiber (like most vegetables), manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin B6. It is said to support healthy liver function because of an active agent called betaine, protecting it against fatty deposits caused from alcohol abuse, protein malnutrition, diabetes, obesity, etc. So it doesn't make sense shunning beets.

Beets are famous as blood purifiers/detoxifiers, building red blood cells and toning the blood, though evidence supporting this claim is said to be not very strong. They are also believed to contain anti-cancer elements within their red pigment.

Different people react to food in different ways. The best way to ascertain whether beetroot is suitable to a diabetic is by testing blood sugar before and after consumption. By mixing beetroot with low glycemic food such as legumes, eating it during the active part of day such as lunchtime, and incorporating regular exercise, there should be no difficulty in having this nutritious root veggie occasionally.

My recent recipe involves adding it to leftover dosa batter.

For a regular fermented dosa batter, I soak about one cup of dosa rice, one cup of parboiled rice, one cup of urad dal and one spoon of methi seeds for about six hours. I then blend all this with requisite water to form a thick batter, adding fistfuls of oat bran, jowar flour, wheat germ, wheat bran, rolled oats, etc for added nutrition (adding up to another half to three-fourths of a cup). I pour this into a large pot, add requisite salt and cover the pot securely. I allow this to ferment overnight in a warm corner in the kitchen.

The batter rises by one third or more, depending on the temperature and time duration (so always choose a large pot to contain the batter, preventing spillage when the batter rises). I then use up the batter in various ways to make dosas -- plain, with onions and coriander leaves, with grated veggies, etc.

With batter leftover yesterday, I used it up in this particular recipe. I finely grated a piece of beetroot and mixed it in the batter. I also finely chopped one green chilli, four or five curry leaves, and a handful of coriander leaves.I heated my iron griddle, greased it with a drop of oil and placed a ladle of batter in the center of the pan. I moved the ladle in concentric circles from inward to out without lifting the spoon. I covered this with a lid and allowed it to cook for a couple of minutes, giving the crust a golden brown color. I then peeled it off of the pan and served the dosa hot with a side of chutney.

The vibrant pink color of the dosas drew smiles at the table.

With this recipe, I shall join the rank of beet lovers by making this my entry to theFIC: Pink/Roseevent hosted by Priya of Easy 'N Tasty Recipes.FICis the brainchild of Harini at Tongueticklers. This current event is divided into vegetarian and non-vegetarian entries. My entry is vegetarian.

Updated April 27th:
Click here forRoundup 1,Roundup 2,Roundup 3of the event.
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