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Beetroot and Beans

Posted May 14 2009 5:01pm
During the rare occasions when we've had to eat out during our travels to our hometown, I've come across this particular combination quite a few times: that of beetroot and black-eyed beans cooked together in a simple curry. I don't know if this has some sort of traditional significance or is just a tried and tested recipe and cheap to make.

But no matter, it is a pretty good combination, taste-wise as well as nutritionally. Beans are great protein powerhouses and beets are carbohydrate rich; they seem to compliment each other quite well. Like I mentioned in a previous post, adding beetroot to other low-glycemic ingredients helps slow the release of sugar, though beetroot actually has a really low glycemic load per serving. So I've begun using it in my cooking.

Of course, there's no way I can have the exact recipe, but I simply made my version of it. It went this way:

I already had some cooked black-eyed beans, excesses from a previous recipe, which I had stored in the refrigerator. I peeled and cut up one medium-sized beetroot into bite-sized chunks and set it to boil in about a glass of water, till it was cooked tender.

Meanwhile, I roughly chopped up an onion and tomato and quickly fried them in a bit of oil. Letting this cool, I then ground them with a handful of coriander leaves to make a paste.

Once the beetroot was cooked, I added the cooked beans,requisite salt and chilli powder. I then poured in the tomato-onion paste and allowed all this to simmer together for several minutes.

In my seasoning pan, I heated a spoon of oil. To this I added half a teaspoon of nigella seeds/ karonji/onion seeds. The seeds are very innocuous looking and have no distinct smell by themselves. It is only when lightly roasted with or without oil that it releases a lovely delicate aroma. It really goes great with flatbreads such as naans. It is also used alongside with bland vegetables such as eggplant. I used it here for some variation to the usual fare. I kept the roasted seeds aside.

In the same pan, I heated half a teaspoon of oil and fried a bit of grated ginger and chopped garlic. I added all this, including the nigella seeds, to the simmering curry. Once the curry had thickened, I set it down.

It's a really simple curry, with not much spice. The beans and beetroot lend their own strong flavors, so there's no need to tamper with them much. We had this with chapattis.

This is my entry to theThink Spice: Think Kalonjievent hosted at Ammalu's Kitchen.

This is also my entry to theWYF: Side dishesevent hosted by EC of Simple Indian Food.

Updated May 12th:
Click here, for the WYF roundup.

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