This beetroot curry is deliciously creamy, sweet, savoury and a touch spicy all at the same time. Made with coconut milk, a couple of simple spices and served with rice, these easy curried beets make a great vegan or vegetarian side or main dish.
I’ve been on a huge beet kick lately. I tend to go through phases where I become totally obsessed with one ingredient and try to come up with as many different ways to use it as I can. (My other current obsession is cornmeal, but so far none of those recipes have been good enough for the blog).
Last week I bought a bunch of beetroots for my sushi burrito recipe, thinking more about the colour they would add than the flavour and found myself with three or four beets leftover. What fun! So far I’ve made beet falafel, spiralized fermented beets and now this creamy vegan beetroot curry.
The idea for this beetroot curry came from Cooking Curries’ beetroot kichadi, a recipe that I came across more than a year ago now and have always had in the back of my mind to try to veganize.
Her recipe, and all the other beetroot kichadi recipes I checked, uses freshly grated coconut. There’s no way I trust myself to crack open a coconut without cutting my thumb off so I wondered if I could cut corners by using coconut milk.
In order for my beetroot curry to not be a coconut soup, it needed to thicken. Beetroot kichadi recipes call for curd or yogurt and if you live in a normal place where you can buy vegan coconut yogurt might be a good option, but I don’t so I had to improvise. I used a just a touch of cornstarch to thicken the curry slightly and it worked a treat.
To flavour the curry all you need are a few simple ingredients which added enough savouriness while still allowing the sweetness of the beet to shine through. Shallots, bay leaves (to replace the curry leaves in beetroot kichadi recipes), mustard seeds and one long green chili to give just enough heat in the back of your throat.
I made this dish with just one beet and a cup of coconut milk, which is enough to serve two people with rice but since this recipe is so quick and easy, I’d recommend serving it alongside another curry or Indian-style dish. I found that the earthiness of the lentils in this easy vegan dal recipe was the perfect compliment to the sweet, creaminess of this beetroot curry.
- 1 medium-sized beet, peeled and coarsely grated
- Enough water to cover the beets
- 1 ½ tablespoons oil
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 3 small shallots, minced
- 1 long, green chili, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 teaspoons of water
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- Rice, for serving
- Put the grated beet in a small pot and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the beets are tender – about 10 – 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and fry until they pop – just a minute or so. Add the shallots, chili and bay leaves. Fry until translucent and tender.
- When the beets are cooked, add the coconut milk and return to a simmer. Add the cornstarch slurry and simmer, stirring, until the curry thickens – a minute or two. Add the shallot mixture from the pan, along with any oil remaining in the pan, and the salt. Stir well to combine and serve with rice.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 778 Total Fat: 52g Saturated Fat: 28g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 18g Sodium: 1318mg Carbohydrates: 57g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 12g Protein: 25g
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