Skip to main content

Beet, Many Ways



I find it really exciting to try and use different textures of one ingredient in a dish. Plus, we are just a day away from valentine's and everyone seems to looking for a bit of red in their life, so how about creating something fun and exciting out of beetroot. Let me talk you through the elements on this plate. I brushed beet hummus down the plate. On one side of the hummus border is a dab of yogurt with cooked beetroot slices. The other side has thin slivers of pickled beetroot interspersed with some more hung yogurt. And towards the edge you see beet leaves, filled with cottage cheese, rolled up and lightly sautéed in olive oil.

You could obviously do away with all the dramatics and put the two dips (hummus and yogurt) in bowl to serve with beet crudites. But have some fun instead, and plate this as first course of your valentine's meal. Follow it up with a simple pasta or risotto and end with something that's simply spectacularly red, like these strawberries in cream or this pomegranate panacotta and you have the makings of a beautiful evening.

Ingredients
For beet hummus
1 small beetroot
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp yogurt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
juice of 1 lime
salt
2 tbsp olive oil

For pickled beetroot
1 beetroot
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tsp coriander seeds

For beet leaf rolls
2 beetroot leaves
3 tbsp crumbled cottage cheese
salt
black pepper

For yogurt dip
1 cup plain yogurt
5-7 pink peppercorns
salt

Make the pickled beetroot a day in advance. Peel and thinly slice the beetroot, preferably on a mandolin. In a glass or ceramic bowl, mix together water, vinegar and salt. Stir until salt is fully dissolved, then add the beetroot slices and coriander seeds. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Also a day before, pour the yogurt into a tea strainer lined with cheesecloth. Pop the strainer on top of a bowl and leave in the fridge for the whey to drain out. The next day, remove the thick yogurt to a bowl and mix will peppercorns and salt.

Peel the beetroot and cook in plenty of water until soft. Blend half the cooked beet with all the other ingredients for hummus until you have a smooth paste. Reserve the other half to be used as beet slices while plating.

Wash the beetroot leaves and wipe dry with a towel. Mix the cottage cheese with seasoning. Put a tbsp of cottage cheese at one end of the leaf and roll tightly. Heat a pan and lightly brush with olive oil. Carefully saute the rolls on both sides until warmed through.

Now that you have all the components, dip a pastry brush in the bowl of hummus and draw a line down the middle of the plate. Spoon yogurt dip on one side of the hummus and arrange beet slices around it. Take 3 slices of pickled beet, dab a little yogurt on each and stack them on the other side of the hummus. Finally, place two beet leaf rolls at the edge of the plate to finish.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Mystery Fruit

This only happened a few times every year, just when the rainy season kicked in. A street hawker will come by, straw basket on head. He will yell "kaul chapni" and I will run out to buy a bundle of these. Stuck together like flowers, they looked like a bouquet. Every hole contains a little fruit. You break out the package, peel the tiny fruit that pops out and eat it. Done slowly, it can take you an hour to eat an head. Or did, when I was about 12 years old.

That was the last time I saw this fruit. I've never seen it again, didn't even know what it was called or where it came from. Three weeks back, Vikram Doctor wrote about a store in Khar that sells Sindhi foods. He described this fruit and I knew it came from my vivid childhood memories. And finally, I knew we were talking about lotus fruit.

Now talk about coincidences. Last weekend, I was passing by a lane in Bandra and for the first time in many, many years I saw the straw basket filled with my mytery fruit. It…

Announcing AWED : Britain

Before I ate my first Italian wood fired pizza, before I went to that swanky Japanese sushi bar for the first time, or the neighborhood Chinese joint, the first non-Indian cuisine I encountered was British. Not real food, mind you, but the tempting, oh so delicious descriptions in my favorite novels. From Enid Blyton to Jane Austen to P.G. Wodehouse, every favorite character in every favorite novel seems to have food on their mind.

Yes, British food gets ridiculed a lot. But forget their main course dishes for now, and think of the full English breakfast and the elegant afternoon teas. Then try imagining the world without cucumber sandwiches or potato chips and you will realize you can't do without British food.

Which is why when I saw that DK was looking for hosts for her monthly event AWED (A Worldly Epicurean's Delight) and there has never been a British AWED, I promptly signed up.



The rules are simple really:

Make any vegetarian or vegan British dish (eggs are allowed in A…

Of Brun and Bun Maska

There is more to Bombay's breads than the pao that goes into pao bhaji and vada pao. There's Brun. and there's bun. We will get there. First, you have to get to know the city's Parsis. And Iranis, who are also Zoroastrians, but came to city a little later, in the late 19th or early 20th century. And when they came, they brought with them these little cafes that dot the city.

I am no expert on Irani chai cafes. And I can't tell you whether Yazdani Bakery will provide you the best experience or Kyani's. But I can tell you a few things you need to ignore when you get there. Appearances don't matter; so ignore the fact that the marble/glass top tables and the wooden chairs look a bit dilapidated. Also ignore the rundown look the place sports.

Instead, get yourself settled. And order a bun muska. This one's familiar to you as a first cousin of the soft hamburger bun. It's similar, but just a tad bit sweeter. Maska, of course, is the generous dollop of b…