Did you know that beetroot is a superfood? It's low in calories, high in fiber and antioxidants, is one of the richest sources of folic acid (helps protect unborn babies from spina bifida), helps the body to utilize calcium better (so it's great for women especially), can lower blood pressure, and is a wonderful detoxifying agent too. In fact, many well-known nutritionists opine that the adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" can apply to beetroots too! As if all this weren't enough, it also has anti-carcinogenic properties-which in keeping with this month's theme of breast cancer awareness, makes it all the more appropriate for it to be featured here.
Beetroot is also among one of my favorite vegetables, but only if its cooked this way. My dad says this recipe is a Mahe specialty, inspired by French cooking (as Mahe was once a French colony). I cannot verify the French roots of this recipe-I only know I've been having beetroot this way ever since I can remember and I don't think I'm going to change it anytime soon, because it's simple, elegant, and retains its flavor very well like this.
To serve 4
- 4 large beetroots-Wash, peel, cut into discs, and then into semicircles (the thinner, the better)
- 1 large onion-cut into thin slices
- 2 green chillies-slit
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly and coarsely ground pepper
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Boil the whole beetroots, after washing and peeling them, in plenty of water. When cooked but still slightly crunchy, take off the stove. Cool and then cut as mentioned above.
- Steam the sliced beetroots in a steamer with plenty of water. Take off when slightly undercooked.
- Put the beetroot slices into a microwaveable dish, sprinkle with water, and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
- After the beetroots have been cooked by one of the methods above, heat the oil in a pan.
- Put in the onions and green chillies and fry till translucent.
- Now tip in the beetroot slices and stir around till well mixed.
- Cook a few more minutes, without covering. They should ideally be crispy yet soft.
- Season with salt and pepper.
As much as possible, use freshly ground and coarsely ground pepper for the real taste of this dish to come out.
If you want a desi twist, add some mustard seeds and curry leaves first to the hot oil.