While our friends in the western world are accustomed to having their beets roasted whole, blended into a classic soup or as part of an energy boosting smoothie, we Sri Lankan islanders love our beetroot in a curry.
Low in fat, full of nutrients and packed with powerful antioxidants, a beetroot curry is a regular feature in a rice and curry spread. It’s earthy charm, and bright purple-red colour lights up a rice and curry table like no other curry – and best of all for western friends, the traditional Sri Lankan curry keeps spice at a minimum in this one, highlighting and retaining its delicious but distinctive flavor Available year round, the beetroot curry is one of our favorites and a must-try while at Living Heritage Koslanda, and one we most definitely can include in our Sri Lanka cooking classes for our guests.
- 500 grams beetroot
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 sprig curry leaves (easy to find in specialist Asian supermarkets)
- ½ onion finely chopped
- 2 green chillies (slit in the middle, and de-seeded) – depending on how much heat you want you can choose to up the chilli content, or chose red chilli.
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup water
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
Peel the beetroot, wash and cut the beetroot into thin strips and set aside. Heat the oil and fry the mustard seeds and the fenugreek seeds, making sure they don’t overcook and burn. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves, chopped onions and the green chillies and stir. Lower the temperature and add the chilli powder and stir quickly, so that the chilli does not get burnt. Add the beetroot and stir well and then add the salt. Add the water, cover the pan with a lid and cook the beetroot for about 10 minutes. Once the beetroot is ready (you can use a knife to test if it’s cooked or not – you don’t want it too hard still, but equally not overly soft), then add the coconut milk and cook for a further 10 minutes. Stir well and take the pan off the stove and serve with basmati or red rice.
Here’s a link to a great study on the benefits of beetroot on reducing hypertension and in the general management of blood pressure levels.