January 22, 2009

Beetroot Thoran...

There is change in the air and a new President here. The inauguration was everywhere...in schools, in offices., in libraries...they were showing it live everywhere and it was exciting to see such an occasion of history being played out in front of us. I watched the inauguration as I used to watch the Republic Day parades as a kid. The pageantry, the ceremonies, the commentary...it was a little too much but it is hard not to get swept into it. The sense of something big, something momentous happening was all around, so much so that I felt I should keep my fingers crossed so that the expectations doesn't end up tripping over itself and falling flat. Time will tell.:)

On another note, here's another thoran/Stirfry to add to the endless thoran list. By now everyone knows what a thoran is...a side dish of steamed/stirfried vegetables with coconut. This one is relatively new in my house. I am not a fan of beetroot..I always end up just tasting the earth/sand in it. Mom used to make very lightly, just steamed with a seasoning of mustard, curry leaves and green chilies, but that didn't work for me for this earthy vegetable. If you like that, great.. healthiest way to eat it. Skip to the comment section straight now.:)
But I adopted the other style of thoran...cooked with a crushed chutney like mix of coconut, chilies and shallots. You could add garlic to this mix too. These flavors dominate the blandness of the beets. The other trick I use is to cut the beets really tiny so they cook fast and the bites are smaller. And if you have the food processor or grater, the beetroot tastes best if it is grated and cooked. If you are using small beets with leaves attached, you could make add the leaves to the thoran as shown here.
Serve with rice . Leave the last spoonful of beets to be mixed in with rice and yogurt and watch as it slowly turns the rice pink in color!!Kids get a kick out of that..pink rice!!

You Will Need:
Beetroot-1 big one.
Green chilies-4
Coconut-1/2 cup
Curry leaves-one sprig
Mustard-1/2 tsp
Oil-1 tbsp
Salt to taste


Chop the beetroot into very small cubes.. the smaller the better. You could even grate the beets. The one beetroot should yield about 2 cups of chopped beets. Pulse the grated coconut,curry leaves, shallot and green chilies to a coarse mixture without any water.
Heat the oil in a pan to high heat, add the mustard seeds, lower the heat and cover till the mustard stops popping. Add the crushed mixture and saute for a couple of minutes till the raw smell is gone. Add the beets and 2 tbsp of water. Maintain the heat at medium, cover and steam cook for 8-10 minutes. If the beets are grated, they don't require so much time to cook. Add salt to taste and turn off the flame but keep it covered for 2-3 minutes more. If there is still a bite left in the beets when you take it off the stove, don't worry..it will cook further while it is left covered. Serve hot with rice.


Anonymous said...

Even i was in front of television watching CNN.Btw,heard them saying this prog been sold out for millions and will be the no.1 viewership progm all over the world !!
Beet is such a nutritious veggie and yes,its having this raw taste which can go with proper seasoning..looks great.

Asha said...

Bungled up with oath taking and he did it again today with that chief justice guy who screwed up! :D

Looking forward to some action from the Prez, not just talk. But I don't want him to tax me more though!!;P

Beetroot is my fave veggie, looks delicious! :))

Priya said...

I love anything with beetroot, i too prepared similar just few days back...delicious!!!

Mishmash ! said...

hmm....i have same prob towards beets...that earthy, sandy taste...i guess the ones we get back home is wayyyy tastier....even a simple curry tasted so great with chappathi!

I enjoy beets when i can mix it with rice and get "pink fingers" :D

Sakshi said...

kids love it u said?...guess I shouldn't let out my secret like this then. I love to see the pink rice even now. I wait for my family to finish eating so that I can change my whole plate of rice into pink and sometimes too dark a pink coz I love beetroot and that too only this way.

Obama obama everywhere and now I can see Obama even in my fave recipe blog...The guy is too lucky to be a part of your ingredients..lol

my comfort food said...

I am not a big fan of beets. I somehow like it raw and not cooked. I like the crunchy sweet bitter taste of it when raw, and don't prefer the soft sweet taste when cooked. I like beets in my salad and raita.

Your recipe looks good though.

Kalai said...

It was pretty amazing, huh?? I completely agree with you about beets, Shaheen. This looks like a great idea and a must try! :)

Jeev said...

Gosh, that looks beyond healthy. Good work on this blog!

sra said...

I like beetroot as a stir-fry but of late, am tired of it - get the same thing at work too, though I'm not the kind who'll routinely curse canteen food - haven't eaten beetroot in 4-5 months now.

Anonymous said...

even u won't be able entice me to eat beet root :)


Myra said...

Oh Obama,Obama,it was the same here in France!very OTT hopefuly he will change a few things!!!
i love beetroot so cannot wait to try
your recipe merci

Asha said...

I will miss Trisha,Shaheen. We are like buddies, talk a lot about life and stuff sometimes. She will leave on August 20th. Although she will be within 100mliles, still will be missing her! She is already listing her favorite food,(mostly north Indian non-veg and American) so I can bring to her on weekends!:D

Mallugirl said...

Ann, I had recorded the whole day and was skipping thru the boring arts.. i can imagine everybody watching this with awe.

Asha, aww!! So make the most of the remaining year with Trisha. I will take lessons from u on how to be a friend when my little one grows up.:))
Beetroot is ur fav..!!!!

Priya,Do u make it similarly or do u have a diff method?

Shn, that's another thing we have in common.. yeah the pink fingers are similar to the mehendi hands after grinding it ..have u ever done that?

Mallugirl said...

sakshi.. dark pink fingers.. guess i should have a photo contest for the pinkest fingers using beets.
my kid is the one who started on it and now i kind of like it.. no ttoo much though. Poor Obama, adding me to my list of ingredients will kick up the spice.:)

my comfort food. i don't blame you. for the longest time i refused to touch this and its only that i have mellowed enough to try it.:)

kalai.. yup..amazing it is.

Sra,beetroot at your office too? i used to hate cutlets in college which had beetroot in it..yuck!!

Mallugirl said...

ki, please.. do try.. oh by the way, i like pickled beets. like u do to the carrots.. try it.. never say never..i didn't think u were a picky eater.:)

Myra, good to hear O is the flavor of the year there too!!

Jyothsna said...

Quite the way I make it, tho' I grate the beets. And oh, I love pink rice:)

mathew said...

aahh..that explains why you are 'beetrooting' for Obama!!!;-D

I love this thoran..esp with rice and curd..

Sandeepa said...

Yeah, yeah now I know what Thoran is :)
Hey, have you tried Moksha(Oak tree) ? The food was good though I had only the non-veg stuff but there were veg dishes named Koottu and poriyal etc. Not sure which part of the southern region cooking it was but the chicken and fish were yummy

Trupti said...

thoran looks very delicious

Anonymous said...

n shaen i had a sweet chutney version of beetroot (with biriyani)
at a cousin's house last sunday!
itz gud! .seeing my enthu 4 it she packd some 4 me.
i'll get recipe 4 u ;)

Mandira said...

that kala chana looks fantastic shaheen, and so does the thoran. Haven't made beetroot in a while.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mallugirl, enjoyed reading your post. Being a lover of beetroot, I found your dish mouth-watering. Cheers!

Geeta said...

I did it...I made the beetroot thoran and it was excellent.
Now I've got a variation for my seasoned beets recipe.

Geeta said...

I've written about this recipe and you... on my blog.
Love the taste.

Indian Cuisine Blogroll said...

Made the beetroot thoran this way..it came out good..loved it with rice..