January 22, 2009
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.
Curry leaves-one sprig
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.