Saturday, 13 September 2014

Moongphali aur chukandar- beetroot with peanut

Adding beetroots into our daily menu is big problem for most of us. It is a vegetable with its own strong attitude, it hates us when we try to drown it with lots of spices.

Beets when roasted in oven or steamed, become glossy, retain their nutrients and taste yummy. I use beets cooked this way to make South Indian beets and ginger stir-fry, Gulabi alu shimla (pink hued potatoes and bell pepper ), Moongphali aur beet, Alu aur chukandar, Beet and cucumber raita. Grind this cooked beets and perk it up with few spices to make a dip or gojju. You can add these in vermicelli pulav, they don't color the entire pulav pink but just stain them in a wonderful way, just a bit here and there.

When there is hardly any time to cook lunch and pack them during rush hours in the early mornings, this beet in the fridge prompted me to come up with a side dish, dry enough to be wrapped in a phulka or roti , which need not be bland, which is easy to make (you can use your homemade instant peanut masala pd for stir-fry) and yet give me a satisfying  feeling of eating healthy. My children love this nutty beets in their lunch box.

You will need-
2 beetroots, medium sized when cut should yield 400 ml of beet cubes.
1 tbsp oil (any neutral tasting oil)
1 small onion ,chopped or sliced lengthwise (3-4 tbsp), you can add upto 200 ml
1 green chilli (chopped into rings) or 1/2 tsp chilli pd (You can add both. I alternate between these two, it tastes good any way)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds or cumin or both
1 tsp ginger grated (I freeze them in bulk and use when required)
1- 2 tbsp Peanut pd (roasted, peeled and coarsely powdered)- my daughter suggests I add crunchy peanut butter next time for a change)
Garam masala pd 1 tsp
You can cook the beet in pressure cooker or roast them in oven or steam them (in rice cooker too).

To steam-

Place 2 cups of water in the rice cooker pan and place the steaming basket above it. Cover it with the lid and press cook button.
Let the water start boiling. In the mean while, peel the beet root after slicing off the top and bottom ends. Cut each into 4 pieces and place them on the perforated steaming basket of the rice cooker .
Steam till the beet looks glossy just like jelly. (say 20 mins, it depends on the beetroot available in your country. Sadly, nature and recipes don't go hand in hand)

To pressure cook-
Wash the beets well and slice off the tops of the beet root and place
 them in pressure cooker, see that the it is upright with sliced top above water.
add water (should reach half way to beetroot) and pressure cook for 5 mins on slow heat.
Open the cooker lid after 10 mins and peel the beetroots.
To cook the stir-fry in a pan-
Slice them thickly and then cut the slices into long strips or cubes as desired.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan and put mustard, when it pops add onion and fry till translucent.
Add green chillies (if using), ginger and stir fry for a minute on slow heat.
Now add beet cubes or shreds, salt, chilli pd and stir well.
Cover and cook for 5 mins.
Open the lid and add in garam masala pd and peanut pd.
Mix well and and then switch off the heat.

To cook in a rice cooker-
Drain the water out of the rice cooker pan after steaming the beetroot.
Wipe the rice cooker pan with a paper napkin.
Put in onion and oil . Cover and press the cook button.
When onions are translucent add in beet root, salt (1/4 tsp not more, instant masala has salt).
Cover and cook for 3-5 mins, then sprinkle 1to 2 tbsp instant peanut masala pd for stir-fry and give it a nice stir.
Check whether the salt is enough.
Switch off the rice cooker and let the pan stay in the hot rice cooker for few mins.

To eat-
Cool the vegetable on a wide plate.
Place 1.5 tbsp of this beet mixture on phulka, chapati or paratha and roll.
Arrange these rolls in your lunch box.
If using phulkas smear little ghee over it when they are hot and then let it cool a bit. This way they stay soft till lunch hour.
Cooling the beet and phulkas before rolling prevents the rolls from turning soggy.

Other beet recipes

 Bangalore style beetroot and ginger

Beets with potatoes

Gulabi alu shimla mirch

Beet gojju/ sauce

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