Learn how to make Beetroot and Potato Curry ~ Beetroot and potato cooked in mildly spiced coconut gravy
There are different types of cooks. Some follow others’ recipes and some create their own recipes. Some draw inspirations from other sources and some cook from the recipes handed down through generations. Some are trained and professional cooks and some have just begun this adventurous food journey. Some like fusion cooking and some stick to the age old traditional recipes. But all have one thing in common and it is their love and passion to create delicious meals for their family and loved ones.
I am someone who cooks by instinct. I am someone who finds it difficult to follow the recipes to T. There have been few cooking disasters due to my cooking by instinct principle, but at the same time I have found it to be one great teaching lesson which has made me confident cook. Cooking by instinct means the recipes I made once is never going to taste the same when made again! The difference in taste may be subtle but they sure are distinct and unique tasting ones. What I have learned from my cooking by instinct and improvisation is that it obviously a lifelong learning process. The more you cook, the more you learn and this learning process is never going to end.
Farm fresh Beetroots
I do have couple of cookbooks in my kitchen, mostly gifts from dear ones. I love all these cookbooks and do flip through the glossy pages once in a while to draw inspiration. But it’s rare for me to actually follow a recipe to the letter unless I am making something for the very first time. And then again the little cook in my head takes over and adds her own twist to the recipes. :) Baking, of course, is a different story where you sadly need to stick to the exact measurements and follow the recipe to T. But even there I'm slowly experimenting with the ingredients as what can be substituted or tweaked without ending up with a soupy puddle or a hard brick! ;)
Getting to the point where I can improvise well has taken a long time. Like I said before, it is lifelong learning. Every time you tweak a recipe or improvise by substituting one ingredient with another, you discover new taste and learn something new. But it sure is one helluva of adventure with few tears, handful of disasters, some lessons learnt and many times plateful of delicious food that you just couldn’t stop licking!
Beetroot and Potato Curry ~ Colour me red!
I think the comfort with cooking with instinct and improvisation increased exponentially when I made a commitment to cook with fresh, seasonal ingredients from the local farmer’s market. And, of course, a few times when the pantry cupboard was near-empty forced some improvisation as well. ;) Having just a handful of seasonal produce and ingredients sure gives my brain cells a much needed exercise to come up with flavour combinations that will knock off my taste buds. One such dish I cooked few days back was this bowl of mildly spiced Beetroot and Potato Curry.
Beetroot and potatoes cooked in mildly spiced coconut milk happened by accident. But to fall in love with its unique taste is no accident! I remember my mother combining root vegetables like beetroots, carrots and potatoes when she was running of vegetables in her pantry. She had to make big batch of curry for unexpected guests and all she had were couple of root vegetables. She used them all and made one of the best tasting curries to go with freshly fried poories. Although I don’t exactly how it tasted, I do remember the beautiful pinking red curry that everyone praised so much!
Beetroot and Potato Curry
So when I saw couple of beetroots left after cooking another delicious curry (I will keep the name secret as I will be posting another beet recipe soon), I decided to use them with potatoes. Once I decided on the main ingredients, I started to put together the ingredients to use in base gravy for this Beetroot and Potato Curry. The standard onion and tomato curry sounded good enough and fool proof. But I wanted this Beetroot and Potato Curry to be more gravy based dish. So out came the tin of coconut milk and thus this delicious Beetroot and Potato Curry came into existence!
This Beetroot and Potato Curry has a wonderful flavour from freshly ground spice mixture. The readily available handful of spices gives this curry a subtle heat and flavour without overpowering. It is a versatile curry which can be served with any Indian breads or plain rice. It goes well with Dosa and Idli too. The sweet beetroots and crumbly potato I hope you give this Beetroot and Potato Curry a try and see how you like the flavour combination. Don’t forget to leave me a note saying how you liked it! :)
Ingredients for Beetroot and Potato Curry
Roasted spices and onion
Beetroot and Potato Curry
Beetroot and Potato Curry (Beetroot and potato cooked in mildly spiced coconut gravy)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Recipe Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Spice Level: Low
Serves: 6-8 People
Shelf Life: Upto 3 days in refrigerator
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice It goes well with Dosa and Idli too
3 medium Beetroots, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups Coconut Milk (Fresh or canned)
2 tbsp Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp Oil, divided
Salt to taste
For Onion-Tomato Paste:
1 inch Cinnamon
2-3 Green Cardamoms
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1½ tbsp Dhania/Coriander Seeds
2 Dried Red Chillies (Adjust as per taste)
1 large Onion, finely chopped
1 large Tomato, roughly chopped
2 large cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
1 inch Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1 Dried Red Chilli, broken
A generous pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
Mildly spiced and creamy Beetroot and Potato Curry
- Heat about ¼ tbsp of oil in a pan and add cinnamon stick, cloves and green cardamom. Fry them for half a minute on medium flame. Next add cumin seeds, coriander seeds and dried red chillies and fry them for half a minute till the spices change their colour. Transfer the roasted spices to clean and dry brown and let them come to room temperature.
- In the same pan heat ¾ tbsp of oil and add finely chopped garlic. Fry the garlic pieces until the edges start to turn light golden. Mix in finely chopped onions and ginger and saute on medium flame until the onions turn light brown on the edges. Transfer the fried onions to clean bowl and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Take the roasted spices in a mixer jar or food processor and grind them to coarse powder without adding any water. Add fried onion mixture and roughly chopped tomato the ground spice powder and grind them all together to smooth paste without adding any water.
- Heat ½ tbsp of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. When mustard seeds start to pop and splutter, add cumin seeds, dried red chillies and hing. Fry them till cumin seeds changes colour to deep brown, about 20 seconds.
- Add ground masala to it and fry the masala for 2-3 minutes on a medium flame. Next add about 3-4 cups of water in a pan and bring it to boil.
- Add beetroot and potato pieces to the boiling water and also add salt as per taste. Let them cook covered for 12-15 minutes or until the beets and potatoes are cooked through. You can check if the vegetables are cooked or not by inserting tip of the knife into the vegetable pieces. The beets and potato pieces should retain their shape without crumbling. So take care not to overcook the vegetables.
- Stir in coconut milk and let it cook uncovered for about 5 minutes on low heat. Switch off the gas and mix in finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve this delicious Beetroot and Potato Curry with any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice
Beetroot and Potato Curry ~ Beetroot and potato cooked in mildly spiced coconut gravy
- The beets and potato pieces should retain their shape without crumbling. So take care not to overcook the vegetables.
- Increase the amount of red chillies in the masala if you prefer spicy curry.
- Adjust the amount of coconut milk used in the curry based on how thickness of gravy as per your preference.
- You can also add ½ tsp of Garam Masala along with coconut milk for flavour.