Nobody will forget this beetroot rice at my house, ever. It will be part of family legend. Generations to come will talk about how some Jayanthi long back woke up one Monday morning blank and inspiration-less, stared at the vegetable drawer in the fridge for a full 5 minutes without registering anything, grabbed some beetroots, tomatoes and chillies, set out to make tomato rice and beetroot poriyal but along the way remembered
She was a food blogger,
She was making tomato rice every 4 days exactly and
She owed it to the world to invent new food
And then she made beetroot rice instead.
And then all hell broke loose.
It didn’t help that I’d fallen asleep the previous night reading “GoodFood” magazine (No, even GoodFood didn’t come up with this ingenious recipe. GoodFood would never make “Beetroot rice”, they’d make arugula, bean sprouts & feta over couscous cooked in beetroot jus).
If I ever write a book, you’ll read how this beetroot rice (almost) changed my life. For now I’ll just give you a hint – Joint family – new dish – cold shoulder – Kaboom!!
Hey, before you think it sucks – this beetroot rice looks and tastes pretty. I had it for lunch and so did Hasini. Hasini liked it too.
I chopped up the beetroots and cooked them in a spiced tomato puree which brought out the lovely colours – the pink of the beetroots and the red of the tomatoes coming together into a beautiful pink-red burst (whatever that’s called – Maroon? Coral?). I didn’t plan that really but I’ll take credit for it anyway. I cooked it down to a thickish curry that’ll coat the rice without being too runny. I’d suggest mixing up cooked (and cooled) rice and the beetroot mixture in small increments to attain your desired level of “mixing”. “Mixing” is as important for variety rices as it is for sarakku (alcohol). Too much curry mix can really kill the variety rice. Always tread on the lighter side. Serve the excess curry in a bowl for those who’d like to add more. And make sure to not cook the rice too soft.
Since the beetroot rice shocker, I’ve not ventured past Idli-chutney, Idiyappam-soup and not to forget tomato rice-potato curry combinations restraining my creative side.
It has been tough.
What do you think of a ragu of fried onions and minced cauliflower with rice??
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
Cooked Rice – 4 cups
Beetroots – 2 medium, peeled and chopped
Onion – 1 medium chopped fine
Tomato – 1 large pureed
Green chillies – 2 slit lengthwise
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp (adjust)
Coriander powder/Dhania powder – ¼ tsp
Jeera powder/Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Bay leaf – 1
Oil – 2 tsp
Heat a pan. Add oil and when hot, add cinnamon and bay leaf and when fragrant add the chopped onions. Sauté the onions till translucent.
Add the chopped beets and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the pureed tomato and mix well. Add the spice powders and salt. Add about ¾ cup of water, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered till the beets are cooked through but not too soft. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cook further if the curry mix is too runny. It should be a thickish consistency. Switch off and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of rice with about 2-3 tbsp of the curry mix. Add curry mix in small increments. Add rice and curry mix alternately and in small increments to attain your desired ‘mixing’.
Serve with papads or poriyals by the side.