Roasted Beet and Coconut Curry

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Roasted Beet and Coconut Curry

Beets are one of my very favorite vegetables and it just so happens they are extremely good for you too. In addition to having detoxifying properties, beets are packed full of vitamins and minerals and are known to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Beets do not get as much attention as they deserve. The only drawback of course is they are rather messy and should be handled with care. You may wish to wear gloves while preparing them, though I find a sink load of dishes usually removes the stains from my hands.

I just so happened to have a few fresh coconuts on hand as I have been drinking coconut water lately to keep my body hydrated. Like beets, the clear liquid inside the coconut (not to be confused with coconut milk) also has many health benefits, including an abundance of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, has cleansing properties, can help increase metabolism and reduce fever among other benefits. An added bonus of drinking coconut water is you end up with lots of fresh coconut to add to your favorite dishes. You can also freeze the fresh coconut too for future use.

Roasted Beet and Coconut Curry

I added a bit of raw beet to the curry along with the cooked beet for a bit more texture. I used my beet greens in a previous recipe, but if you have them, I highly recommend you include a small bunch near the end of the cooking time. Serve with rice or any Indian flatbread for a most satisfying autumn meal.

Roasted Beet and Coconut CurryRoasted Beet and Coconut Curry
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on October 6, 2009

Simple, colorful and nourishing beet curry with spices and fresh coconut

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 55 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 3 small beets
  • 2/3 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas), chana dal or lentils
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • small handful of dried curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • handful of fresh beet green tops (optional)
Masala paste:
  • 2/3 cup grated fresh coconut
  • 3 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • sea salt to taste
  • Begin by roasting the beets. Rinse the beets, cut off the stalks and rough ends, wrap in foil, and place in a preheated 375°F oven. Cook until the beets are fork tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool, then peel off the skins and chop into bite-size cubes. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, rinse the toor dal, chana dal or lentils. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender — about 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  • To make the masala paste, grind together the coconut, chilies, coriander seeds, cumin, cayenne and salt with enough water to make a watery paste in a small food processor or blender. Set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Cook for 60 seconds or until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to pop. Toss in the curry leaves, stir once, and then add the onion. Stir for 5 minutes until the onion softens and turns translucent. Add the masala paste and let simmer for a few minutes, then add the beets and dals or lentils. Add enough water to get your desired consistency. If you are using beet green tops, add them now. Cover and simmer for a few more minutes to let the flavors blend.

Makes 4 to 6 side servings

Other beet recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen to try:
Haloumi, Beetroot and Greens Dressed with Tahini and Lemon
Creamy Beet Borscht
Beet and Feta Salad
Orange and Beet Soup

On the top of the reading stack: The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski

Audio Accompaniment: Talk Amongst the Trees by Eluvium


Pari Vasisht said...

I have always used beet in salads, this looks simple to make and with coconut flavor, sounds interesting.
Hey, do drop by whenever you find time.

Astra Libris said...

Such an inspired flavor combination! I wouldn't have thought to mix beets and coconut, but it sounds heavenly - I can just imagine how perfectly the natural sweetness of the beets would taste with the coconut... Mmmm...

I haven't read The Painted Bird yet - thank you for remding me that I need to add it to my list...

Priya Suresh said...

Delicious and eye catching combination...looks fantastic:)

CurryLeaf said...

Wow,I am always at a loss with beets and have also bookmarked RC's recipe.Looks great Lisa.

Ivy said...

I love roasted beets and lovely combination of ingredients.

Johanna GGG said...

I love beets and have been meaning to try a beetroot curry - love the sound of this - I think I have seen fresh coconut in the supermarket so maybe will buy one for this recipe - although I would love some coconut milk in it

Sushma Mallya said...

Hi lisa,Curry looks very delicious,liked the recipe,will surely try this one...u got a lovely blog

Shri said...

Lisa, The curry looks delicious!We use regular beets and we make it similarly!Now I want to go make it..

Red Chillies said...

Thanks for the mention Lisa and so glad you liked the curry. i love beets too, for the flavor, color and sweetness.
I have never roasted beets before, I will give it a try sometime.

iRaw said...

I love beets and this looks delicious. What a great recipe!

eatme_delicious said...

This sounds absolutely perfect! Beets and coconut are two of my favourite things. I should figure out how to crack open a coconut so I can have fresh ones more often.