बीटाची कोशिंबीर Beetachi koshimbir (Beet Salad)

Sweet, salty, tangy, crunchy beet salad 

Beets are highly nutritious and calorie friendly root vegetables. They are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains which provide antioxiadant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. These betalains undergo a steady loss as cooking time increases, so make sure you keep steaming time for beets under 15 minutes. Reference – whfoods.com

This is a simple, easy to make, yet a tasty recipe from my mom.

beetachi_koshimbir

Ingredients

2 cups shredded steamed beet (around 2 medium beets)
1/4 cup ground roasted peanuts
1/4 tsp fennel seeds (optional See Notes below)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp तिळाची चटणी or 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped tomato (optional)
2-3 chopped green chilies
3-4 curry leaves
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp hing
1 tsp oil
salt to taste

Wash and peel beets and cut them into halves. I usually steam beets along with rice in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles. It takes around 10-12 minutes if you are using a steamer.
Once they are cooked properly, transfer them into a pot containing ice water before you start gratin;. so that they cool down quickly.

Add chopped tomato, roasted peanut powder (roughly grounded), sesame seeds, fennel seeds lemon juice and salt and mix well.

Heat oil in a small tadka pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds when oil becomes hot. Add hing powder, chopped green chilies and curry leaves. Transfer this seasoned oil to the bowl containing beets and mix well.

Notes –

You can substitue lemon juice with yogurt if you like, but make sure it brings enough tanginess to the dish.

Beets contain lot of natural sugar, so don’t add sugar until you taste it.

Roughly grounded peanuts add a nice crunch. I also like to use pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds instead of peanuts.

I love fennel seeds in such recipes, but they are completely optional.

Sesame seeds are also optional, they don’t add any taste but make the dish healthier with good fats. You can also try flaxseed powder instead.

Since beet juice can stain your skin, wearing kitchen gloves is a good idea when handling beets. If your hands become stained during the cleaning and cooking process, simply rub some lemon juice on them to remove the stain.

Hope you will enjoy it!

Sending this to ‘Flavors of Maharashtra‘ event hosted by SeduceYourTasteBuds and Simply.Food 

Spring Salad

Once my friend from China shared her secret behind her zero size figure – ‘Jīng jìjié xìng chī’ That means ‘Eat Seasonally’, a basic mantra of Chinese Medicine. What could be a better season to enjoy salads other than Spring? The vegetables at farmer’s market looked so fresh and luscious, even I was tempted to try my hands on salad. I am not a salad person but I am proud of my creation 😛 So simple and so yummy!

Prep time : less than 10 minutes.

Ingredients :

a bunch of your favourite greens - lettuce, spinach, arugula
2-3 tangerines
1 medium cucumber
1 small avocado
1 medium beet - boiled, peeled and sliced (optional)
1/2 cup boiled red beans
handful of chopped roasted walnuts
handful of dried cranberries

For Dressing -
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3-4 springs of fresh cilantro or your fav herb
black pepper
a pinch of salt
olive oil (optional)

Arugula and baby spinach are my favorites in salads. As you can notice, this is a salad with bold flavors; peppery and slightly bitter arugula, tangy and sweet tangerines, sweet beet roots, smooth avocado, creamy goat cheese and crunchy walnuts; all add a different dimension to the big bowl.

The amount of ingredients depend on how much salad you intent to prepare.

Wash the greens and chop roughly if necessary. Slice tangerines into pieces, dice cucumber and avocado into small pieces. Don’t forget to dress avocado with some lemon juice or orange juice immediately. Beet is optional and can be replace with carrots to balance the sweetness. Beans are also optional but they add protein boost to any salad. Mix all ingredients together except for cheese and walnuts.

In a separate bowl, prepare the dressings. I like to use juice from tangerines but fresh orange juice works equally well. Add some salt and black pepper and finely chopped cilantro or mint or any other mildly flavored herb. Add some olive oil, if you like. Toss it with the salad and garnish it with crumbled feta / goat cheese and some walnuts.

Sit back, relax and enjoy your hard!

Gajarachi Koshimbir

Eat healthy, eat salads! Are you confused with so much ‘diet advice’ around you? Eating salad is a proven way of cutting down calories without compromising on necessary nutrients. A typical Maharashtrian Koshimbir is the best example of such salad. Even if you don’t like raw carrorts, I bet you will enjoy this गाजराची कोशिंबीर –

Gajarachi Koshimbir

Ingredients
2 fresh medium carrots, grated
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 tb spoon peanut(groundnut) powder
1 tb spoon sugar
1 tb spoon fresh lemon juice
2 medium green chiliis, finely chopped
salt to taste
4 springs of cilantro, finely chopped

This is the simplest recipe so far. Grate carrots , chop tomatoes and ground roasted(optional) peanuts. Mix everything together with salt, sugar, green chilies ( can be substituted with red chili powder) and lemon juice. Toss everything together and garnish with finely chopped cilantro leaves. I sometimes add roughly chopped cashew nuts along with peanuts.

Optional –
Some people use a standard tadka(phodni) including curry leaves (कढीपत्ता) but I like it without any tadka.

A quick look at its nutritional value –
Carrots, as we all know, are excellent source of Vitamin A and tomatoes provide Vitamin C and some dietary fiber. The peanuts provide proteins and some essential fatty acids. So, it’s perfect 🙂