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 

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Spinach Soup (Palak Soup)

I wanted to make something using a rich source of iron which can help boost up haemoglobin for my father-in-law. I saw some baby spinach in the crisper and decided to make creamy spinach soup. Even if you don’t like spinach, I bet you will love this soup. It takes hardly 10 mins to prepare it. This is what you need :

Spinach leaves                   1 medium bunch
onion, finely chopped       1 medium
Garlic cloves                      1-2
Ginger, finely grated        1/2 tea spoon
Black peppercorns          1/4 tea spoon ( or to taste)
Corn flour                          1 tea spoon
sour cream                        3 tea spoons
Oil                                        1/2 tea spoon
Butter                                  1 tea spoon
You can substitute cream with either yogurt or milk.

Roughly chop the spinach leaves after washing them carefully. Add the butter in a sauce pan. Add few drops of oil before adding the butter so that the butter does not burn and turn the heat on. Add chopped onions into the melted butter and sprinkle some salt to quicken the frying process. Also add some fresh black pepper.

Grind garlic cloves, ginger and 1/2 black peppercorns preferably in a khal batta. Add a pinch of sugar and few cumin seeds while grinding. Add this mixture to onions and fry it till the onions become translucent. (no need to caramelize) Add spinach leaves and 1 cup of water. Let it cook for 5-6 minutes with a lid on.  Spinach will shrink in volume as it cooks. Transfer this mixture to a grinder along with the water. Mix the corn flour with some water and add it to the mixture. Grind everything together and transfer it back into the sauce pan. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Let it boil for 2 minutes. Add some water if needed. Add sour cream on top while serving. The creamy, healthy palak soup is ready! I added some palak shev instead of croûtons.

Palak soup

Myth-buster

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E.

Though it contains good amount of iron, it also contains an acid called “oxalate” which binds with the iron, making it unavailable for human body. So do not rely on spinach for your iron intake.

(reference – http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43)

Hmmm, my main intention of serving iron rich food still remains unresolved. Next time I am gonna use California Dates which are also a very good source of iron.