My mother, while an incredible cook, rarely ventures outside of her comfort zone while cooking Indian food. However, that changed about a year ago, when she discovered the magic that is the farmer’s market. One day she came home holding a bunch of beets (literally), and out of having no idea what to do with them, one of our new family staples was born. For this simple beetroot subji you will need the following:
1 very large beet, or a bunch of smaller beets (I recommend using one big beet)
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon jeera (cumin seed)
beetroot leaves (optional)
salt & pepper, to taste
To begin, rinse beetroot thoroughly, and soak leaves if you are using them. Slice the beetroot very thinly, about 3 mm wide and 40 mm long- if you have a mandolin that is definitely the way to go! Although I find the process of slicing weirdly calming.
When the jeera and mustard seeds start popping in the hot oil, add your beetroot. Sauté for about five minutes- while the beets are going, thinly slice the beet leaves.
At this point, add your beet leaves as well. Sauté for another five minutes or so- until the beets have softened but still maintain a small amount of bite. Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
Done! This dish is super simple and a great, refreshing dish to pair alongside heavier curries and subjis, as it does a nice job of cutting the spice blends of other traditional Indian dishes. This was the first time I used the beetroot leaves as well, as we are trying to cut down our food waste! The leaves didn’t do much for me in terms of adding to the dish, but I will probably continue to incorporate them for their nutritional benefits!