Beetroot Curry with Black Beans

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I was lucky enough to taste this wonderful dish, the last day of my summer holidays. It was prepared by a very talented Indian Chef who is always willing to give me tips and share chef’s secrets. I’m persistent, I know, but one has to learn from the best and most importantly the locals.

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Beetroot curry is an amazing dish, plus it’s vegan. So gather up all your vegan friends and start cooking. The root is braised in coconut milk with wonderful, aromatic spices. Really, you can’t go wrong with beetroot. Its natural sweetness is effortlessly delicious. Instead of black beans you can use chickpeas. They are meaty and work equally well. At the end of the day you will end up with a very bright and red dish that it’s plate licking good.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups beetroot, diced
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • ½ Tbs fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 tsp garam masala spice mix
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked (you can substitute cooked chickpeas)
  • 400 ml canned coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped coriander leaves to garnish and serve

Method

First cook the beetroot any way you like. I like to steam it in my Thermomix. You can boil or oven roast the beets before you dice them. Whatever you do, the beets should be cooked but not mushy.

Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. Cook stirring about a minute, until the mustard seeds become grey and start to pop. The cumin seeds will become slightly darker. Don’t burn the spices as this alters their taste and aroma.

Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and begins to colour in places. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook another minute or so.

Add the tomatoes in the pan and cook for a minute to release their juices. Add the cooked beetroot, garam masala, turmeric, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and black beans. Give everything a good stir.

Pour the coconut milk in the pan and stir through. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes until beetroot is soft and delicious.

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with steamed rice and naan bread.

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