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10 Ways Beetroot is Eaten Across India: A Journey From Humble Root to Culinary Star

Beetroot, the vibrant ruby red vegetable with an earthy sweetness, often relegated to the sidelines of salads, holds a surprising culinary passport in India. It transcends geographical boundaries, adorning plates in a myriad of ways,

Beetroot, the vibrant ruby red vegetable with an earthy sweetness, often relegated to the sidelines of salads, holds a surprising culinary passport in India. It transcends geographical boundaries, adorning plates in a myriad of ways, each region boasting its own unique love affair with this versatile root. Let’s embark on a gastronomic adventure and explore 10 ways beetroot is savored across the diverse Indian landscape:

1. South Indian Thorans: Kerala’s Beetroot Thoran is a simple yet soul-stirring dish. Grated beetroot is sauteed with coconut, spices like turmeric and chili powder, and a hint of jaggery, creating a sweet-spicy symphony that pairs perfectly with rice or chapatis.

2. Bengali Chutney: In Bengal, beetroot transforms into a tangy, vibrant chutney, often served alongside luchis (deep-fried savory puris). Grated beetroot is mixed with mustard paste, ginger, green chilies, and lemon juice, resulting in a condiment that’s both refreshing and a burst of flavor.

3. North Indian Raita: This yogurt-based dip gets a vibrant makeover in North India. Grated beetroot is mixed with hung curd, cumin, and a pinch of black salt, creating a creamy, cooling raita that complements fiery curries and dals.

4. Gujarati Kadhi: Beetroot adds a delightful twist to Gujarat’s beloved Kadhi, a yogurt-based stew. Grated beetroot is cooked with besan (gram flour) and spices like coriander and fenugreek, creating a thick, savory gravy that’s a delightful departure from the traditional yellow kadhi.

5. Maharashtrian Sukha: In Maharashtra, beetroot shines in the Sukha, a dry vegetable curry. Diced beetroot is cooked with peanuts, sesame seeds, and spices like cumin and chili powder, resulting in a dish that’s both flavorful and surprisingly protein-rich.

6. Andhra Beetroot Pachadi: Andhra cuisine embraces beetroot’s earthy sweetness in its Pachadi, a tangy and spicy condiment. Grated beetroot is simmered with tamarind, jaggery, and a medley of spices, creating a complex and flavorful accompaniment to rice dishes.

7. Odiya Alu Gajar Channa: This Odiya dish is a delightful medley of vegetables. Diced beetroot is cooked with potatoes, carrots, and chickpeas in a simple yet flavorful curry, perfect for a comforting and wholesome meal.

8. Punjabi Tikki: Beetroot takes center stage in Punjab’s Tikki, a crispy potato and beetroot patty. Grated beetroot and mashed potatoes are spiced and shaped into patties, then shallow-fried or baked until golden brown, offering a delightful snack or light meal.

9. Kashmiri Dumpling Filling: In Kashmir, beetroot adds a pop of color and earthiness to the Kathri Ka Gojja, a meat-stuffed dumpling. Grated beetroot is mixed with minced mutton, spices, and dried fruits, creating a sweet-savory filling that bursts with flavor in every bite.

10. Beetroot Halwa: No culinary journey is complete without dessert! In many parts of India, beetroot takes on a sweet avatar in the form of Halwa. Grated beetroot is cooked with milk, sugar, nuts, and spices like cardamom, resulting in a rich, creamy pudding that’s a delightful way to end a meal.

This is just a glimpse into the diverse world of beetroot in India. From humble beginnings as a roadside vendor’s offering to starring roles in regional delicacies, beetroot has carved its own niche in the Indian culinary landscape. So, the next time you encounter this vibrant root, don’t relegate it to the salad bowl. Embrace its culinary potential and discover the countless ways it can transform your plate into a canvas of flavor and regional pride.

srinivas@scienstechnologies.in

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