Warm Beetroot Salad
Indian cuisine is a medley of sophisticated aroma and subtle flavour comprising of spices, herbs, vegetables, legumes and rice. There exist regional dishes and cooking styles. Each region has a main ingredient. I hail from Southern part of India where most dishes comprise of rice as a major ingredient in contrast to the North, where they prefer wheat (Chapati, Roti). Pickles and chutneys are quite famous throughout India. Unlike in the US or UK, pickles in India are the sun-dried vegetables marinated in salt, oil and spice powder. They could be stored for months together and its preparation process is a major family event. Some do have family recipes for it which has been carried from one generation to another.
There is a strong belief that Indian cooking is time-consuming and complex. I am here to disprove it. Here are my easy ways to make exotic Indian food at home. Easy Indian cooking is a celebration of the food Indians cook in the non-Indian kitchen, using ingredients available in most local grocery stores.
Before we start with the actual cooking, lets have a quick peep in to the pantry.
A Few Must haves for Indian Cooking:
- Turmeric powder
- Chilli powder
- Coriander powder
- Garam masala
- Mustard seeds
- Dry red chillies
- Fenugreek seeds
- Urad dhal
- Cummin seeds
- Amchur powder (Dry Mango)
- Curry leaves
- Cinnamon sticks
- Bay leaves
- Fennel seeds
- Channa dhal
- Toor dhal
- Desiccated coconut
- Kasoori methi (Dried fenugreek leaves)
- Coriander leaves
- Green chillies
Few Essential Utensils in the Kitchen:
- Non-stick cooking vessel / Kadai in Hindi
- Non-stick frying pan / tava in Hindi
- Non-stick pressure cooker/ pan
- Non-stick heavy-bottomed pot
I would like to start with a simple recipe: Warm Beetroot Salad. Most of the incredible vegetable stir-fried dishes follow a similar protocol. Spices like mustard, urad dhal, dry red chillies or cummin are added to the heated oil in a kadai and are made to splutter. This tempers the oil and then its followed by the addition of green chilles or curry leaves. These ingredients coat the vegetables with a wonderful flavour. Almost every Indian dish is made tasty by the addition of turmeric powder ( an antiseptic) and chilli powder.
Warm Beetroot Salad
- 2 small beetroots – chopped
- 3 serano peppers or 1 thai green chilly – deeeded and chopped
- 1 small red onios – chopped
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 4 tsp urad dhal
- 2 tsp turmeric powder
- 10-12 curry leaves – chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil/ olive oil
- 1000 ml water
- Heat the oil in a kadai. One they get heated up, throw in the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the urad dhal and let it cook for a min.
- Now add the curry leaves and serano pepper/green chillies. Mix in the onions and little salt and let it sweat. Add a dash of turmeric powder and cook till the raw smell disappears. Add the chopped beetroot and give it a complete mix. Pour in the water and cook covered on medium flame for 20-30min. Cook until they turn soft. If needed add another 200ml water and cook for further 15min.
Advika is a talented Indian cook with a passion for sharing her culinary expertise with others. Born and raised in India, she has spent years mastering traditional recipes from across the country, as well as putting her own unique twist on classic dishes. Her recipes are easy to follow, with step-by-step instructions and helpful tips for cooks of all levels