Warm Beetroot Salad

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:

  1. Turmeric powder
  2. Chilli powder
  3. Coriander powder
  4. Garam masala
  5. Mustard seeds
  6. Dry red chillies
  7. Fenugreek seeds
  8. Asafoetida
  9. Urad dhal
  10. Cummin seeds
  11. Amchur powder (Dry Mango)
  12. Curry leaves
  13. Peppercorns
  14. Cardamon
  15. Cloves
  16. Cinnamon sticks
  17. Bay leaves
  18. Fennel seeds
  19. Tamarind
  20. Channa dhal
  21. Toor dhal
  22. Desiccated coconut
  23. Kasoori methi (Dried fenugreek leaves)
  24. Coriander leaves
  25. Yoghurt
  26. Lemon
  27. Ginger
  28. Garlic
  29. Green chillies

Few Essential Utensils in the Kitchen:

  1. Non-stick cooking vessel / Kadai in Hindi
  2. Non-stick frying pan / tava in Hindi
  3. Non-stick pressure cooker/ pan
  4. 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

Warm Beetroot Salad

The beetroot curry is a very simple dish made by using little oil, mustard seeds, urad dhal, curry leaves, green chillies, turmeric powder and onions. The sweetness from beets and onions blended wonderfully with green chillies and unfolds a delicious taste out of it. This curry is made in every household at least once a month. They are nutritious and healthy. They taste absolutely delightful with roti, naan, chapati, rice/yoghurt.
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Course: lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: South Indian
Keyword: Warm Beetroot Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Advika Menon


  • 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.


Serving tip: Serve hot with rice/chappati/roti. You can also serve them as wraps with lettuce, ketchup and mayo.

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