Beet Pachadi

Recipe 20 minPreparation Time 20 minCooking Time
Beet Pachadi

Beet Pachadi

20 minPreparation Time 20 min Cooking Time

About this Recipe

Is it a chutney, a raita, or a stew? Pachadi, a familiar component of southern Indian formal meals, is a yogurt dish served warm. As a side dish in the Onam festival repast in Kerala, beetroot pachadi is like a supporting actor who steals the show: a ruby-like dollop twinkling against the banana leaf alongside two dozen more dishes. Visually vibrant and appealing, this dish combines the freshness of coconut with the tang of curd and the earthiness of beets.

The Benefits

This is a heart- and gut-friendly dish due to the presence of iron, magnesium, copper, and potassium. Probiotic curd encourages better digestion, and the presence of folate and lauric acid makes this recipe both anti-bacterial and a great addition to the diet for growth and development.

Ingredients

Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 (280 g) medium beets, peeled
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ cup (125 g) grated coconut, fresh or frozen
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chile, chopped
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 cup (245 g) yogurt, beaten
  • ½-inch-long peeled ginger

For the tempering

  • 1 Tbsp (14 ml) coconut oil
  • 1 tsp (3 g) black mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 dried red chile

Directions

  1. Step 1
    Peel the beets and grate them using the large holes of a box grater. In a medium-size karahi or pan, add the grated beets and salt. Add 1 Tbsp of water, cover the pot, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes over medium-low heat.
  2. Step 2
    Make the coconut paste: While the beets are cooking, in a mixer-grinder add the grated coconut, cumin seeds, green chile and 2 Tbsp of water and grind everything to a fine paste. Add a tablespoon of water, if needed, to bring everything together and get the desired consistency.
  3. Step 3
    Add this coconut paste to the karahi with the beets and mix well. Cook uncovered for 5 to 6 minutes over medium heat, stirring regularly until the beets and the coconut paste are well combined. Turn the heat to low, pour the beaten curd into the karahi and mix well. Cook on a gentle heat for 1 minute (the curd must not boil or bubble over) and turn off the heat.
  4. Step 4
    In a tadka (tempering) pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat until it’s hot and shimmering. Let the mustard seeds sizzle in the oil for 10 to 15 seconds, then toss in the curry leaves and sautee them for about 30 seconds, until they turn crisp. Add the dry red chile and immediately lower the heat. Sautee for 30 seconds before turning off the heat. Pour the hot tempering from the pan over the pachadi. Cover and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Mix well and serve.

Try it with: Beetroot pachadi is best enjoyed with rice, but you could also add it to a grain bowl or sandwich. Use any chilled leftovers as a dip. 

About the author

Sudha G Tilak

Sudha G Tilak

Sudha G Tilak is a journalist who has reported from India, Sri Lanka and the UK. She is based out of Gurgaon and is a writer, translator, editor of books on food and travel, and a vegetarian. She is committed to building culinary connections and initiating healthy conversations around the history and traditional wisdom around food.
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