Sunday, 30 August 2009

Gold Beetroot and coriander pakoras

Today I decided to cook the Detroit 2 and Golden beetroot picked from the plot last weekend (see below). I had already picked and jarred the Detroit 2 red beetroot, so earlier on I was thinking about how to use up the golden beetroot, and yes, more deep frying and more pakoras came to mind. Well why not, I don't do it that often, honest! But before I give you the recipe for these lovely golden beetroot pakoras. Let me tell you a little bit about this root vegetable.

Beetroot has edible leafy tops which contain beta carotene, calcium and iron, which is great in salads or cooked simply like spinach or Swiss chard.

These days however, only the root is eaten - it can be grated raw, boiled, pickled in vinegar, roasted or baked in foil. Cooking beetroot can also be a bit of a pain, most people tend to boil them, but I think boiling beetroot introduced a wateriness to the texture, so I would recommend to reader to roast them, which guards all their juiciness. Then allow it to cool, before peeling the skin off gently.

Beetroot apparently has one of the highest sugar contents of any vegetable. What is unusual about the beetroot is the taste and texture of the cooked vegetable remains quite close to the raw, which is not good for someone like me. Well you see I am not a big fan of eating beetroots, as I find the flavour quite strong and earthy, but my husband D likes them, hence the reason me growing them at the plot. So you can imagine my excitement when I learned that there were many other varieties, not just in size and flavours but also in colours. For example, when you cut into a chioggia betroot it has alternating red and white rings inside of it. There is also white devoy, bulls blood, moulin rouge and burpees golden, which is what I am using for this dish. This golden beetroot is not so strong in flavour as the common dark purple variety that are available in most supermarkets. So you can imagine, I really liked these pakoras.

Also did you know that these days, many bakers are using Beetroot juice as a natural alternative to red food colouring. Have you heard of Red Velvet cake?!
I am submitting this recipe into this weeks Weekend Herb Blogging #198. This weeks host is Rachel from The Crispy Cook. The weekly food blog event showcases information and recipes about herbs, vegetables, fruits and other plant ingredients. Weekend Herb Blogging was first initiated by Kalyn's Kitchen in Utah, and is now organized by Haalo in Sydney, Australia, Cook (Almost) Anything At Least Once.
If you like the the look of these morsels, please do come back for my red beetroot kofta which I will be making later.
Gold Beetroot and coriander pakoras
You will need a deep fat fryer for this recipe
200g cooked beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
2 spring onions, finely chopped including greens
60g feta cheese, crumbled (can be omitted for vegans)
2 tablespoons of finely chopped coriander (or mint)
salt and pepper to taste
80g fresh breadcrumbs
60g gram or plain flour
Mix the beetroot, spring onions, feta and herbs together. Season, then mix in the breadcrumbs to combine. Cover and refirgerate for about an hour.
In your hand tightly shape the mixture into golf size balls, adding a little flour to bind the mixture. Heat the oil and fry in batches until golden on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Warning: please note the fresh coriander will splutter a little when you deep fry it, so just be careful. Inspired by a recipe from Maria Elias The Modern Vegetarian


  1. What a great submission for Weekend Herb Blogging. Don't worry, your entry was right on time and will be part of the roundup I'll have posted tomorrow. Thanks again and Happy Gardening!

  2. Ooohhh! I am a serious beetroot fan and have been seriously let down by my beetroots this year. My first sowings were and are very small but I'm still using them and my second sowing which was a yellow variety (can't remember the name at the moment) is still at the seed leaf stage even though they germinated quickly and I have been religiously watering them during the dry weather.

    I have to agree with you that the best way to preserve the beetroot's flavour is through baking/ roasting but I simply give them a scrub and bake in chunks, I rarely peel any of my veg that I grow. If I do choose to boil, I scrub gently then I leave a good 2" of stalk attach and the roots then boil (there is then very little bleeding into the water) for no more than 10 - 15 minutes (I have found that my garden fresh beetroot needs very little time to cook through). I remove the stalks and roots just before serving.

    This recipe sounds lovely and I'm sure it turned out delicious but I'll have to keep it for next year when hopefully I'll have a better harvest :( to try it.

  3. That looks brilliant! I love beetroot, and so does my dog Buddy! I might just try your recipe.

  4. This is a tantalizing recipe, Mango! We must have been on the same wavelength this weekend, as I ended up frying some potatoes with fresh herbs and garlic rather than roasting them as I usually do. (Guess I needed a fry fix!) I also pulled some of my beets for a salad with red onion rings. I grew the chioggia and golden ones, too, along with Detroit Red. I love beets, and will have to try your pakora recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  5. First time here, because I can't resist beet recipes! What a genius way to use them for pakoras (a little frying never hurt anyone, I say). Think I could substitute the red beets for the golden ones? The latter are not easy to find in my neighborhood stores. And what other types of cheese do you think would work in this??

  6. Oh my goodness, oh my goodness.
    Such lovely comments that I don't know where to start. I will start from the beginning.

    Thank you for hosting this weekends WHB. You have been a lovely host. I am so glad I got my entry in on time, I know it was quite tight with the timing.

    Hi there Kella,
    Like yourself I am not a beetroot fan, so had to find intersting ways to eat them (or shall I say disguise the earthy flavour). I am sorry that you have not had that many, if it makes you feel better, nor have I. But last year, I had quite a lot, but they went mouldy. This year, I do not have that many, so I am determined to make a concerted effort to make the most of them and try to enjoy them.

    I hope those you have still growing do reward you with an edible root.

    Another thing we share, most of the veg I grow myself I donot often peel. I like the way you cook beet and may try it myself sometime.

    Whenever you do try this recipe, I do hope you and your family enjoy it.

    Hiya Matron,
    I do hope you and Buddy enjoy the beetroot recipe.

    Hello Barbara,
    Thank you so much. It is good to know that you were sharing my desire to eat fried food over the weekend. Sometimes we need it for that extra boost, esp on rainy days.

    Your beet salad sound lovely and healthy. I bet it was a picutre on a plate!

    Hello Muneeba and Welcome,
    Thank you for the comment. I am so glad you stopped by. I will have to go over and check out your site and your submission to this weeks WHB.

    This recipe would normally be made with red beetroot as the yellow variety is difficult to find here too. I was going to make these pakoras with the red beet, but thought maybe next time. Another reason I halted to use the red beetroot was it would probably have dyed the sunflower oil red.

    I would probably recommend trying it with paneer cheese.

  7. I love beetroot but must admit to doing little more than roasting it (served with roasted green beans, goats cheese and sunblush tomatoes is my favourite). I made a risotto once and tasty as it was it was hard to get my head around eating bright pink rice!

  8. This sounds like a treat... I'm so sorry my beetroots died during my summer holidays!

  9. Hi Nic,
    Too be fair, that is all I used to do with beetroot, the only thing that I would change would be the cheese: feta; halloumi or goats cheese. It's only in very recnet times, that i have become more experimental with the beet.

    I have come across versions of beetroot risotto, but like you cannot get my head round a savoury being pink. Pink is supposed to be for sweet dishes isn't it?!

    Hello Graziana and Welcome to my humble little blog.

    Sorry to read that your beets did not survive the summer season. If you see some organic ones at your local grocers, I would sure recommend you getting some to try these little morsels, they are so so light.

  10. Mmmmm, I love pakoras! I've never tried to make them and I don't have a deep fryer. I wonder if they can be pan-fried? I guess that's a silly question but these look absolutely delicious.

  11. Lee,
    You don't need a deep fat fryer to make pakora. You can make them in a wok or a wide pan. I did mine in a wide pan.


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