Many years ago, I remember watching an episode of Sophie Grigson’s series ‘Feast for a Fiver’. In this episode she was in Kent, reputed to be the Garden of England and her hosts were an interracial couple. Kumar was from Sri Lanka and his wife, an English woman called Harriet. Kumar cooks up a Spicy Sri Lankan meal which included La Daube Dizef (a spicy egg dish), Cucumber Sambal and Beetroot Curry. I vaguely recall thinking 'err how odd to have beetroot in curry'. A few years later, I saw the cookbook of the same name in a second hand bookstore and picked it up for no other reason than it had a number of appealing recipes on a budget.
So whilst flicking through the cookbook this weekend, I was reacquainted with Mr Kumars Beetroot Curry and having exhausted all the other beetroot recipes, including Beetroot koftas, beetroot pakoras and Chocolate and beetroot waffles, this is what I chose to make.
If you like beetroot you will like this 'Beetroot curry'; and if not, well this recipe won’t convert you, but you’ll find it an interesting change from the pickled variety.
I have had to adapt the recipe a little, as I don’t have Pandanus leaf or curry leaves in my home, so I substituted these with dried fenugreek leaves also known as methi. I thought it would be fine as the recipe included fenugreek seeds.
UPDATED: December 2011 - Torwen made his variation of this recipe, please check it out here.
2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
2 onions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
A pinch of fenugreek seeds
¼ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
3 red chillies, sliced
Salt to taste
400g raw beetroot
2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves
400ml coconut milk
Peel the beetroot and slice them and slice them into strips of about ½ inch wide. In a wide pan, fry the onions in oil for about 5 minutes, then add in the spices, green chillies and salt. When mustard seeds start to jump, add the beetroot and dried fenugreek and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat until the beetroot begins to feel tender.
Feasts for a Fiver.