Monday, 18 November 2019

Homegrown Chioggia Beetroot Curry

I spotted some beetroot leaves dancing in the breeze at the weekend. I had forgotten that I planted some beetroot, so it was a nice surprise when I pulled them out of the ground to find some healthy bulbs and free from slug holes. 
In my delight I showed D and he said why don't you make a beetroot curry.  It was decided.  I removed the leaves and ordinarily I would have used them to make Beetroot Leaf Kuku or Beetroot Bhajis aka Pakora, but they were not as lush as my red chard last week, so they were destined for the compost bin. I then peeled the beetroot to reveal that they were not traditional deep burgundy beetroot, but chioggia known as candy cane or candy strip beet. 
This is when I realised the beetroot curry would not be as bold coloured, still I went with it as I have made  a beetroot curry with Golden Chioggia Beetroot in the past.
Compared to traditional beetroot which is earthy in flavour this was quite sweet, almost like turnip, in fact looking at the photograph below you would think it was turnip. 
Whilst making the beetroot curry (recipe below) I got distracted by the blue tits and the  green finches, goldfinches and bullfinches on the bird feeder in the garden, then I noticed a  goldfinch was stuck in the greenhouse.  I rushed out to open the greenhouse door, it took me a while to encourage it to fly out as it was flitting from one waning tomato plant to another.  It eventually came out and that is when I  decided to pick up some tomatoes that seemed ruby red and healthy.  
D was not convinced.  He was right, I tasted one and it was a little too far gone - well at least the red chillies were okay.   Anyway, I am sharing this blog post with Dave over at Happy Acres who hosts Harvest Monday every week.

Chioggia Beetroot Curry 
Serves 4
2- 4 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
2 medium onions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
A pinch of fenugreek seeds
¼ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
2 red chillies, sliced or 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
Salt to taste
500g 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, 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. 

Stir in the coconut milk and simmer gently for 5 minutes or so. 
Adapted from this Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry 


  1. It's good you managed to rescue the goldfinch! I get wrens trying to nest in mine, and sometimes they get stuck in there overnight. I've heard the Chioggia beets have a sweet taste, but I've never tried one. I bet the curry was tasty!

    1. Chioggia are def. a sweet veg. I think i will just slice it thinly and eat it raw in salads next time - winter salad!

  2. How lovely to have a garden of such fun discoveries! I had choggia beetroot a few times when I first saw it but now I don't because I get disappointed with how it cooks but I love the creamy speckled look of your beetroot

    1. Yes it was a nice surprise, still have a few to harvest. It does lose its colouring and rings on cooking as you can see, im thinking of slicing it thinly for winter salad dishes

  3. I have yet to make a beetroot curry and this recipe is very inspiring. I think I might prefer this sweeter version, even though it doesn't get that deep red. I have to check out the beetroots at the market.

    1. I hope you do - the redder the beet the earthier the taste and deep colour the sauce.


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