Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sri Lanka-ish Beetroot Curry

When Shaheen from Allotment2Kitchen had her beetroot frenzy she also tried a recipe she saw on TV and later in a book called 'Feast for a Fiver'. The author got the recipe from a Sri Lankan, so it should be somehow authentic Sri Lankan cuisine. I've never been there, so I can't verify it. But I know that I love beetroots and this recipe is really really worth trying. I think it is already worth trying just for the colour's sake. It is a pure optical pleasure when  the dark velvety red of beets turns into a dark pink curry when you add the coconut milk :)

These are the main ingredients

And these are the spices used in the recipe

Preparing the onions

Frying the beets

Topping with kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

And the end product

Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry
(serves 3 - 4)
adapted from Allotment2Kitchen


4 beetroots
1 tablespoon red palm oil
2 onions
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
2 red chillies
salt to taste (if you can get your hand on Himalayan salt, by all means use it)
2 tablespoons kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 can (400 ml) coconut milk

What to do

First prepare the spices. Fry the seeds in a large pan without adding any oil. You have to stir continuously in order not to burn them. The fenugreek will be the first you can smell, then the cumin, and at last there will be a hint of poignant mustard. That's when you take them out of the pan and cool them down. Coarsely grind them in a mortar and set aside. And yes, you have to be nearby all the time and ideally hold your head over the pan! I can cook without tasting the food, but not without smelling it; so it's time to sensitise your olfactory sense :)

Prepare the vegetables. Peel the onions and slice them (see photo above); peel the beetroot and slice them into strips about 1 cm wide. Heat the palm oil in the pan you used for the spices and add the onions. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add spices, sliced chillies, and salt. When everything smells nicely add the beetroot and kasuri methi and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat. When the beetroot starts to become tender (don't overcook it) add the coconut milk and heat through for a couple of minutes.

Serve with Basmati rice.

Since I believe that it is at least Sri Lanka-ish, I'm sending my Beetroot Curry to Flavors of Sri Lanka hosted by Mharo Rajasthan. This event is part of the "Flavours of" Series 2 Asia on simplyfood.


  1. I like your first 3 pictures very much.

  2. @CB: you liked the onions better than the beetroot pictures?? Honestly? I thought the beetroot pics have so nice colours everybody would love them :((

  3. Thank you Torwen for the link and the kind mention.

    Its funny how some dishes when cooked do not appeal to the eyes, but to the taste. I think your Beetroot Curry looks grand.

    PS Have you considered submitting this to
    Bookmarked recipes (see below). Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes has a lovely blog and lots of good recipes.

  4. It was a pleasure drawing inspiration from your blog (again!). I'm not doing any events any more I was just too busy plus I got a bad cold and now my ear is aching :( and all before Christmas. But I guess the warmth of the desert will completely heal me. A couple of centigrades is just what I need :)

  5. nice colour on that curry... it is very similar to beetroot sambar except we also add some dal:)

  6. @Deeps: mmh...a combination with lentils sounds nice, too. You have a lovely blog and you made me very curious about the Andaman Islands!