Beetroot Curry

I asked Jed which vegetable dishes he’d like for the party, and one of the ones he requested was beet curry. (We tend to call it beetroot, actually, not just beets.) He ended up on beetroot-prep duty, and has the hands to prove it!

I keep wanting to make edits to the cookbook, and it’s too late now. So I’ll just note for you folks that AFTER I handed the book in, I made beetroot curry, and I was a little busy and distracted, and I had the heat on higher than normal when I was sautéing the beets with the onions, and I almost burned them — but not quite, and they came out SO GOOD; closer to roasted than I’d typically get on the stovetop, with even more depth of flavor. So if you make this, you might want to try to do that. But don’t let them burn — it’s a fine line. 


Beet Curry
(30 minutes, serves 4)

This dish has a lovely sweet flavor with just a hint of spice—beets have a higher sugar content than any other vegetable. The lime tang beautifully balances the sweetness and the spice, for a flavor characteristic of Sri Lankan cuisine.

3 medium onions, chopped fine
3 TBL vegetable oil
1/4 tsp black mustard seed
1/4 tsp cumin seed
4 large beets (about one lb), peeled, cut in thick matchsticks
1-2 rounded tsp salt
1 rounded tsp turmeric
2-3 tsp lime juice
1-3 chopped green chilies
2 dozen curry leaves, optional
2 cups coconut milk

1. Sauté onions in oil on high with mustard seed and cumin seeds until onions are golden/translucent (not brown). Add beets, salt, turmeric, lime juice, chilies, and curry leaves. Continue cooking on high about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, just enough so onions and beets don’t burn—you want that beautifully caramelized flavor coming through.

2. Lower heat to medium and add coconut milk. Cook, stirring frequently, until beets are cooked through and coconut milk has reduced to simply coating the beets, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.


My new Sri Lankan cookbook, A Feast of Serendib, launches on March 6, 2020, but we’re doing a long, slow pre-launch of the special Kickstarter edition in the interim. Right now, we still have discounted Kickstarter pricing available for pre-orders, along with Kickstarter goodies — you can pre-order here:

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