It is really challenging to prepare piquant poriyal using mildly sweet earthy-flavored beetroots. I tried various beetroot poriyal recipes by adding different ingredients to mask the sweet flavor and make it more palatable. Incidentally, I found that we can add a burst of flavor by sauteing beetroot along with garlic in coconut oil and spicing it up by adding pepper. I have also added nicely fluffed up yellow lentils along with deep red beetroot chunks for adding beautiful color and delicious texture.
Weight watchers may take this delicious beetroot poriyal as a mid-morning salad. We can also serve this for lunch with rice and sambar, rasam, or any kuzhambu except mor-kuzhambu.
Beetroot health benefits:
Although beetroot has innumerable health benefits, it is particularly beneficial to pregnant women for its rich sources of iron & folate. I have compared below the nutrients of beetroot with dates being one of the rich sources of iron & broccoli as a good source of folate:
Beetroot poriyal recipe:
Time taken: 30 min.
Yields: 1½ cups (300 ml)
- Beetroot – 2 Nos.
- Greengram (paasi paruppu) – 1/8 cup
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
- Garlic pods – 15 Nos.
For spice mix:
- Coconut pieces – 5 Nos. (each 1″)
- Peppercorns – ½ tsp
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp (optional)
Mise en place:
- Cook lentils uncovered until soft and firm but not mushy for about 10 min.
- Crush garlic pods using pestle and keep aside.
- Grind coconut & pepper coarsely without adding water.
- Wash beetroots, peel their skins and dice them as shown below.
How to make beetroot poriyal:
- Heat a pressure cooker with coconut oil in medium flame.
- Add mustard seeds into the cooker.
- When they begin to crackle, add crushed garlic and saute for few seconds.
- Add diced beetroot, salt & water (1 tbsp) and then close the pressure cooker.
- Now reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 min.
- Add about one-half of cooked lentils & coconut-pepper mixture immediately after the pressure is released.
- Mix together and close the cooker for 2-3 minutes to prevent the heat escape. (No need to turn on the heat.)
- Garnish with remaining lentils & grated coconut before serving.
Tips & Tweaks:
- If we pressure cook lentils along with beetroot then we get the red tinged dal, so I have cooked them separately.
- Crushed garlic is more flavorful than finely chopped garlic, so I don’t prefer to chop them.
- You may use red chillies along with garlic and garnish with coconut (without pepper) as below:
- I prefer to use coconut oil & coconut meat in here as the beetroot & coconut pair works wonder.
- We can follow the same poriyal recipe using other vegetables that are mildly sweet like carrot, kothavarangai (cluster beans), vaazhakai (raw banana), avarakkai (broad beans), cabbage, chenai kizhangu (elephant’s foot yam), etc.