Beetroot Thoran – A South Indian Style Beetroot Sabzi / Vegetable
I try & include beetroots in our diet by adding them in our weekly meals. Usually it’s a raita (yoghurt based) or boiled, sliced & stuffed as a sandwich for breakfast or the humble Thoran from Kerala that is most loved at home so much so that there are second helpings demanded. People who hate beetroots – Are you listening??
I find a lot of people dislike this vegetable for many number of reasons but the most important being the earthy flavor & aroma. I feel the problem can be solved by steaming them in the right way (excessive steaming leads to nutrition loss & under steaming makes it tough & difficult to digest). Now there is a growing trend amongst bakers to include beetroots in chocolate based cakes, brownies etc. I haven’t tried it yet but will get there someday. Since me & Narayan both love the raw & the cooked versions of beetroots, I don’t have to thankfully do a lot of experiments at home.
There are few occasions in a year where we don’t consume onion & garlic at home & so such vegetables come to our rescue. Thorans are quick to make, healthy & definitely tasty. The ten days of Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri festival for 9 days, Shravan Mondays, Generally Tuesdays & Fridays too at home means no onion-garlic days. So, I make a variety of coconut based thorans at home that are tasty, have less oil & the veggies are mostly steamed or slightly boiled which makes them highly nutritive.
Highlighting some of the health benefits of Beetroots –
- Beetroots promote healthy complexion & hair.
- They aid in weight loss & increased energy levels.
- The high nitrate levels in beetroots are known to treat cardiovascular conditions & help regulate blood pressure.
- Beets contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which may help lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity.
- Because of its high fiber content, beetroot helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.
I think most adults still manage to consume beetroots but the biggest challenge remain kids. I have tried to list down ways to include / sneak beetroots into your child’s meal to ensure their nutrition levels remain good. Check the same at the very end of the post.
Read the recipe below & try to include Beetroots in your weekly meals.
Recipe for Beetroot Thoran
Serves 2 persons
- Beetroots – 3 nos. medium (peeled & steamed in a pressure cooker until soft)
- Fresh Coconut – 3 tblsps
- Green chillies – 2 nos
- Coconut oil – 2 tsps
- Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
- Dry Red Chillies (Whole) – 1-2 nos. broken
- Salt as per taste
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Steam the beetroots in a pressure cooker (don’t add water as beetroots tend to release water when cooked), remove the skin & chop them finely or into medium size chunks. You can also grate them if you want.
- In a mixer, grind coconut & green chillies together. Note – I had no time to grate the coconut so added few pieces of the same. You can grate & then grind it along with chillies too)
- Heat a kadhai or heavy bottom pan, add oil & once its hot, add mustard seeds, let it crackle.
- Add the dry red chillies, curry leaves & then add the chopped beetroots along with salt as per taste.
- Mix it well & then add grated coconut & chillies mixture.
- Switch off the flame. Serve it hot with dal rice, sambhar or rasam.
Recipe notes –
- If you are a working woman, you can steam the beetroots overnight & then next day it takes only 15 minutes to put everything together. I do the same.
- You can avoid the green chillies if making for your kids.
Ways to include beetroots for kids –
- You can add grated beetroot in potato or paneer tikkis with corn & some regular masalas.
- Steam & grate some beetroots along with some shredded cheese & grill it as sandwiches for lunch/kids tiffin box. The cheese masks the taste of the beetroots. Add some green chutney too if you like.
- The water that remains after cooking the beetroots should never be thrown. Add it to your wheat flour aata or your dosa batter to make pink dosas or pink rotis / parathas. Your kids (especially the girls) will love you.
- Add beetroots in pav bhaji to mask its earthy flavor.
- You can also add them along with mashed potato sabzi that you make for masala dosas.