Cumin Beetroot Salad – A cool summer salad
Beetroot and Cumin both have immense health properties. This salad when served cold is really refreshing and extremely cooling.
Currently I have been preparing only those dishes which can combat the extreme heat of Dubai summer. Just the other day I cooked Mango Lentil Soup, a traditional Bengali Dal which I should probably refer to as the Bengali Summer Dal! Today’s dish is no exception. Serve this straight out of the fridge as a cold salad and simply devour to feel the automatic air-conditioning. We love beetroots, specially during the summers. Whether make a variety of dishes using beetroots like carpaccio (below), chops, soups and others. Try this salad – its fairly easy to make and you can make variations of the same by altering the tempering and the ingredient proportions.
As a child I loved eating Beetroot because of its potential to use it as a cosmetic. I would put a slice of Beetroot into the cover of a ball-point pen and slowly apply it on my lips just like lipstick. I have used them as blushers too! Sharing stories of childhood silly moments with everyone is sometimes quite fun actually. Not that I have to. But I just felt like sharing. The Z-sisters are always scoffing at me when I tell them my stories. Big Z asks me to keep all the peeled skins separately. She tells me that she’s going to soak them in little water and use them as a vegetable colour. She has already gathered lots of scrap paper and glued them to each other and is planning to colour the entire thing with the colour that will run out of the peeled Beetroot skins. This is going to be a recycled gift-wrapping paper, she says. Today’s children are much more aware of other environmental concerns like recycling, waste reduction, pollution etc. These are concepts that we were not very aware of when we were their age.
Beetroot and Cumin both have immense health properties. This salad when served cold is really refreshing and extremely cooling. Freny, my Parsi friend who had introduced me to this salad originally, recalls how Aunty as we call her South-Indian Mum-in-law, adds a bit of Bagar/Chaunk/Tadka to the salad to customise it to her traditional South-Indian kitchen. Bagar/Chaunk/Tadka is a kind of tempering or a fried garnish that is commonly used at the end of most Indian cooking. In this salad, Aunty uses the fried garnish of Mustard Seeds and a few pieces of Urad Dal/Black Lentils in white oil.
I find Beetroot extremely photogenic too – much like pomegranates. Whether its the red hue running out of the cut slices and stains the plates or when the tap water runs the hue out from the peeled skins. Each time I’m surprised – as if deep dark secret peels out from the inside!
Cumin Beetroot Cold Salad
4 medium beetroots, grated into fine long pieces
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced longitudinally
2 big tomatoes, peeled and sliced longitudinally into thin slices
1 green chilli (optional), cut into very small pieces
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp sugar
fresh coriander leaves, a small bunch, chopped into very small pieces
salt, as per taste
¼ cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 big lemon, squeezed (use half if it’s an Indian Lime as the later tends to taste more sour)
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp urad dal/black lentils
½ tsp white oil – 1/2 tsp
Method of Preparation
– Toss the beetroot, onions, tomatoes, green chillies in a mixing bowl
– Toss the sugar
– Add the tempering or fried garnish. To make this – Take a small-bottomed wok and once the oil becomes hot, add mustard seeds and lentils. Let them splutter very slightly (even a tad bit too long will make the garnish taste really bitter)
– Refrigerate the salad mix
– Add salt, sugar, pepper and lemon or lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves just as you are serving (adding these before will make the salad go soggy)
- Toss the beetroot, onions, tomatoes, green chillies in a mixing bowl
- Toss the sugar
- Add the tempering. Take a small-bottomed wok and once the oil becomes hot add the mustard seeds and the lentils. Let them splutter very slightly (even a tad bit too long will make the garnish taste really bitter)
– Refrigerate the salad mix
– Add salt, sugar, pepper and lemon or lime juice. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves just as you are serving (adding these before will make the salad go soggy)
As I sign off with this easy salad, I just realised that the Beetroot art – the recycled wrapping paper project hasn’t yet taken place. It is this weekend’s project. Will probably share those images in the future. But for now, have a wonderful weekend!
Unblogging it all… Ishita
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I’m definitely going to try it out as it’s nutritious,low calorie and quick..
Hi Vinie – absolutely! Quick to make – best part probably:)
A small variationa… Broil the cumin seeds and crush them when adding.. This will give nice earthy flavour and some texture too…
Rather adding vinegar or lime juice you may add grated gooseberries/amla for the tang. I often use this
Hope you enjoy it…
Thanks Nina, will try this variation. Grated gooseberry sounds very different. Won’t taste bitter?
i am definitely going to try tomorrow as i love beetroot.
Hey Harsha – did you actually make this salad? How did it go? Do keep me posted:)
ginger and scotch
Funny that I love beetroot salads but have never made any myself!
Ginger doesn’t need a Beetroot to boost up it’s mineral values. It is so full of so many medicinal properties anyway:)
Jokes apart, it is really easy and maybe you should give it a dry – summers have hit Dubai and this cold salad is really refreshing.
Gorgeous! As usual!
Hey thanks so much Tahmina! Pls check inbox:)
You mean my email? Nothing there from you!
Really but I sent it to the email ID that is there in your contact. Any other ID? You could mail me:)
I got it. I sent you a reply!
nevermind…found it. Had to slog through 300 new mail…
Time To Be Inspired
Looks delicious and oh so colorful! Will give it a try once our warm weather arrives.
Thanks! It is time to be inspired, isn’t it???
Let me know for sure how it went:)
yum! is that with raw grated beetroot or did you cook it first and then grate it?
Thanks! Raw grated. It’s really strange that I don’t like beetroot cubes but love grated beetroots. Even Carrots for that matter. Weird – isn’t it?
BTW, Couldn’t trackback to any website:(
Can’t say we are exactly feeling the heat here in Hamburg yet… it did get up to almost 70F last weekend but now dropped again. But this salad looks good and I’ll be ready for summer…. may have to try it sooner though.
Wendy – probably you can just complement this cold salad with beer while you sit outside in your garden and enjoy the sun:)
I have never had raw beet before but this salad sounds so good. I can’t wait to have it this summer…I have seeds ready to plant.
They taste wonderful specially when they are served cold. It is strange that I love ‘grated’ beetroot but not when they are cut into cubed pieces!!!
So now you will have beetroots along with 300 Apple trees???
Yes, I have a vegetable garden and will be growing candy stripe and golden beets this year.
Wow sounds absolutely heavenly. Candy stripe and Golden Beets!!! Enjoy your bliss:)
Oh Ishita – your most beautiful food post yet! I might just have to make this and blog about it – would you mind? Your combos look glorious and I love beets (rather, I adore beets)! Gorgeous!
Shira – thank you! Genuinely honoured:) Please go ahead – you have such an unique style – I can just visualise the post with some ice cubes and all! Actually the day I’m going to use ice cubes and make shakes I’m going to definitely mention the person behind the inspiration:)
Thanks – you have said it all:)
Is making me scrumptiously hungry every post that you write is eventually scrumptious!!!!
Oh I am glad that the posts are making you hungry… they are meant to. Good to know that you are into veggies!
I love cumin with so many things and your recipe looks SO pretty!
Thank you very much… the salad passed the acid test – the kids loved it – hence am very pleased as well:)