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
Disclaimer: This isn’t a sponsored post, nor are there any affiliated links for any of the brands that may have been mentioned in this blogpost. The subject, story, opinions and views stated here are my own and all images are from my personal album. While you enjoy reading my posts with lot of visuals, please do not use any material from these posts.