Coconut milk and spices in the curry bring out the sweetness of the beetroot, which makes you crave for more. This healthy Sri Lankan beetroot curry is a must-try!

Healthy Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry Recipe

These Ruby-red strips coated generously with creamy coconut curry sauce and accompanied with a bowl of warm rice is comfortingly delicious. Coconut milk and spices in the curry bring out the sweetness of the beetroot, which makes you crave for more. This healthy Sri Lankan beetroot curry is a must-try!

Coconut milk and spices in the curry bring out the sweetness of the beetroot, which makes you crave for more. This healthy Sri Lankan beetroot curry is a must-try!
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Beetroot is an underused vegetable like cabbage. The reason for this is the earthy flavor of this root. If paired with the correct ingredients, it can make this superfood an incredibly delightful dish. Are you regularly looking for vegan or vegetarian dishes? Then you are in the correct place because this beetroot curry is an excellent vegan and vegetarian option.

Coconut milk and spices in the curry bring out the sweetness of beetroot, which makes you crave for more. This healthy Sri Lankan beetroot curry is a must-try!

Beets are very popular in Sri Lankan cuisine as a curry or a simple salad. We always use fresh veggies instead of frozen or canned, which is unusual in Sri Lankan cooking. I would strongly suggest that you use fresh beets for its unique flavor. Try to visit your farmers market to get the best beets, and this is the most suitable season for beets.

Sri Lankan beetroot curry makes a frequent appearance on our lunch table. My family loves beet, so I make it as a curry, salad or stirfry it with a little freshly grated coconut. Many Sri Lankan beetroot recipes add different ingredients like ginger garlic paste, curry powder, and cinnamon but this recipe doesn’t call for the above components.

Healthy Beetroot Curry

These Ruby-red strips coated generously with creamy coconut curry sauce and accompanied with a bowl of warm rice is comfortingly delicious. Coconut milk and spices in the curry bring out the sweetness of beetroot, which makes you crave for more.

This beet recipe is just how my mum makes it, very simple and takes only 15 minutes. However if you prep ahead of time this curry will be ready in 10 minutes. Serve warm with a bowl of rice, a salad and something crispy and crunchy like papad. If you like seafood, then fish is an excellent combo for this vibrant curry, but chicken works well too.

Ingredients for the curry

Beets – Try to get beets that are the same size for even cooking. Choose beets with fresh green leaves.

Onions- I used red onion, but you can use white and yellow onions or shallots. We need very little onion for this recipe. In case you do not have onions, you can still make this curry.

Curry leaves – I recommend using fresh curry leaves for best flavor.

Pandan Leaves– Get fresh pandan leaves. They freeze well. Cut them into 2-inch pieces, put it in a freezer bag to freeze. You also can make this curry without it.

Spices – Black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, turmeric powder, and red chili powder are a staple in Sri Lankan curries. Using these spices in this curry is important for its distinctive flavor. However, you also have an option of reducing the chili powder or leaving it out.

Coconut Milk – I used cold-pressed thick coconut milk that I make at home. You can use canned organic coconut milk.

Oil – I used coconut oil, but you can use olive oil, vegetable oil or sunflower oil.

How to cook beetroot curry?  Peel, wash and cut each beet into half and slice each half thinly, into1/8"slices ( it doesn't have to be exact ). Next stack the slices together and cut the slices into 1/8" thin strips. Remember the strips needs to be the same size as this helps to cook the beets evenly.   To temper the curry  Place a medium-size pan on medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil.  Next, add 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed an let it splutter(pop).  Now add in chopped red onions, curry leaves and fry it for few seconds or until the onions turn pink and translucent.   Follow by adding 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds stir well. Add the cut beetroot, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir well and saute for 2 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of water, stir well and let it cook for 5 minutes until the water has reduced in half and beetroot is cooked. Make not to overcook the beetroot. It should have a slight crunch to it.   After 5 minutes reduce the heat to medium-low pour the 1/2 cup thick coconut milk, add the chili powder, sliced green chili, and the pandan leaf. Stir well until combined. Simmer the curry for 2 minutes. Make sure to stir the curry while it is simmering to avoid the coconut milk from curdling. Take the curry off the heat.  Serve warm with a bowl of rice, roti or crusty bread.

How to choose fresh beets?

It’s very easy to pick a good beet. Always look for medium-size beets with fresh green leaves and stems for a curry and small beets are great for salads. Beets should always be smooth and firm to the touch, avoid buying bruised, soft beets.

How to cut beetroot?

Peel and wash the beets. Cut each beet into half and slice each half thinly, into1/8″slices ( it doesn’t have to be exact ). Next stack the slices together and cut the slices into 1/8″ thin strips. Remember the strips needs to be the same size as this helps to cook the beets evenly.

Can I adjust the spice level?

This curry is mild in spiciness, but you can adjust the chili according to your spice level. If you cannot handle any spicy food, you can leave out the red chili powder and the green chili.

Make it Kid-friendly

It is best not to add the red chili powder and green chilies to this curry if you are going to make it for kids. What I always do is, I leave out the red chili powder and green chilies, and cook the curry. Next, I take a few spoonfuls, put it into a bowl for my son. For the remaining curry in the pot, I add the chilies. So this way all of us can enjoy the dish.

How to cook beetroot curry?

Peel, wash and cut each beet into half and slice each half thinly, into1/8″slices ( it doesn’t have to be exact ). Next stack the slices together and cut the slices into 1/8″ thin strips. Remember the strips needs to be the same size as this helps to cook the beets evenly.

To temper the curry

Place a medium-size pan on medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil.

Next, add 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds and let it splutter(pop).

Now add in chopped red onions, curry leaves and fry it for few seconds or until the onions turn pink and translucent.

Follow by adding 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds stir well. Add the cut beetroot, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir well and saute for 2 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of water, stir well and let it cook for 5 minutes until the water has reduced in half and beetroot is cooked. Make sure not to overcook the beetroot. It should have a slight crunch to it.

After 5 minutes reduce the heat to medium-low and pour 1/2 cup thick coconut milk, add the chili powder, sliced green chili, and the pandan leaf. Stir well until combined. Simmer the curry for 2 minutes. Make sure to stir the curry while it is simmering to avoid the coconut milk from curdling. Take the curry off the heat.

Serve warm with a bowl of rice, roti or crusty bread.

Coconut milk and spices in the curry bring out the sweetness of beetroot, which makes you crave for more. This healthy Sri Lankan beetroot curry is a must-try!

Healthy Sri Lankan Beetroot Curry

Recipe by Ruwani Ravin KumarCourse: Main, Lunch, DinnerCuisine: Sri Lankan, Vegan, VegetarianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-size beetroot

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil or olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

  • 1/2 small red onion chopped finely

  • 3-4 fresh curry leaves

  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder

  • 1 green chili sliced

  • 1 2″ inch Pandan leaf( optional)

Directions

  • Peel, wash and cut each beet into half and slice each half thinly, into1/8″slices ( it doesn’t have to be exact ). Next stack the slices together and cut the slices into 1/8″ thin strips. Remember the strips needs to be the same size as this helps to cook the beets evenly.
  • Place a medium-size pan on medium-high heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil.
  • Next, add 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds and let it splutter(pop).
  • Now add in chopped red onions, curry leaves and fry it for few seconds or until the onions turn pink and translucent.
  • Follow by adding 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds stir well. Add the cut beetroot, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir well and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water, stir well and let it cook for 5 minutes until the water has reduced in half and beetroot is cooked. Make sure not to overcook the beetroot. It should have a slight crunch to it.
  • After 5 minutes reduce the heat to medium-low pour the 1/2 cup thick coconut milk, add the chili powder, sliced green chili, and the pandan leaf. Stir well until combined. Simmer the curry for 2 minutes. *Make sure to stir the curry while it is simmering to avoid the coconut milk from curdling. Take the curry off the heat.
  • Serve warm with a bowl of rice, roti or crusty bread.

Notes

  • Adjust the Spice level -This curry is mild in spiciness, but you can adjust the chili according to your spice level. If you cannot handle any spicy food, you can leave out the red chili powder and the green chili.
  • Make it Kid-friendly
    It is best not to add the red chili powder and green chilies to this curry if you are going to make it for kids.

Did you make this recipe? Mention @celebratingflavors on Instagram and hashtag it #celebratingflavors

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