Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beetroot salad - Get ready to be dazzled by this cool, crunchy and bright salad

I like salads because of their philosophy which is a very live and let live concept, do you agree? In a good bowl of salad every ingredient holds its unique taste and texture while blending together to present a dish that appeals to all. It is a 101 about team work, no one gets lost in the team, every person has a worthy contribution to make while presenting a unified end result. I think we human beings can take a lesson or two from the humble salad. Ok, I am shutting down my soap box :-). Personally I love raw salads, there is something about their cool, crispy texture and the unmistakable citrusy flavor that appeals to me. I can eat a bowl of salad for lunch and feel full and happy.

A few years ago, I was interviewing at an IT company in Bengaluru that had its huge campus on airport road. It was quite a distance from home. I was told I would most likely have to meet multiple people as part of the process and was asked to come prepared to spend the day at the campus. I was going for an interview and carrying my lunch pail from home would look weird, right? :-). So I left home after breakfast and spent an hour and half in commute. I met with 2 people before lunch time and the big boss wanted me to meet another person who was not available until post lunch. So he took me for lunch in their cafeteria. It was a regular office lunch with rotis, some curry, rice, dal etc. What caught my eye was a bright red salad. I know, I know, I was interviewing for a job while being the foodie I am :-). While I love beetroots in palya, I had not eaten them raw until then. I took a spoonful gingerly as I didn't want to make a face infront of a prospective boss if I didn't like it :-). A crunchy peanut, an earthy beetroot, a small hot green chili brought together by fresh lemon, yumm. I believe I took second helpings of the salad and I have made it at home many times since then. For anyone interested, I was offered the job (not in the cafeteria though) but I made my choice elsewhere, not relevant discussion for this post at all :-)

Salads belong to the same genre as kosambari and are almost always healthy and nutritious. Though I have added toasted peanuts here, you can replace it with sprouts, boiled chana and other ingredients of choice.

It is already hot Summer in many parts of India. Every time I call home, I hear that heat is already unbearable in April and Monsoon is still ways to go. Bengaluru was known for its cool temperatures. BH recalls fondly his memories of Bengaluru citizens on their morning walks wrapped in shawls, sweaters and monkey caps as he went to school. Mysore is usually a few degrees higher than Bengaluru but still the weather was perfect. I think what made Bengaluru's all season weather were the greenery and trees. It is no longer the case, the city has grown on all sides, is bursting at the seams, greenery is gone, pollution and traffic rampant :-(. Effects of Global warming... Here is a bowl of cool salad to keep you company in the hot Summer as you can avoid going near the hot stove completely.
What do you need to make beetroot salad? 
2 medium sized beetroots
1 Tsp finely chopped onions
2 green chilies (adjust to taste)
1/2 Tsp salt
1 Tblsp lemon/lime juice
2 Tblsp chopped cilantro
2 Tblsp roasted peanuts - crushed coarsely
How do you make beetroot salad? 
  • Wash, trim the ends, peel and grate the beets. 
  • Wash, trim and chop the green chilies finely. 
  • Crush the peanuts roughly in a mortar & pestle. 
  • Put all the ingredients together in a bowl, mix well, taste and adjust if needed. 
  • Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes minimum for the flavors to mingle. 
  • Use slightly bigger holes on the grater while you grate beets as you want it to retain texture and not become mushy. 
  • I used store bought salted, dry roasted peanuts. You can toast the peanuts in the microwave or stove top. De-skin them before using for this recipe. 
  • I sometimes use oven roasted chana or sprouts in place of peanuts. 
  • You can add grated carrots to give a slight sweetness, don't let them over power beets though. 
  • Roast and powder a Tsp of cumin seeds and add it to the salad for another flavor burst. 
  • The quantities given are how I like it, go ahead and adjust to suit your palate. 


NamsVeni Pothas said...

very nice cool cool beetroot salad. it's color very rich and also vitamins.nice and healthy recipe. thanks sattvaa

Shweta Agrawal said...

Loved the colour. Beautifully done :)

Saranya Balaji said...

Healthy and filing salad...

Jay said...

healthy n refreshing
Tasty Appetite

Meena Selvakumaran said...

love the addition of peanuts.crunchy salad.

Priya Suresh said...

Peanuts in beets salad,thats sounds quite fabulous for me, love to make some soon.