"Eat this vegetable; it brings fresh blood to your body" - I can faintly hear my mom's voice echoing in my ears and this is the earliest connection that I remember with beetroot/beets. Incidentally, beets are also good for cardiovascular health (info courtesy: wiki).
Beets are known for its varied use right from sweet to savory dishes. Thinking about it, beets are one of the few vegetables that can be used in every course of a meal (from soups to salads to curries to cakes to jams, jellies & preserves to pickles to raita to chutney to halwa.. the list is endless!). I used beet pulp (pressure cooked & blended) for red velvet cupcakes for color & flavor.
This simple, colorful & delicious beetroot curry with a hint of sweetness (from beets), touch of spiciness (from chilli powder) & a note of earthiness (coconut) makes it a perfect side dish for rice/roti.
Grated fresh coconut - 1/4 cup
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (optional, if you like the inherent sweetness of beets)
Oil - 1-2 tsp
Salt - To taste
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split urid dal - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - Few
Chop the beets into 1/2 inch cubes. Pressure cook chopped beets with water (beets should be immersed in water) for 2-3 whistles. After about 15-20 mins, drain the water and let it cool.
Heat oil in heavy bottomed pan and add the seasoning - mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urid dal and curry leaves. When mustard seeds start to splutter, cumin seed sizzles & urid dal turns brown, add chopped beetroot, chilli powder and salt. Saute them for about 5-7 minutes (or) until the raw smell of chilli powder is gone. Add the grated coconut and saute for one more min.
Remove from heat and serve it with hot rice / chapathi.