Beetroot Pachadi

This is the season of Onam, the main festive holiday season of Kerala and I am back with an Onam sadya(feast) recipe this time. My childhood memories of Onam sadya were always three or four vegetarian dishes along with a non veg presence served on a banana leaf. Frankly speaking I was more curious about eating on the banana leaf than the vegetarian dishes. And the yummy payasam that was served at the end of Sadya was my favorite. Growing up, I too started enjoying vegetarian sadya. For me, my most cherishing Onam sadya memories are with our friends after coming to US. We have not missed an Onam sadya after coming here. I was always inspired by the stories of our friends making Onam sadya at home with a long list of sadya vibhavangal(dishes) and serving in a banana leaf. That is how I too started preparing small scale sadya with some of our favorite vegetarian dishes and served on banana leaf. Of course I love a good vegetarian sadya once in a while.

This beetroot pachadi/beetroot raita is one Kerala sadya dish that I really wanted to master. I wanted to recreate the slightly sweet and tangy beetroot pachadi with a bright pink color that I tasted in one of my friends wedding reception. Gradually I cracked the code. It is the correct blend of bright pink beetroot, coconut paste and yogurt that makes the perfect beetroot pachadi.(Finally my color and taste requirements are satisfied!!) As we have two grownup and two kid beetroot lovers in our home, this dish has become one of our staple dish now.

This is a very easy to make dish that can be enjoyed with rice on special occasions or with an ordinary meal. Try this beetroot pachadi/beetroot raita for your next sadya. Its very soothing and goes well with rice.

Ingredients:

  1. Beetroot finely chopped or grated 2 medium sized(makes about 2 cups)
  2. Coconut grated 3/4 cup
  3. Yogurt/curd 3/4 cup
  4. Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
  5. Green chilli 2
  6. Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
  7. Curry leaves 4 leaves
  8. Salt to taste
  9. For tempering:
    1. Oil 1 tblspn
    2. Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
    3. Dried red chillies 2
    4. Curry leaves a few

Method:

  1. Beat yogurt/curd with a hand whisk or spoon to soften it.
  2. Grind 3/4 cup grated coconut, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 green chilli and 4 curry leaves with 1/4 cup water in to a smooth paste. Add mustard seeds to the paste and grind for a few more seconds until mustard seeds are slightly crushed. (Read Tips section)
  1. In a medium sized pan, cook chopped or grated beetroot with 1/2 cup of water and salt on low to medium heat covering with a lid until it is cooked. It takes around 8 to 10 minutes. While cooking, if more water is needed, add 1 or 2 tbsp more hot water.
  1. Once cooked, add coconut paste along with 1/4 cup water to the cooked beetroot,mix well and cook on medium flame for about 3 to 4 min. Switch off the flame.
  1. Now add beaten yogurt/curd to the beetroot mixture and mix well. Taste check for salt and add more salt if needed.
  1. For tempering pachadi, in a small pan heat oil and splutter mustard seeds and fry dried red chilli and curry leaves. Add this tempering to the beetroot pachadi and mix well. Beetroot pachadi is ready to serve.

Tips:

  1. Use beetroot with bright pink flesh for perfect colored beetroot pachadi.
  2. I finely chopped the beetroot in a food processor.
  3. While making coconut paste, add mustard seeds only towards the end, once everything else is ground to a smooth paste. Then run mixer on high for few seconds until mustard seeds are slightly crushed. Grinding mustard seeds to a smooth paste gives an unpleasant taste.
  4. I add a pinch of sugar towards the end of cooking beetroot pachadi that complements well with the slight tangy taste of yogurt/curd.