Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Beetroot kadala parupu poriyal

I never liked beetroot when I was growing up. The only time, I remember enjoying it was when my fav aunt made a jam out of it. I enjoyed every bit of it. But, this post is not a recipe for beetroot jam, althought it would be a wonderful post idea.
My mom, being a Botany professor, always tells me about what a wonder vegetable beets are. It has lots of soluble fiber, potassium and protein.(yes, protein!). Inspite of high carb content, it has an extremely low Glycemic index, which means it’s converted into sugars very slowly which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. It also contains the phytochemicals carotenoids and flavonoids which help lower bad cholesterol.
I never ate it for its nutrition value, but for the effort my mom put into it during her hectic weekday morning and I hated to disappoint her.

After my marriage(read as: when I started to cook ), I never picked it up from the Indian store for the same reason. But, after I got pregnant, I wanted to eat all healthy foods and beetroot, certainly, topped the list. I remember vaguely enjoying Beets with Chana dal ( kadalai paruppu ) somewhere. I made it once or twice and started to like it. Now, it has become my favourite. I wouldn't say the same with my husband and kid. But, Im pretty sure, they will begin to appreciate its taste as time goes by. My daughter certainly likes "Beet root arachuvita kootu";( that is again a new post idea). Its takes a bit of time to make that. So, I normally reserve that for the weekends.

"Beetroot kadala paruppu poriyal" is low-cal, practically fat-free if you skip the thalippu. Its a wonderful weightloss food and there is no compromise with nutrients either. So, try it!

Beetroot - 2 small or 1 medium
Chana dal/Kadali paruppu - 1/4 c
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds -1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Green chili - 1

1. Soak dry chana dal in warm water for about 30 min. Boil it for about 20 min until its perfectly cooked. Add a tsp of salt to the boiling water at the end and turn off the stove. If you add salt to the water in the beginning, it would take longer to cook chana dal.
2. In a kadai, add a tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds. Wait till it splutters and add cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add chopped green chili and saute for less than a min.
3. Add chopped beetroot. Add 1 c water. Cover and let is cook on low flame for about 15 min or until the water has evaporated and beets are cooked. If they are still undercooked, add 1/2 cup more water and cook it for a little longer. Once done, add salt as per your taste.
4. Drain Chana dal and add it to the beets.

Serve it hot as a side for Rasam or any Puli kolumbu or serve it cold as a salad.


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