Beetroot leaves Thogayal/Chutney/Relish

A trip to any grocery store invariably ends up in me looking for fresh beets. And if it is usually packed with leaves, then the fresher the better naturally. The gorgeous color  and crispness of the leaves is a natural draw for me. Actually I am a sucker when it comes to all kinds of fresh leafy greens (Make it most of the veggies ). Can never resist the siren’s call !!!

 Beetroot leaves Thogayal/Chutney/Relish

So there was this lushest pack of beets beckoning to me in the produce section of HT. Gorgeous bright green leaves with veins of deep red and big fat beets clustered to it. I just had to pick it up! Don’t judge me please, I can always rationalize it as  how one can never have too many veggies. So in any case, these gorgeous beauties came home and I was itching to make something out of it. Usually the leaves can be sautéed and made with a bit of soaked dal to yield a side accompaniment. But I want something else..  I wanted to make this relish that my mom and grandma could practically whip out of any vegetable. The basic recipe remains the same but the varieties it yields with it as the base is  amazing. This is great as a spread, a side dish or to simply use it up mixed with rice and veggies as well.

 

Gorgeous green leaves with thick red veins !
Gorgeous green leaves with thick red veins !

Beet leaves sautéed and fine ground with roasted urad dal, tamarind, red chilies, whole black pepper to yield a slightly spicy, a bit tangy and wonderful earthy relish/ spread/thogayal. Chockfull of nutrients in a bowl!

Prep time : 10 min  Cook time : 10 min  Yields :  8 -10 servings

Shelf life : 1 week refrigerated.

 Ingredients:

  • Beet leaves – trim stem, chop roughly to yield 2 cups
  • Skinned, split Urad Dal : 1/2 cup
  • Wet tamarind : 1 inch piece
  • Whole black pepper : 1/4  Tbsp.
  • Red chilies ( mix mild to high heat) – 4-6 or lower according to spice level
  • Oil : 2 tsp.
  • Salt : 1 tsp + to taste
  • Water : 1/3 cup – add as required to grind

 Optional : Seasoning ( but highly recommended)

  • Oil : 1 tsp.
  • Curry leaves : 4-6
  • Mustard seeds : 1 tsp.
  • Hing : a generous pinch

Method:

  • In a  skillet  add initially 1 tsp. of oil and on heating add chilies and whole black peppers,
  • Add washed,skinned, split urad dal and roast till it is a nice brown in color. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • In the same skillet , add another tsp. of oil and now add the thoroughly washed and cut beet leaves and sauté till it is tender. Say about 5 minutes. Add the piece of tamarind. Turn off the flame and scoop it side in another plate to cool.
  • On cooling , grind the dal and chili and pepper mix initially along with salt to a rough grind.
  • Add the leaves and tamarind and a couple of tablespoons of water and grind till you reach your desired consistency. Add more water if desired. A smoother relish will be easier to handle but will have lower shelf life if you add too much water. 

Optional Seasoning but highly recommended:

  • Heat oil in skillet, add hing and when it sizzles add mustard seeds which will splutter in the heat and then add curry leaves.
  • Turn off the flame and pour it over the relish and mix it well.
  • This is a great way to temper the spices as well enhance the taste if the relish along with increasing the shelf life a bit.
A thick spicy chutney/relish/thogayal chock full of nutrients !
A thick spicy chutney/relish/thogayal chock full of nutrients !

Enjoy with hot steamed rice, phulkas , dal and even a slice of toast!

Hummus in a Hurry !

Oh this is one is going to be such a quick post…

Want a low fat spread?

Want a yummy one at it?

Want spicy, tangy, yummy and not the bland kind?

And one that can be made in a jiffy and not the store bought one?

Oh did I emphasize the yummy , tasty lip smacking part again…???

Alright then off we go on to this journey about how this one came about. Well North Carolina’s sweltering heat can make even the best of the well intentioned people not to venture into the cooks creation place aka kitchen.

Impromptu awesome company..check

Hungry tummies..check

red wine .. check

Take out..meh.

Near bare pantry .. check..

But rummaging through yielded …

  • Garbanzo beans  – small can
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Dried garlic – yes dried up garlic .. sigh !!
  • Jalapeños – preserved kind
  • red pepper flakes
  • tahini paste

Simple becomes exotic 

  • Drain the can of cooked garbanzo beans. and reserve the water as a just in case requirement.
  • Add 2 tbsp of sundried tomatoes with the some of the oil it has been preserve din.
  • Add about 4 garlic pods – even though mine were sort of dried up and in sorry looking state, it just dry roasted them and added it in to give in the flavor.
  • Add in 2 tbsp of the of sliced Jalapeño  preserves
  • Blend it .Simply blend it.The idea is for this to be fine ground as much much as possible to infuse the hummus with their flavors.
  • Add in the drained garbanzo beans, 2 tbsp of tahini paste and blend till it smooth and creamy.  ( real creamy = faster consumption in my house )
  • That’s it . No seriously that’s it. Adjust the salt level if required before the final spin in the blender.
  • Dump content s in a bowl,add in a dash of olive oil and red pepper flakes ( or anythings else of choice ) .
  • And watch it disappear with a bowl of Pita chips or or bread. Seriously good! Beats the pants off any store bought hummus ..

 

Prep time : 10 min      Process time : 10 min      Consumption time : 10 min  ( ha ha told ya!)

Shelf life : should stay for a week , but I have never got the opportunity to test it. Serves : 4-6

Signing off