Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Beets with cumin seeds and tomatoes

India peedihautis / Beetroot with cumin and tomatoes / Peedid tomati ja vürtsköömnetega

Regular readers of this blog know about my fondness of beetroot. I'd like to think that I have a pretty good selection and variety of beet recipes here on Nami-Nami. You'll find recipes for beetroot cream cheese spread with horseradish, beetroot and blue cheese risottoGeorgian beetroot and walnut salad, Persian beet borani, beet and feta quiche, a wonderful vegan beetroot borschtbeetroot pestobeet and blue cheese muffinsbeetroot pickled eggs, beetroot and goat cheese soup, beet and ginger cake, beet bruschetta, raw beetroot salad, beet and potato pie, a layered beet and smoked salmon salad, dashing coconut and beet soup here on Nami-Nami - and this is just the tip of the iceberg!

Yet I discovered something totally new - and exciting - last weekend. It all began when my dear hubby told me that he had discovered a long-forgotten pile of beets in our garage that also doubles as a very cold larder. And these were not just beets that he unearthed, but some lovely Chioggia, Golden Burpee and small long beets grown by yours truly last summer. They were perfectly crisp and happy, as they had been hiding themselves in a box of sand destined to entertain our five chicken :)

Beets, the last ones from my garden. Oma aia viimased peedid

They needed a great recipe. I made actually two great dishes - a beetroot and chocolate cake (using raw, not cooked beets), and then this recipe for an Indian-style beetroot dish that I came across on Delicious Magazine (UK) website. The recipe was by Tom Norrington-Davies, who credits the Indian food guru Madhur Jaffrey for the original recipe. Tom Norrington-Davies writes that he loves making it "for barbecues and serve it with lamb chops or sausages. It is good hot or cold".

A very novel way of using beets, I thought, and made this dish for our leisurely and long afternoon meal on Sunday. I tweaked the recipe - I couldn't see the point of squeezing the hell, sorry, liquid, out of the canned tomatoes, only to replace it with water later, but otherwise I followed Tom's recipe.

Our test group of the day - four adults and three kids - were all happy with the result, and if you're into sweet-and-sour flavour combinations, you'll love it. Just like Tom, I can see serving this with grilled meats during the summer, or as a vegetable side dish during the winter.

If you're a fellow beet lover, you may want to check out the Beautiful Beet Recipes Pinterest board, where you'll find 100+ great pins leading you to some wonderful foodbloggers' recipes. If you'd love to contribute to that board, then just leave your Pinterest handle in the comments and I'll send you an invite!

Beetroot with cumin seeds and tomatoes
(India peedihautis vürtsköömnete ja tomatitega)
Serves 6

400 g canned crushed tomatoes
about 500 g small beets
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 heaped tsp of cumin seeds
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
0.5 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar or juice of 1 small lemon
a generous pinch of sugar

Peel the beets, cut into smaller chunks or wedges, depending on the shape of your beets.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the cumin seeds, onion and chilli flakes and sauté gently for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for another few minutes, until the onions are starting to brown a little.
Add the beets, canned tomatoes, vinegar/lemon juice and salt and sugar. Bring the ingredients to a simmer, then cover and cook for 40-60 minutes, until the beets are tender.

Uncover, season to taste. Turn up the heat to thicken the sauce a little, if that seems necessary.

India peedihautis / Beetroot with cumin and tomatoes / Peedid tomati ja vürtsköömnetega


tanita✿davis said...

Ooh, a beautiful surprise to find in the garage! I can't wait to grow those beets this year. I look forward to experimenting to see how fresh tomatoes work in it, too. I can see this with cold boiled potatoes with dill... mmm.

Alanna Kellogg said...

A beautiful find indeed! I'm intrigued by the beet:tomato combination, the cumin seeds like a natural! Lovely - as always!

Katrina said...

Dear dear beet root. A great one Pille!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Pille! I haven't visited your blog for a while and so happy to see your comment this morning (after all your blog name is my name!). :) I love beets and what a nice (new) way to prepare them. Cumin seeds and tomatoes! I have to try it out to see how it's like. From the pictures, they look wonderful! Love the vibrant colors of beets!

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Pille said...

Tanita - I hadn't combined beets and tomatoes before and this was a revelation.

Alanna - you'd love this!!! Greetings to the Queen of Beets :)

Katrina - indeed! And trust me - so different from our regular beetroot dishes..

Nami - thank you for stopping by! Just curious now, if there's a great Japanese way of preparing beets?

Kyra - thanks, but probably no.

Sevimin Aşkanası said...

I love beets very healthy,
welcome to my blog
I'm happy to cook for you
Turkish cuisine on the block,