Onam Specials: Kerala style Beet Pachadi
Recipe for Kerala Beetroot Pachadi | Onam recipe for Beet Pachadi | Beets with coconut and yogurt
We were in a houseboat in the Alleppey backwaters. I had imagined this to be a romantic getaway surrounded by lush coconut palms and stunning skies. While the greenery and the skies didn't disappoint, it turned out a little less romantic than what I had imagined. End of March meant it was hot and humid and with not enough fuel to keep the air conditioner running, it was a double whammy. My husband and me were trying our best to restrict our then 1 and a half year old frisky toddler from jumping off the boat. But the sunsets were beautiful. Floating around in the languid backwaters in a gently bobbing boat and the culinary magic of the boatsman, were of course the redeeming factors.
That was my first brush with the Beetroot Pachadi, a dish that I fell in love with for its ruby red colour and amazing flavour. Freshly grated coconut, lightly soured yogurt and a medley of flavours imparted by cumin, shallots, green chillies and ginger, the Beet Pachadi was truly a treat to the taste buds.
The pachadi is integral to the Onam Sadya. The red colour of the beets stands out bright on the green banana leaf. However, I urge you not to limit this dish to the Sadya alone. Red rice, cabbage thoran and beet pachadi make an excellent minimalistic Kerala menu.
Grind to a paste
- Grated the peeled beetroot. In a pan, mix the grated beet, turmeric, salt. Sprinkle with some water. Cover and steam cook until beetroot is nearly cooked.
- Meanwhile, make a smooth paste of the listed ingredients using 1/4 cup water.
- Add this to the cooked beetroot in the pan and allow this to simmer on high flame until the mixture is fairly dry.
- Whisk the yogurt well. Reduce the flame to minimum and gently stir in yogurt and remaining salt. One this comes to a slight simmer, remove into a bowl.
- For tempering, heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add curry leaves and shallots and stir until the shallots are lightly golden.
- Transfer this over the beet pachadi in the bowl.
- Serve warm.
Other Onam Sadya recipes you may like: