Recipe for Beetroot Sambar: A lentil based curry with beets
Recipe for beetroot sambar – a South Indian dish prepared using yellow lentils and beets, to be had with plain steamed rice.
Sambar is the staple food in any Tamilian household. It’s a balance of protein from lentils, vitamins from the vegetables, calcium and potassium from tamarind. It is usually served with rice and a dry vegetable curry.
Many a people have this misconception that there is just one sambar. However, a true blue Tamilian will beg to differ. Vegetables that can be used in a Sambar are Madras onions, carrots, Bhindi / okra, Pumpkin, Radish, Sweet Potato, Drumstick etc. But that doesn’t restrict you from using any vegetable that you have on hand, or even any green leafy vegetables that are in season.
As a kid, I would love messing my hands with the peel when my grandmom used to be busy chopping beets up. I would also love the natural red blush-on effect when the peel was rubbed on the cheeks. I can call myself a visionary for discovering organic make up even before the world had thought of it
I’m not too fond of the sweet, almost metallic taste in the beetroots. There are only two ways I can eat this vegetable, one is to grate some parts of it into a spicy curry-where it imparts a brilliant colour without imparting much of its taste, like this healthy pav bhaji, and the other is in a beetroot sambar.