I’m so excited to be part of the fourth Virtual Vegan Potluck! It’s always so much fun reading through all of the creative recipes, but my favorite part is being included in this awesome group! Annie is just the coolest for setting all of this up.
I’m also very happy that she chose the beet as the special ingredient this VVP, because it reminded me of an unusual yet delicious recipe I’d tried once before. If you’re visiting my blog for the first time, you won’t know that I’m absolutely obsessed with Indian food. In fact, my first VVP dish was a curry, although a Caribbean one. (My second was a cottage pie, and third was these delicious homemade Snickers, in case you were wondering.)
If I wasn’t married, I’d probably cook Indian food for every other meal.
Okay, almost every meal. I’d probably only deviate to have Mexican food. And, since I’m living in California, I have the best Mexican food at my doorstep, almost literally, and I rarely have to cook it anymore. But Indian? Yes, I still have to cook that.
But this is a great recipe for people who don’t like Indian food, because it doesn’t have turmeric or curry powder–any of those things that the curry-averse folks thinks equal “curry”. I won’t beat that dead horse again, but I’ve got problems with that frame of mind.
So this one is just a delicious, slightly spicy item to add to a cheeseboard or appetizer nibbles tray. It’s not even really a “chutney” in the way that I usually think of a chutney. I think of a jam-like substance when I think of chutney, and this isn’t that consistency. It’s more of a paté, but even drier than that.
Just make it—MAKE IT. I promise you’ll find that it is strangely addicting and yummy. I serve it with poppadums, but you can always just use crudites or your favorite crackers. I’ve seen recipes for making poppadums from scratch, but believe me, it’s like Mexican mole. Just buy them and cook them yourself. You can find them at Indian or even English grocery stores, or try online.
This is one of the few times I recommend using a microwave, as it makes cooking poppadums an absolute breeze! Brush them lightly with a neutral-tasting oil (I used almond oil), place on a paper towel and blast for about 30 seconds. Watch them expand into crispy crunchy tasty treats! Once I tried poppadums, potato chips lost all their appeal. Seriously, these things are crazy good. You have been warned…and as far as I can see, there’s no 12-step program to help you get that monkey off your back.
++BTW, this recipe is vegan AND paleo–not always an easy trick to pull off. The poppadums, sadly, are not paleo. BOOOO. But carrot sticks are, so try veggie alternatives or paleo crackers instead.
Beetroot Thuviyal (Beet Chutney)
[Inspired by a recipe in the India cookbook by Pushpesh Pant.]
2-3 Tbs virgin, unrefined coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
2 dried red chilies
1 green chili (I used serrano), de-seeded and chopped
2 cups of grated beets
2 Tbs tamarind concentrate2 Tbs grated fresh or dried coconut
3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro (Switch to parsley if you’re one of those cilantro haters)
Sea salt to taste
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, asafoetida, dried red chilies and green chili and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
Add the beets and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring well.
Combine the beet mixture with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and season with salt. Blend for about 45 seconds to one minute until it is well combined and the texture of a coarse paté.
Enjoy with poppadums, crackers, carrot and celery sticks, jicama, or even potato chips. This would also make a great filling for samosas!
Here’s some pics to explain about the beet grating. I used a food processor, but the grated beet was still big, thick pieces:
So I pulsed it with the blade a few times to make it into smaller bits. This way it cooks faster: