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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Beetroot Raita/Koshimbir (Dip)

This is a very easy side dish and a wonderful use of beetroot. The ingredients are simple but very nutritious and the taste absolutely delicious. Maharashtrians make many "koshimbirs/raitas" or dips. All of these are side salads which include include chopped vegetables and are generally dressed with yogurt sauce or even some tempered oil. Groundnut features as a prominent ingredient in many of these sides. Beetroot is a beautiful vegetable. It is rich in iron and has a bright red color. It is used as an ingredient in many natural dyes as well. And when it is mixed with yogurt, the dish gets a beautiful pink color and is as appealing to the eye as to the stomach.

1 beetroot
2 tsp groundnut/peanut powder  (take peanuts and grind them to a coarse powder)
salt to taste
chilli powder  to taste (optional)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup yogurt
water, as needed

For the tempering (optional)
1 tbsp oil
a pinch of mustard seeds
a pinch of cumin seeds
pinch of asafoetida powder/hing
1 green chilli, slit through the center (optional)

Cook the beetroot. I usually pressure cook it in my cooker and then peel it.  If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can also steam cook it till it is softened. The beetroot should be cooked through but not mushy, so take care not to over cook it. Let it cool, then peel it and cut it into bite sized pieces. Then mix in the groundnut powder, yogurt, sugar and salt. Mix well. If the yogurt is thick, then add a  little water to thin it out a bit. It should be sauce like in consistency. At this stage you can add some chilli powder if you want and can serve it without the tempering. The tempering adds a little spice to it. So, if you wish to add tempered oil, then heat the oil and add the cumin and mustard seeds. Once you hear them crackle, add the asafoetida powder and the green chilli and turn off the heat. Let the chilli cook in the remnant heat and then pour this over the beetroot and yogurt mixture. Mix well. Serve as a side.

It is much easier to peel a cooked beetroot.  You can easily convert this to a dip by grating the beetroot instead of using diced pieces. You can also use ghee for the tempering instead of oil. To make the peanut powder, take about a cup of shelled peanuts and then pulse it in your blender, till you get a coarse powder. Stop at the stage while it is still in a powder form. If you process it more, you will end up with peanut butter. 


  1. I made this today PD! It was so yummy .Had it with some leftover paratha-Bini