Come June, and the whole country awaits the arrival of Monsoons with bated breath. My city too was blessed with cooling showers recently. The arrival of rain brought us the much needed respite from the sweltering Delhi heat.
While rains essentially mean gorging on Chai and Pakoras, I equally love to devour bowls of Soup, Rassam or Sambar while sitting in my balcony and soaking in the beauty of “Dilli Ki Baarish“. For me, a bowl of steaming hot Sambar straight out of my kitchen is akin to a warm hug on a rainy day!
If you have been following my work for a while, you might be aware of my love for Beetroot. Infact it’s pretty close to being an obsession. From my Vegan Beetroot Halwa to Beetroot Dumplings, Beetroot Hummus to Beetroot Lassi, I got you ALL covered!
The pretty red/pink hue that Beetroot imparts to any dish, can make even the naysayers fall in love. Also not to forget the immense health benefits of Beetroot: from improving skin and hair, to enhancing brain and heart health, to making my food look beautiful, Beetroot is my go-to ingredient.
Also, if you know me, I am a lover of quick healthy recipes which come together effortlessly. In the current scenario where I need to balance between house chores, shoots and also help my children with their studies, I especially rely on recipes that are quick and simple. Beetroot Sambar is one such one-pot dish that gets ready in no time, yet looks and tastes exotic.
Sambar is essentially a traditional staple dish of South India. It is a stew made with split Pigeon Peas and Vegetables, herbs and spices. It is extremely nutrient dense and rich in protein. The addition of Tamarind makes the Beetroot Sambar tangy and elevates its flavour profile. Use a good quality Sambhar powder (homemade or store brought) to achieve the peculiar aroma and taste that evokes nostalgia and takes one back to Indian Coffee Houses.
My family and I enjoy South Indian food immensely. This Beetroot Sambar is a family favourite and I am positive it will be much loved in your home as well.
I have cooked this foolproof recipe multiple times over years, and I assure you, you can never go wrong with this one. This quick recipe is a savior and comes in handy when you are running short of time or are too lazy to cook an elaborate or tedious meal.
My Beetroot Sambhar not only tastes delicious, it is also loaded with tremendous medicinal properties. Have a sore throat, gulp down bowls of it. Have an upset stomach, this recipe shall come in handy.
I can gobble down bowls of steaming hot Beetroot Sambhar while watching the rains wash away the plants in my balcony. My family however enjoys Beetroot Sambhar with crisp Dosas, Vadas or Idlis. My younger son especially enjoys eating Beetroot Sambar with a bowl of steamed white Rice and Appalam (South Indian Lentil Papadum).
INGREDIENTS TO MAKE BEETROOT SAMBAR:
Beetroot Sambar is a recipe that uses few basic ingredients yet tastes like hours were spent cooking it.
The main ingredient used to make Beetroot Sambhar is Toor Dal or split Pigeon Peas. Toor Dal is easily available at Indian stores. This Lentil is high in Vitamins, Iron and is a good source of Protein.
Beetroot is the hero of this dish and it gives a delicious earthy flavor and imparts a stunning crimson hue to our Sambar. The innumerable health benefits of including Beetroot in our diet are listed towards the end of my blog.
Tamarind is used to add sourness to Beetroot Sambar. Tamarind not only tastes great, it is has anti-inflammatory properties and protects us against Cancer, Diabetes etc.
Sambar Powder is a powerful spice mix made with Black Pepper, Cumin, Chillies, roasted Lentils, Asafoetida etc. This spice blend has potent medicinal properties. Although I have used store bought ready made Sambar Powder, you can easily make your own at home.
I add Curry Leaves while preparing the tempering for the Beetroot Sambar. Curry Leaves have powerful antioxidant properties and have tremendous health benefits. This Indian Superfood not only gives us great hair and skin, it also protects us from heart ailments, cancer and many other diseases.
I also add Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Asafoetida, Onions and Green Chillies to my Beetroot Sambar, all of which are extremely healthy ingredients that add immense flavor to my Beetroot Sambar.
I use Gingelly Oil to temper the Beetroot Sambar. I find that Gingelly Oil is best suited for South Indian Cooking. This oil has a strong nutty taste that enhances the flavor of my Beetroot Sambar. Since Gingelly oil is made from cold pressed Sesame Seeds, it is one of the healthiest cooking mediums.
HOW TO MAKE BEETROOT SAMBAR:
It takes only thirty minutes to make Beetroot Sambar. My recipe is simple and the ingredients are very basic pantry staples.
To make Beetroot Sambar, wash the lentils and soak them in water for an hour. Rinse again after an hour and transfer to a pressure cooker.
Add Beetroot, Onion, Salt, Green Chillies, Tamarind and Water to the lentils. Cook in the Pressure Cooker for 5-6 whistles until everything becomes mushy.
Add Sambhar Powder and leave the Sambhar to simmer on a low flame. Continue to mash any pieces of Beetroot or Onion until everything mixes well. This step is important as it ensures everything is mixed well and you don’t get any pieces of vegetables while you eat the Sambar. My children like it this way.
In the meantime prepare the tempering. Add Oil to a small pan, once hot add Asafoetida, Cumin, Mustard Seeds and Curry Leaves. Once everything splutters, add the tempering to the Sambhar.
Continue to boil for 4-5 minutes until the Sambhar has slightly thickened in consistency.
Enjoy with Idlis, Rice or Dosa.
SERVING BEETROOT SAMBAR:
Beetroot Sambar can be served with steamed white or red Rice. Beetroot Sambar also pairs well with steaming hot Idlis or crisp Vadas. I also like to pair Beetroot Sambar with a bowl of Quinoa for a high protein meal. My Beetroot Sambar tastes exceptionally delicious when served with crisp Ragi Dosas or plain Dosas. Infact Beetroot Sambar is so delicious by itself that it can also be served as a Soup along with some Papadum.
BENEFITS OF INCLUDING BEETROOT IN YOUR DIET:
Beetroot is an extremely nutritious vegetable. It is a great source of Potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, vit C, vit A, to name a few. Beetroot has anti inflammatory and anti cancer properties, is high in fiber and has detoxification properties.
To make it part of your daily diet, you can steam, roast or boil beets to add them to salads, soups etc. You can also start your day with a healthy glass of Beet Juice.
Pickled Beets can also be added to wraps and salads. They taste delicious and are a great way to add Beets to your diet.
Do tag me on Instagram @supaintsonplates #supaintsonplates if you make my Beetroot Rassam. I would love to hear from you.
MORE BEETROOT RECIPES ON MY BLOG:
- Pressure Cooker
- 1 Cup Toor Dal
- 1 large Beetroot cubed
- 5-6 small Onions peeled
- 1 tbsp Gingelly Oil/ Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
- 1 tbsp Sambar Powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 2 tsp Tamarind Paste
- 8-10 Curry Leaves
- Green Chillies to taste
- Salt to taste
- Wash the lentils and soak in water for an hour. Rinse again after an hour and transfer to a pressure cooker.
- Add Beetroot, Onion, Salt, Green Chillies, Tamarind and Water to the lentils. Cook in the Pressure Cooker for 5-6 whistles until everything becomes mushy.
- Add Sambhar Powder and leave the Sambhar to simmer on a low flame. Continue to mash any pieces of Beetroot or Onion until everything mixes well.
- In the meantime prepare the tempering. Add Oil to a small pan, once hot add Asafoetida, Cumin, Mustard Seeds and Curry Leaves. Once everything splutters, add the tempering to the Sambar.
- Continue to boil for 4-5 minutes until the Sambhar has slightly thickened in consistency.
- Enjoy with Idlis, Rice or Dosa.