Beetroot Curry/Chukander ki Sabzi

Well, I belong to a family of super cooks…both men & women.Right form childhood I have been seeing my grandfather,father,uncles and cousins preparing a lot of food and sometimes even better than their female counterparts :) The culinary skills were mostly showcased during get togethers, festive feasts etc and that too especially the non vegetarian cooking. I specifically remember my grandfather setting up a big chulla with fire from woods, coal etc in the aangan to prepare the Holi lunch. We used to roam around the chulla and kept on tasting the par cooked food :) It was so much fun!

Another thing I would like to mention is that somehow I have observed that when men cook, they have all the time in the world and all the patience one can have.! I have seen it atleast in my family when my grandfather used to cook meats on low heat and it used to take hours and hours together [& sometimes lunch was served at 4 p.m.] and there were no quick fixes or bypassing of the ingredients …whatever was needed has to be there…no matter what..even if it required especially going to the market..I think its because they cook less and can afford all that show off  & tantrums!! :)

Now, this curry is my fathers speciality…probably the only vegetarian dish he ever makes and he simply nails it. He will bhuno‘ the masala for at least 20-30 minutes with lots of patience, uses lots of oil, steam cooks the beets till they are half done and then pressure cooks them later.Potatoes will be added at “some” point when the beets are just about to cooked and so on and so froth! :) I remember everyone in the family waiting for him to make this dish for dinner on cold winter nights. The best beets are available in India during peak winters and so this dish is one of my winter favorite! :) I miss all the childhood days  when we used to slurp the curry with rice hiddden under layers of quilt! :)

It is an unusual curry…some of you would have never even heard of something like this.Normally beets are eaten as a salad item and I have seen some dry preparations with grated beets in maharashtrian & south indian cooking with whole lentils or sprouts. To enjoy this dish first and foremost you have to like beets.The curry has a really vibrant taste with sweetness of the beets and tangy,sour taste from tomatoes and onions in the sauce.For best results the beets have to be sweet…although not super sweet!Bascically, no rocket science, its just your normal curry preparation with beets added like anyother veggie! The dish sums up beauty, taste,texture and memories ..all in one for me :)

The temperature dropped quite low last week in Vegas and I found some good quality beets in the grocery store and made this curry. It was really tasty. It is better to make the curry at least 2-3 hours in advance and let it rest for flavors to be absorbed.I sometimes make it in the night and eat it at lunch the next day when the taste is more enhanced.This dish is best enjoyed with rice.I love the beautiful vibrant dark pink color of the dish .Below is the recipe sans the lonnng procedure followed by my father…I dont have that much patience but I do not compromise on taste either :)Here it goes…

What I need:

  • 1 lb  fresh beetroot
  • 1 medium potato, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 medium roma tomatoes,finely chopped
  • 2-3 tsp red chilli powder [adjust to taste]
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp dry coriander powder
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder [adjust to taste]
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp oil {I used mustard, even olive or canola will also work fine}
  • 1/2-1 tsp sugar [in case your beets end up being less sweet] [optional]
  • Water

How I did it :

  • Discard the stems of the beet root,peel the skin from the roots,wash and thinly slice the beets…not paper thin slices though.Set aside.
  • In a pressure cooker add the oil and heat it up till the oil starts smoking slightly.
  • Add the finely chopped onion and cook it till golden brown.After this add the grated garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.

  • Next add the chopped tomatoes along with chili powder, turmeric powder,coriander powder and salt.Cook this masala [ spice mix] on low heat till the oil starts separating from the mix along the sides of the cooker.
  • Add the beets to the masala along with 1 cup of water and pressure cook on full pressure till the beets are 80% done.You will have to adjust your stove settings etc because they are different for everyone and the time of cooking depends on how thick the beet slices are.The idea is to cook the beets till they are 80% tender…You can add more water depending on the consistency you require but do not make it too watery.
  • Next, open the cooker and add the cubed potatoes and dry mango powder to the curry and again pressure cook on full pressure till the potatoes are done and the beets are tender & cooked but not mushy. Add the sugar at the end.[if using]
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with rice.


  1. What I have outlined here is the original and basic curry sauce preparation & method. The difference is only in the veggies/meats u add to this curry sauce.
  2. The whole idea is to cook the beets well without breaking them or getting them mushy!Thats the texture I talk about!
  3. If u end up with really watery gravy somehow …separate the extra water and drink it as soup!Its yummy!


Sending this to “Dish Name Starts with: Bevent on Akila’s blog

Send this to event Healing foods-Beet Root started by Siri and hosted by  Priya for September 2010

Sending this to  Hearth’n Soul.

Sending this to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays #18

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  1. incidentalcooksuman says:

    beet root sabzi..sounds great..never had anything like this before..and lovely pics!

  2. Wow ..loved the colour…the snaps are grt too…. very healthy and tasty recipe…

  3. Always get awed by the color of beets :-) and this one is no exception

  4. Tanvi, what an interesting recipe…beet in curry sauce, I never had anything like this…the color is just so pretty :-)

  5. I love the vibrant colour of this curry. Special thanks to your dad for sharing his speciality :-) I will make this tomorrow and let you know.

  6. That is a very original idea for a curry. Looks delicious.

  7. beetroot curry looks sooo delicious that gorgeous color

  8. beautiful clicks tanvi, And never used beetroot this way but would love to try it out soon…

  9. Love beets as curry…very tempting and catchy dish..

  10. Wow…this must be the must beautiful curry I have seen. Never thought of beet in curry. Love the beautiful colour. I would love to try. Curry is just so good. I love it with rice, too. Thanks very much for sharing. Wish my hubby cooks! :P

  11. Lovely color! Delicious curry and I think it will be awesome treat with rice!

  12. wow what sure it tasted great

  13. The beet curry looks incredibly tasty, and I really like the presentation in the bowl.

  14. What a beautiful color! Sounds healthy and delicious..

  15. Beautiful dish….so tasty….

  16. colorful curry!

  17. Hi Tanvi! I LOVE that you shared with us memories of your family and especially the cooking style of the men. I agree with you that for the ladies in the house, cooking is usually about feeding many hungry mouths, while with the men, it is about the joy of the act of cooking. I want to try and get more of that joy! I would love to share this recipe and your memories of your family on my Thoughts on Friday blog hop recipe highlights! Stop by on friday and say hi! :) Thanks for linking to the hearth n soul hop. Your article is EXACTLY what we are talking about when we mean food from your hearth (or chulla!)…to feed your soul! alex@amoderatelife

  18. Now that I am a beet lover I cannot wait to make this – I don’t have a pressure cooker (well, really I just don’t know how to use it) I will have to go the looonnnnggg method. Thanks for sharing this great recipe and story with us at Hearth’nSoul!

  19. Love the color of the curry… makes it look so tempting!

  20. Tanvi – Rarely have I had the pleasure of seeing a man cook, but I’ll keep waiting. I bet it’s quite a show! Reading this type of post is one of my favorite experiences as a foodie. For me, a recipe is just a recipe, but when you tell me about all of the memories tied up in it, I get swept away, and I cannot control the urge to run to the kitchen and make the dish myself. What a beautiful contribution to Hearth and Soul, thank you!

  21. Wow!! what a color .This is new to me- can’t wait to try this

  22. We make a sukhi sabzi with the beets. This looks good. It will be a good variation to the normal stuff that I make. Thanx

  23. What a delicious and healthy dish. I love beets. I love that the men in you family cooks too! You sure acquired the talent of your family.

  24. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment.
    Beetroot curry looks fabulous, delicious and tempting. Wonderful presentation.

  25. Thank you so much for all those lovely words.I m really happy that you liked something which is really a traditional delicacy from my family! Thank u so much!

  26. never made a gravy with beetroot .. must try this sometime

  27. Am slowly falling in love with beets, you will not believe i made beetroot kurma on sat, yet to post in blog, it will two more months for it be there….loved ur version of curry i have few more beets waiting to be gonna try. ha ha i can very relate to men cooking in my family, specially when my grand pa and dad cook, its either late lunch or early dinner LOL

  28. Beets in curry!? Love this idea, something I never would have thought of mixing. I must try it one day…thanks for sharing it w/ hearth ‘n soup hop this week =)

  29. Tanvi- You’re post is such a perfect fit for the new mission of the Hearth and Soul blog hop that I’ve selected it to appear in my Best of the Blog Hop post this week :) I really enjoyed reading about your father’s speciality.

  30. Hello! and I second your thoughts on men cooking. I have also observe something else. When I cook I do not want to waste anything, so I will use the whole can or entire contents of something, and sometimes it is about a tablespoon too much, but hey I don’t want to waste right? But with men I have notice, if they don’t want that tablespoon of what ever, well it is left behind! Lovely post, thanks for sharing.

  31. Viola! Tanvi thanks for sharing. I like beetroot but my family is not so much into it. So I’m always finding ways to include beet in there diet and make them like it. They do like beetroot raita I make and I have got my hubster to like it in salads too. Now time for some masala beetroot. To be honest I like beetroot raw with all there glorious crunch and color. But the fact that its made by your dad and its family fav makes me want to make it as I knw when men make something its got to be special. My hubster makes wonderful, sinful and delicious DAL!

  32. Natasha says:

    I LOVE this recipe. It is so great. And I love using my pressure cooker. I am about to make this right now. I do the beets for about 3 minutes, then add the potatoes and do it another 5 or so.


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by christyisrc, Tanvi Srivastava. Tanvi Srivastava said: Beetroot Curry/Chukander ki Sabzi: [...]

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