Appetizers & Snacks

Beetroot Tikki

Root vegetables with a soothing,earthy taste are one of my favorite. I m not talking potatoes here – everybody likes them without a doubt. I want to point towards taro, sweet potatoes, turnips, radishes & ofcourse – beets. The array of colors and textures inspire me to try out different ways to enjoy them.When beets are involved, I normally start dreaming of all kinds of pink hued curries, especially my dad’s version.It takes me back to all those special meals he cooked.

I did not enjoy beets much in salads or slaws much, I have grown to enjoy them in many other ways. Being the only one at house who likes them, I have the freedom to mend & devise my own uncomplicated ways to cook them. After gulping down lots of juice glasses over the week (yup, at this age too, I dream of rosy cheeks (sigh)),I was left with a last batch of this pink bounty to be turned into these thin, crispy, pan-fried cutlets.

There is always a feeling of accomplishment & satisfaction when I am able to come up with ways to prepare vegetables without cooking them much.I dont think I can describe it.It just needs to be felt.The beets were overly sweet, I did not roast them.Finding a way to balance out the sweetness was when spices jumped into the picture. Inspired by the ever so popular potato tikkis – tangy chaat masala , green chillies, ginger, garlic & cilantro – I found myself  shaping these babies within few minutes. To start with, I was slightly nervous about the taste but after I tasted the mix, the excitement took over- for that first bite.

Tikki, a popular north indian snack is nothing but small patties or croquettes, deep or shallow fried. They are served with an assortment of chutneys, ketchup, yogurt or just as it is with hot steaming masala chai or coffee. .

These are vaguely sweetish, utterly moist to bite with semolina coating adding a texture.The intent was to keep the beet taste as unadulterated as possible. Serve these with green chutney as appetizers, over lettuce leaves to make a yummy salad or even slide them inside the buns to make a vegetarian burgers Overall, I think I will be making these a lot many times.

Makes 6-8 tikkis


  • 2 cup finely grated beetroot
  • 3/4 cup finely grated par boiled potatoes (substitute with leftover rice)
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, minced
  • 1″ fresh ginger shoot, minced
  • 2-3 Thai green chillies, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp chaat masala (to taste, chaat masala is a tangy spice blend available in indian stores or online)
  • 1/8 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp white poppy seeds
  • salt to taste
For Coating 
  • 2 tbsp semolina 
  • 2 tbsp cornmeal 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp red chilli powder (or cayenne)
For Pan Cooking 
2-3 tbsp canola/vegetable/olive oil (or as required for even cooking)


Press grated beetroot between your palms to squeeze out as much juice as you can.

Tip in the squeezed beetroot along with all ingredients except salt into a large bowl & mix lightly with a wooden spoon to combine everything.Dont overwork the mixture. Dont add the salt unless ready to cook.Refrigerate the mixture until then.

Mix the ingredients of the coating, tip into a shallow dish & set aside.

When ready to cook, heat up a heavy cast iron skillet/pan on medium. You dont want the pan to be searing hot. While the pan heats up, combine the salt with the beetroot mix. Make small patties of the mix, about 2 inch dia & 1/2 inch thick. Roll the patties in the semolina mix to cover both sides.

Lightly brush 1 tbsp oil on the heated pan. Place 2-3 patties on the pan and fry them on medium-low heat,adding 1 tsp oil at a time. Cook the patties for about 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping gently with a spatula & flattening them with it slightly as they cook and turn brownish.

Repeat till all patties are fried. Serve warm with green chutney, ketchup or salad greens.

Enjoy & Thanks for stopping by!

31 thoughts on “Beetroot Tikki

  1. How pretty! You really know how to bring out the beauty from food! You are lucky you have beets in India! I’ve never seen beets while growing up in Japan. Maybe nowadays they might have it in special store. I fell in love with beets and so excited to see Indian version of beetroot dish!

  2. loved loved the photos tanvi… awesome. the color of the beetroot is standing out in all the photos. the lighting is also so good.

    i just like boiled beetroots in salads and patties. i don’t like the raw ones. i also make beetroot tikkis and usually stuff them in burger buns…

  3. I am a big fan of beetroot & these little beauties look just perfect & incredible shots. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Beetroot is not my favorite vegetable ..but when u have a little one at home, I guess you forget such a thing as taste. Nutrition comes first. So, I started getting beets at home mainly for the little one. I keep running outta ideas on how to cook ’em other than soups or juice. This looks good and who can resist tikkis in any form!? Beautiful clicks.. The tikkis look so inviting! 🙂

  5. this not only sounds delicious, but looks absolutely gorgeous! I love beetroot because they’re so naturally sweet and earthy, and a beautiful ruby colour too! I really like this new idea of cooking them, thanks for the inspiration! wonderful photos btw x

  6. I love beets, I might give it a try! and perhaps i just make a use of corn meal only as coating, is it fine if i skip semolina?
    Really like the last picture, the angle just spot on!

  7. Beet root cutlets are very famous in Calcutta. During my college days we used to be served Beetroot cutlets every day in our college canteen, it always tasted so good, better than potato cutlets. They used to just serve it with some raw onions.
    With Beet root one can even make face creams and lip gloss and blush at home.
    I also love beetroot combined with carrot, and tomato juice.

  8. Hi, I haven’t commented in ages, but I have been a lurker! I am going to make these tonight/tomorrow and will let you know how it goes. I have a few questions pls:
    1) I bought raw beetroots. I have never cooked with them before. I just peel and grate, correct? They had precooked beetroots already peeled and boiled, but I assumed that was not what the recipe calls for.
    2) Can I do the beetroot/potato mixture the night before and keep in the fridge? As per your directions, I will leave the salt out until cooking time.
    3) I only belatedly realized that cornmeal is not the same as cornstarch. Can I just double the semolina or use flour instead? (if flour is ok, which type? I have besan, all purpose flour, chappati flour, and self-raising flour)

    Thank you so much and sorry for the basic questions!


    1. Hi Nikhil,

      Yes, you peel the raw beets and grate.Just remember that do not make very thick patties when you shape them else they will not cook properly.

      You can definitely do the mixture one night before. Dont add the salt else it will be watery.

      You can double semolina or else if you want and have, use any kind of store bought dry breadcrumbs. Flour will not work since the purpose here is to crisp up the outside of the patties.

      Hope these help and your tikkis come out fine.


      1. Thanks, Tanvi.

        I will prep the mixture tonight and make tomorrow. Will let you know how it goes.

  9. Just wanted to report back to you. This recipe didn’t work out so well for me– it was OK– but I am pretty sure it’s not the recipe’s fault– it’s my fault. I was a bit all over the place when making it, as I had never used beetroots before and the water from the beetroots was squirting all over the place, when I was squeezing the water out. I don’t think I got the right proportion of beetroots to potatoes either. So in sum, I’m sure yours were delicious, but I don’t think I followed the recipe as careful as I could have. Incidentally, the shallow frying didn’t work for me either, so I ended up baking them, which I thought worked out, and requires less oil. But your recipes are amazing, so I am going to try your mango compote shrikhand next!

    1. Thats too sad to know. Working with juicy vegetables is tricky coz if you don’t squeeze the water out, they will crumble while cooking. Potato acts as a binder in the recipe.Few people tried this recipe and they told me that it worked. Anyhow, I m so sorry. Hope the mango shrikhand makes up to it.

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