Golgappa to dim sum: Beetroot is having a moment in the food world
If you have always shrugged off beetroot as a looker with no substance, it’s time to change your mind. The unpretentious root vegetable is finally getting its due. Jewel toned with a sweet, earthy flavour, the vegetable is being used by chefs to create gorgeous looking, flavourful and healthy dishes.
Packed with minerals and vitamins, beetroot is a super versatile vegetable that can be paired with various other ingredients. Executive chef Rajesh Wadhwa of Taj Palace, New Delhi, calls it an absolute wonder ingredient. “Its rich nutrient quotient, earthy flavour, and deep, vibrant hues make it a brilliant ingredient to work with.” Apart from the ubiquitous red beetroot, the chef also uses different varieties of beetroot. Yellow beet and beautiful purple beets feature in some of the French creations.
Chef Ankur Sharma, executive sous chef, Trident Gurgaon likes to serve Beetroot and Goat Cheese Ravioli to his guests who belive in eating healthy. “When guests ask for a low carb dish, we offer ravioli in the form of beetroot. They pair so well with cheese, orange, nut and ginger vinaigrette,” he says.
The vegetable remained underrated because not many people know how to cook it, while potatoes and carrots stole the show. You can have beet in various forms such as raw, dried, pickled, roasted, grated, steamed, fermented, sautéed, stuffed, creamed, mashed or soup’ed!
It can be wonderfully used to make hummus, spreads, ravioli, dim sum sheet dough, soups, salads, mock meat and even desserts, says Saurabh Luthra of Romeo Lane.
Chef Mahabir Singh of Made in Punjab says that the vegetable is used creatively with coconut in South Indian kitchens. Beetroot poriyal is a delicious preparation that uses beets, coconut and spices.
It’s rich, vibrant colour also adds a delightful element of surprise in preparations. “The ruby red golgappa is one of our successful experiments with beet,” says Kanishk Tuteja of Nukkad Cafe & Bar.
And if you love salads, beetroot is one of the healthiest ingredients to play around with for a wholesome, refreshing and vibrant meal. The vegetable teams well with nuts such as walnuts and coconuts, apples, pomegranate, citrus fruits such as lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit etc, and herbs and spices such as basil, parsley, pepper (black or white) fennel, and Dijon mustard. You can throw in a bit of protein with cheese or even eggs. That means you can mix and match and do a variety of delicious salads with a bit of creativity.
Tempted to let your creative juices flow? Next time as you go veggies shopping, don’t forget to add some ruby red goodness to your basket.