I love summer for many reasons - the weather, the relaxed mood, the extended day light and above all the fresh produce that I can pick up from the farmers markets and the local vegetable stands. I buy all kinds of greens in abundance during this season and find plenty of ways to include them in our meals. I have got queries from my friends and readers at times on what to do with beets (root, stem and leaves - the whole deal). Beet leaves are probably one of the tastiest greens we get here. They taste very close to the red amaranth leaves that we get in India, hence we can make pretty much everything that we make with red amaranth by substituting them with beet leaves. Here is a recipe that is usually made with red amaranth leaves (chuvanna cheera). If you are generally not a fan of beets (especially beet root), then this is something you should give a try. You might become a fan instantly :-)
Red beets (root, stem and leaves) - 1 medium bunch
Raw (green) mango - 1 small or 1/2 medium
Coconut - 1 cup
Green chilly - 3-4
Cumin seeds - 1 T
Homemade Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Sea salt - as per taste
Virgin coconut oil - 1 Tbs
Separate beet leaves, stems and beet roots. Wash and peel the root, slice into 2 inch long sticks (sticks slightly thinner than french fries) Wash and cut the stems into 2 inch long pieces. Chop leaves fine.
Peel the mango and cut into 2 inch long sticks.
Grind coconut, green chilly and cumin seeds to a coarse mixture. Mix it with yogurt and keep aside.
Start cooking the cut beet root in about half cup of water and turmeric powder. Cook covered on medium heat till they are cooked half way thru. Add the cut stem and mango pieces and continue cooking.
When they are almost done, add chopped leaves and continue cooking till the leaves are just wilted. Stir to wilt them evenly.
Add the coconut-yogurt mix and salt and continue cooking till beet leaves are cooked just enough.
Drizzle coconut oil and serve warm along with rice.