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BEETROOT DRY CURRY (Chettinadu Style)



One thing I like about Chettinadu curries is their amalgamation of Fennel and black pepper . It is responsible for a distinct flavour and taste which separates Chettinadu food from the rest of Tamilnadu food. I had tasted the Beetroot curry in Madras in a famous Chettinadu eatery.  Since the customer's rush prevented me from getting the recipe, I had to rely on my test buds and visual capability to fathom out the intricate spice amalgam. I arrived at the following recipe and it turned out if not exact a slightly on a better tasting side. This curry ,according to my one and only judge (who had enjoyed the same curry in Madras last month with me. ) is a great winner. Goes fantastic With rice.  It tastes so great that you would not touch Kozumbu till you are fully satisfied.  Anything more,would be an over statement. 
So here it is folks, on a platter. . . . . . . . . 

( for a family of four 2 helpings)

Beetroot 350 gms
Green Chillies 2 nos. 
Onion (diced) 2 nos (medium)


Kadalai parappu (channa dhall) 1 spoon
Fennel seeds (sombu) 1 spoon
Jeera (cumin) 3/4 +1/2 spoon
Black pepper corns 3/4 spoon +1/4 spoon
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
Dhania seeds 3/4 spoon
Red dry chillies 3 to 4 nos. 
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Oil 2 ladles
Salt to taste
Lime Juice from 1/4 to 1/2 lime. 

Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Kadalai Parappu 1 spoon
Red chillies 1 no. 
Curry leaves 1 sprig




In this curry, the trick lies in dicing the beetroots .  Just imagine a dime or a rupee coin.  Make four pieces each having at least one 90 degree angle. That's right. You need to dice the beetroots similarly in almost same thickness (3. 5 mm). Once done, ensure that you have washed , patted dry and then diced them. 

Dice onions and slice green chillies in small pieces and keep aside. 

Take a little oil in a kadai and first fry dhall for spice powder. When slightly pinkish in colour, remove , now add all the other ingredients like fennel, black pepper, Jeera Dhania , chillies etc . for powdering. Fry on a low flame for two minutes and remove and let it get cold. When the fried ingredients are cold, make powder in a mixi (food processor) and keep aside. 

Take the rest of the oil in the same kadai and add the temperings. Heat on a low flame, when the mustard starts to crackle, add onions and curry leaves first. Stir and fry till onions become translucent,. Now add diced Beetroot and salt, stir and mix thoroughly and set the flame on slow. Cover the kadai with a plate filled with little water to cover the surface. This is to ensure that the beet roots get cooked in own water/juice as the steam will condense and fall back in kadai. If the water is insufficient , add just a table spoonful of water . 

It will be fifteen minutes or so for the beetroot to get slightly more than 3/4 cooked. 

Now add the spice powder you made previously. Mix in a rotary fashion to ensure that each beetroot piece is anointed with spice powder.  Check for salt now , if the water is there at the bottom, fry without the cover and let the water get evaporated. Add lime juice and mix again. 

Let the spices get absorbed in the vegetable. Reheat after 30 minutes and sprinkle freshly made powder of 1/4 spoon of jeera and black pepper on the curry and serve hot. 
This curry should make its mark to your favourites at the first try. !!!


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