Beets & Peanuts Raita (Indian Yogurt Dip) is a cool & healthy side dish served with any Indian meal. Roasted beets in the raita add a fresh touch to it.
Beetroot Raita has been on my mind for a very long time now. It is one of my favorite kind of raita. I had tasted this dish some years ago when I had been to a friend's house for dinner. Her mom had prepared this raita as an accompaniment to Paneer Pulav. It was an ideal combo (rice + raita). I remember the whole spread that day. My friend's mom is a great cook. Over the years, I have got to taste her many dishes though lunch boxes, dinner invites, potlucks and even special tiffins sent for me. All this because she is my best friend's mom. Aah! Love such privileges! I have learnt many recipes from her, got inspired to recreate some of her famous dishes and Beetroot Raita being one of them.
Let me tell you what is Raita. It is an Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi side dish made with yogurt mixed together with raw or cooked vegetables like Roasted Garlic & Tomato Raita and Minty Cucumber raita. sometimes even using fruits, or the popular one called boondi raita (fried chickpea balls soaked in spiced yogurt). It is very similar to a side dish or dip in western cuisine. It is often referred to as a condiment. However Beetroot raita is something else altogether. It's not only extremely pleasing to the eye due to its deep red hue but also because of it's mildly sweet taste.
When i was a child, my mom used to make a simple curry with beetroot and we would eat it with rice and yogurt. Even back then, I loved this combo of beets and yogurt. I would lick off the plate by the end of the meal. Plus as a child, the color of it would appeal to me. Hence while making this raita, I was confident about the final taste. After I introduced this raita to my mom, it started to become a regular at home. All of us had begun to love it.
Making this raita today refreshed my memory. So many moments were relived and I was left teary eyed. Flashes of my mom cooking in the kitchen to me enjoying a hearty meal at my best friend's house came back rushing to me. Like I always say, cooking is not only about food and recipes. It's a journey where the chefs relive every past memory associated with that dish, happy or sad, they motivate you to do more and better. We can get inspired by everyone around but it always begins with our mom. She is the first inspiration to all. We aspire to be her, imitate her cooking, fail miserably sometimes but still go on. Such is the power of mom, her cooking and food memories. Sorry I got carried away!
Let me bring you back to this recipe which is fairly simple and quick to prepare. Peel the beetroot and toss them onto a grill pan. Sprinkle garlic powder and toast the beets till they get charred. Take it off the flame and let the beets cool down. Add them to a grinder along with little water to make a smooth paste. In a serving bowl, whisk yogurt. Add seasonings like chilly powder, coriander cumin powder and salt. Mix it well. Then add the beets paste to it and set it aside.
Raita is best when served chilled. So refrigerate it until it's time to eat. Raita like this one goes well with dishes like Spicy Paneer Biryani, Egg Biryani or any parathas like Cheesy Black Rice Mini Paratha (Stuffed Flat Bread), Broccoli Paratha or Sesame flavored beetroot & edamame parathas. I served this delicious raita with Aloo Methi Paneer Paratha.
Beets & Peanuts Raita
- Peel the beetroot and toss them onto a grill pan. Sprinkle garlic powder and toast the beets till they get charred. Take it off the flame and let the beets cool down. Add them to a grinder along with little water to make a smooth paste. In a serving bowl, whisk yogurt. Add seasonings like chilly powder, coriander cumin powder and salt. Mix it well. Then add the beets paste to it and set it aside.
- Temper mustard seeds, curry leaves and peanuts in oil, add this to the yogurt beet mixture. Mix it all together. Serve chilled.
My excitement was child like and KR captured that. As soon as he entered the house, one look at me and he could guess that today I was extremely content with the pictures and the food. I tend to get sulky if I think my pictures have not come good. I was super impressed with myself today having captured the beauty of this colorful raita dish in my lens. We thoroughly enjoyed the dinner and I was still smiling ear to ear! 😉