Beetroot Fried Rice
I don’t know if it is a cultural thing or a motherly thing that I always ask my children what they ate if they did not have home made lunch. When I ask my son, invariably he says, “FOOD”! But I still prod with questions to get all the details. While talking to friends, I include the inevitable question what their culinary experiment was and most friends ask me in return. I have seen my mother discuss with our neighbours about the food they cooked. Maybe it is to draw inspiration or cook a copycat version of it. It always helps!
Recently, I was on a phone chat with a friend and asked her what she made for lunch. She mentioned making beetroot rice. She also packed it for her son’s lunch as he likes to deal with something that can be spooned easily. I thought it was a cool idea. So I tried the same but spiced it up with tikka masala to add some oomph to it.
Beet root is a great colouring agent that overpowers and colours everything added to it and makes this rice look attractive. I made this pulav mainly for visual delight but slyly for all the hidden benefits. I added broccoli at the end of the preparation to add a little contrast. My dear son who considers rice as empty calories and doesn’t get charmed by beets commented, ‘It tastes pretty good!’. Wow, that was a big stamp of approval! So I decided to post it.
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 1 medium beetroot
- 1 red onion
- few broccoli florets
- 1 tomato
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- 1/2 inch piece cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ginger, garlic paste
- 1 tbsp Tikka masala (recipe at the bottom of the post)
- few mint leaves
- 2 green chillies
- Wash and drain rice.
- Fry rice in butter to get a coating around it.
- Transfer it to a pan or rice cooker and add 2 cups of water and cook.
- When it is done allow it to cool.
- Heat coconut oil in a pan and add cumin seeds to splutter.
- Add bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon to it and fry for 1 minute.
- Fry onion in the same pan to a golden colour adding a pinch of salt.
- Next add ginger-garlic paste, slit green chillies and turmeric powder.
- Puree tomato and add that to the pan and fry well until water evaporates and oil appears on the sides.
- Add grated beetroot to it.
- Fry for 5 minutes for the raw smell to disappear and a nice aroma to develop.
- Add coconut milk and boil.
- Sprinkling tikka masala, salt and mix well.
- Gently add cooked rice and coat each grain with the dark purple mixture.
- Cut broccoli into small florets, sprinkle some water and a pinch of salt and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
- Add this to the beet pulav for a pop of green.
- Garnish with mint leaves and serve with curd raitha.
Tikka masala spices
- 3 tsp coriander
- 3 tsp cumin
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 1½ tsp ginger powder
- 3 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 2 tsp garam masala
Mix all these ingredients and store it in a jar and use as needed.
A combination of theses spices make the pulav stand out by adding extra flavour. Tikka masala infuses an additional aromatic punch and turns ordinary rice into a special meal. I have plans to use it in other fried rice dishes too. This spice mix can be used in recipes like Chicken tikka masala, Butter chicken and mixed vegetable curries.