This beetroot curry with coconut milk and spinach is a mild and aromatic curry dish. This recipe combines my love of curry and love of beetroot. The result is a glorious scarlet red beetroot and coconut curry. With beets being the star of this dish, it is definitely for fans of this ruby-coloured root vegetable.
Anyone who had tried my curries, knows that I am a fan of combining my own mix of spices to make a curry, with the exception of garam masala, which I often include in the mix when I am making an Indian type of curry. And of course, with Thai curries I use a paste because I want a quick weeknight curry. For the rest, I am pretty much a fan of creating my own spice mix since curry powders can vary in flavour from brand to brand. Curry powder is made with spices or herbs, usually including ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and fresh or dried chilies — the very things I include in the beetroot curry recipe.
In addition to black mustard seeds, which are often included in Indian curries. Though I wouldn’t say this recipe tastes like an Indian curry, it is aromatic and mild with an earthy beet taste and hints of coconut. For me, this is a great alternative to my standard way of eating them, which is mostly roasted or as a soup.
Preparing this beetroot curry
I love the brilliant color of this beetroot curry, but as we know beets are messy and stain. So unless you don’t mind pink fingers (I don’t), I suggest wearing plastic gloves while peeling and chopping the beets. Otherwise, you can use golden beets for this recipe. I find they are a little bit sweeter, but just as tasty and they don’t stain.
Beetroot Curry with Coconut
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds (I use black which are stronger in flavour)
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 3 small yellow onions, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- pinch of cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 fresh red chili, deseeded & finely chopped (add a second chili if you like spicy)
- 4 medium beets, peeled and cut into thin wedges (or dice, if preferred) (ca. 800g)
- 1 x 400 g can organic diced tomato
- 1 x 400 ml can organic coconut milk
- A little water to thin, if needed (60 ml)
- Sea salt &and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach or regular spinach, stems trimmed
- juice from 1/2 lemon (or one lime), plus more to taste
- unsweetened coconut chips, lightly toasted
- fresh coriander leaves
- Cooked quinoa or rice
- Plain yoghurt
Heat the coconut oil in a large deep pan or wok (with a lid) over medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. Fry for a 2-3 minutes, until they start to sizzle and pop.
Add the onion and sauté for 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until soft.
Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon, bay leaves, fresh chili and beets. Stir for 2 minutes.
Add the diced tomatoes and coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Top up with a splash of water if needed. Increase heat, bring a light simmer, cover and reduce heat to medium again, cover and simmer, stirring from time to time, for about 25 minutes, or until the beetroot is tender (depending on size of pieces).
When the beetroot is tender, add the spinach, squeeze in lemon juice and season with more salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve sprinkled with your choice of garnish alongside cooked quinoa (or rice) and if desired, a little plain yoghurt. Enjoy!
- The black mustard seeds comes with a strong pungent flavour, whereas the yellow mustard comes with a mild flavour. Black ones are most commonly used in Indian cooking. When fried, the taste is sweet, mild and nutty rather than fiery. Black mustard seeds can be found in specialty shops or online.
4 ripe tomatoes (chopped) can be used in place of canned tomatoes, if desired.
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