To prepare the beets, remove their tops and peel them. Chop into 1/2-inch squares.
There are two methods to cook the beets: on the stove, or in the oven. To cook on the stove, add the beets to a covered saucepan with olive oil or ghee, a good pinch of salt, and a quarter cup of water. Simmer, covered, until tender, about 15-20 minutes. To cook in the oven, add beets to a baking dish that has a cover, or use tin foil for the cover. Mix with olive oil or ghee and a good pinch of salt, and a quarter cup of water. Bake, covered at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until the beets are soft, about 30 minutes.
While the beets are still hot, mix in all the remaining ingredients. Stir well and taste for salt, pepper, and garam masala. Add more if you like.
For a complete meatless meal, enjoy beets as a side dish with pulses and a green salad.
Savory beetroot would also go well with main dishes featuring potatoes, eggs, and/or mushrooms, such as a Wild Mushroom Tart.
If you do not have ghee, substitute with a mixture of half butter and half vegetable oil. Ghee is a form of clarified butter with a nutty, buttery taste, that is commonly used in Indian cooking. It is generally safe for people with lactose intolerance, it has a high smoke point of 485 degrees Fahrenheit, and is shelf stable at room temperature. Ghee is widely available outside India. To learn more about ghee and where to buy it, see Quality Ghee & Ghee Buying Tips.Walnut oil is a lovely light oil with the flavor or walnuts that have been roasted to perfection and expeller pressed. I purchased a small bottle of La Tourangelle artisan oil made in California from my local Whole Foods, and I love it as a surprise in vegetables, pasta, or pastry. However, if you don’t have walnut oil, use any oil you like, including more olive oil or ghee, or none at all. I choose white wine vinegar because it’s taste is bright, yet complex and balanced. This differs from regular white vinegar, which is highly bright and acidic, yet entirely lacking in complexity. If white vinegar is all you have, you can definitely still use it. Just use a bit less. Alternately, try white balsamic, or even red wine vinegar.Candied ginger root is kind of fun in this recipe, since we have plenty of sour and pungent taste to balance out the bit of added sugar, but this recipe is also killer good with fresh ginger. Just be sure to mince it super finely so you don’t get a big chunk of spicy ginger in your bite. Unless that’s your thing! Garam masala is a North Indian Spice made most commonly with coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. If you don’t have garam masala, try adding a small amount of what you do have.
MAKE THIS VEGAN
Substitute ghee with coconut oil or vegetable oil.