Recently, Alia Bhatt updated her Instagram page with a pretty picture of a ruby red juice and her dimpled smile, adding her signature glamour quotient to the humble beetroot. The healthy beetroot has been incorporated in several recipes for ingenuous dishes, from mains to sorbets, hummus and cakes...
Coriander Beetroot Ceviche is a glamorous dish with beets, walnuts, fennel shavings and feta. Chef Noah Barnes of Arriba Mexican Grill & Tequileria in Delhi, says of his preparation, “The ceviche style of cooking is great for summer as it is light as well as a healthy preparation that lets you retain the nutritional benefits of the ingredients. As beetroots have a compelling flavor and an intense colour, it always overpowers the dish.” So, you have to know that it should be used in dishes with minimal ingredients to let the beetroot shine.
Viraf Patel, Executive Chef and Brand Head for Toast & Tonic, has introduced a delicious rendition of the vegetable in a juicy beetroot burger. “Beetroot brings sweetness and an earthy flavour to the dish. It’s a great source of folate that improves blood circulation. The veggie comes in many varieties but unfortunately, in India, they are not segregated at source. So, the challenge lies in getting them in a consistent size, age and colour,” he explains. Viraf’s beetroot patty is ensconced in a yummy spread of roasted pepper, goat cheese and onion rings in a brioche bun with tapioca chips on the side.
Hasim Rizvi, Executive Chef, of Nau Se Barah in Koparkhairne, Mumbai, prepares a creamy beetroot risotto in white sauce, topped with fresh goat cheese. “Beetroot adds a purple-crimson colour to food due to the plant pigment betacyanin and cannot be put to subtle use as an ingredient. Due to its earthy and bitter taste, it needs to paired with bright, sweet and fresh flavours to complement its taste,” says Hasim.
Says Chef Dev Rawat, Executive Chef at Tippling Street, in Mumbai, “The velvety beet hummus is prepared by roasting the vegetable. Its earthy flavour is amplified and this brings a richness to the overall texture of the hummus. Paired with fresh cucumber and carrot sticks, it makes for a fabulous snack.” Bullseye!
Chef Ajinkya More, Executive Chef, The Quarter, Mumbai wins hearts with this beetroot dessert. Chioggia beets, an Italian heirloom variety of the vegetable, is served with strawberries and chia pudding. “In keeping with the farm-to-table philosophy, I work with fresh ingredients, preferring to give classic recipes a contemporary twist. While working on the new menu, I came across Chioggia beetroot as a possible ingredient for my salads and starters. Giving a new spin to a healthy dessert, by adding this veggie, I brought in a twist to the nutty flavour of chia seed and sweetness of strawberries. Loaded with vitamins and fibre, chioggia beets are a superfood, ” he says.
Into the Forest
The Zen Forest is a pretty pirouette of sweet somethings at The Fatty Bao. Says Chef Y Kalyan, Pastry Chef, The Fatty Bao, "The dessert involves a lot of elements including yuzu parfait, green tea moss, black sesame sponge rocks, beetroot and black pepper sorbet, sesame nougatine, valrhona chocolate twigs and microgreens. The citrus, nutty and tropical flavours are balanced by the earthy sweetness of the beetroot sorbet in a subtle way.”
Cake it Up
A clever trick to leverage the colour of a red velvet cake is to include beetroot. Explains Chef Prashant Singh of Raasta, “Beetroot syrup is used in a cake like red velvet to accentuate the flavour of the dessert. Not only does it satisfy your sweet tooth, but also provides nutrition. Excess use of beet can make the cake bitter, so measure the quantity and bake for the optimum time.”
Chef Santosh Rawat at JW Marriott Sahar, Mumbai, whips up a mean torta di barbabietola; translated as, a beetroot and walnut cheesecake with fig crust, cream cheese and concentrated juice. “What makes this cake unique is, it’s caramelised at the bottom using sauces and is usually served in a hot pan. Beetroot puree lends it a rich crimson shade,” he says.
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