Beetroot, Leaves and Stalks Bhaji (Dry Curry)
Chukandar Aur Patte ki Sookhi Sabji/Bhaji
If you grow your own beetroots, this recipe is for you. Most supermarkets throw away the beet leaves before packaging them. Even when you can buy them, most people chop them off and bin them. These leaves make a nutritious and delicious bhaji, either stir fried on their own or mixed with sliced onions or chopped potatoes. The picture here shows it made with the stalks only, which is what most supermarkets sell them with during summer. Serves 4
If you are not able to stock a lot of Indian spices, use curry powder in place of turmeric, coriander, chilli, garam masala. It will not be as good as the original, but will be okay.
Pictures here show the dish cooked with half the amount of leaves given in the recipe. Last picture shows it made with stalks only, because supermarkets throw away the tasty and nutritious leaves!
Edited July 2018
2 bunches of Beet leaves and stalks
1 small beet, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. cooking oil (mustard oil tastes better, if you can find it)
1 tsp. cumin seeds (black mustard or Panch Pooran seeds can be used instead)
A pinch of asafoetida powder or hing
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely shredded
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. chilli powder (adjust to taste)
1 1/2 tsp. salt (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
1/2 tsp. lemon/lime juice can be used instead of mango powder.
Prepare, wash and leaves. Chop into 1small pieces
Heat oil in a wok or karahi.
Add cumin/other seeds and asafoetida powder and wait for seeds to splutter.
Add ginger and fry for 10-15 seconds.
Add prepared vegetables, all spices, except garam masala. Stir fry for a minute or two, until vegetables are well coated with spices.
Cover, lower heat to low-medium, stirring from time to time.
Adjust salt/chillies by tasting.
Add garam masala and lemon juice.
Mix well. If it looks watery, raise heat and quick fry until all water is evaporated. The vegetables look at little shiny, when ready.
If the vegetables are fresh and the heat is correct, you do not need to add any additional water. Selecting correct heat comes with practice, trial and error. It should be simmering very gently, otherwise vegetables may 'catch'. If you need to add water while cooking, sprinkle 1 tbsp. at a time. This will prevent vegetables from going soggy due to overcooking in your attempt to dry off the excess water.
If you like garlic, you can add a little fresh garlic along with ginger, at step 4