We love summertime! Trees and grass are bursting with greenness and flowers are in full bloom. The warm summer breeze banishes the ubiquitous cloak of grayness and blandness, giving way to clear blue skies, risque hemlines and lots of colour. We love colours! This is probably one of the reasons why the beetroot has sparked our culinary curiosity this summer. It’s deep crimson colour and earthy textures set it apart from other root vegetables.

We’ve previously used beets in smoothies, spreads and salads. However, our recent visit to Sri Lanka introduced us to the rich aromas and colours of South Asian cuisine and so we decided to try our hands at making a dish which combined the rich purpleness of beetroot with the aromatic spices from that region. Bold colours and bold flavours always make a great recipe.

Beetroot rice | HDYTI

Bold colours and bold flavours always make a great recipe. Click To Tweet

Omo originally comes from Nigeria, West Africa, where rice dishes are a staple for most households. Nigerian rice dishes also feature lots of colour ranging from the blood orange tones of the highly popular jollof rice (the authentic one…not that Jamie Oliver stunt) to the more subdued golden yellow tones of fried rice. Omo thought it would be a good idea to add one more colour to the ‘rice rainbow’ by making beetroot rice (he’s currently looking for ways to make blue coloured rice).

The incredible health benefits of beetroot are well documented and proven. If you’re still unconvinced or need more information, check here, here and here. When compared to its cousin vegetables such as spinach, the beetroot likes to boss it’s way around. This explains why some people may be put off by its earthy taste and staining property. However, its overall advantages (e.g., powerful antioxidant properties) far outweigh any inconveniences that may be caused by handling them.

Beetroot rice | HDYTI

If you’ve never tried cooking with beetroot before, we hope our recipe (see below) will inspire you to do so. We found it quick, easy and very very tasty. If you’re already a pro at making beetroot rice and have some ideas of your own to jazz it up even further, please do share. We’d love to hear them!

Beetroot beet rice

PS: Shout out to Archana Doshi of Archana’s Kitchen whose recipe gave us the courage to try this out.

 

Spicy Beetroot Rice
Spicy Beetroot Rice - exploring South Asian cuisine
Yum
Print Recipe
Working with beets can be a bit messy so be sure to clear your work surfaces and have kitchen wipes to hand. You might also want to use some disposable kitchen gloves while handling them. Use the preparation time below as a guide only. Initially the rice is cooked separately from the rest of the ingredients. So feel free to use your preferred method for cooking rice.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Spicy Beetroot Rice
Spicy Beetroot Rice - exploring South Asian cuisine
Yum
Print Recipe
Working with beets can be a bit messy so be sure to clear your work surfaces and have kitchen wipes to hand. You might also want to use some disposable kitchen gloves while handling them. Use the preparation time below as a guide only. Initially the rice is cooked separately from the rest of the ingredients. So feel free to use your preferred method for cooking rice.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 minutes 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Wash and cook the rice using your preferred method (i.e., boil, pressure etc). I like to add in the vegetable stock cube during the rice cooking process to give it some flavour. Cook rice until just about ready (i.e., not fully done). Drain and set aside.
    Beetroot beet rice
  2. Wash beetroot, cut off the stalks, peel the skin off and chop into 2x2 inch cubes. Place chopped beets into a food processor with one whole clove of garlic and blend into a paste. I like to add a teaspoon of sesame seed oil to the mix to loosen the paste and add some flavour but this is not compulsory.
    Beetroot beet rice
  3. Place the coriander seeds, mustard seeds and cinnamon stick into a dry blender and blend into powder form. Set aside. Wash prawns and green peas and set aside.
    Beetroot beet rice
  4. Heat up 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive or coconut oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Fry for 3 minutes or until golden brown.
    Beetroot beet rice
  5. Add the ground coriander/mustard/cinnamon powder. Fry on low heat for around 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Be careful not to let burn. Increase heat slightly and add beetroot mixture. Continue to fry for another 5 minutes, again stirring constantly.
    Beetroot beet rice
  6. Add the chopped chilies, cardamom and chopped ginger and fry the mix for a further 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add a few tablespoons of water to loosen the mix.
  7. Lower the heat and slowly pour in the cooked rice into the mix. Begin stirring while adding the rest of the oil. Feel free to add more teaspoons of water if you would like to soften your rice further. Stir until rice is evenly coated with the beet and spice mix. Add salt to taste and leave to cook for 5 minutes.
    Beetroot beet rice
  8. Add in the prawns, peas and chopped basil leaves and stir gently. Leave to cook for a further 5 minutes.
    Beetroot beet rice
  9. Dish and serve immediately. (Fish is a serving suggestion only)
    Beetroot beet rice
Recipe Notes

Beetroot beet rice

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