Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Vegetarian Beet Borscht

Vegetarian Beet Borscht

This vegetarian version of Russian Borscht is a delight to make during summer time, when fresh beets, carrots and potatoes are in abundance at local farmers markets. I also add the cabbage and fresh dill to the pile, following the traditional borscht recipe. The attractive fire-red color is from beets but thanks for the success of this dish must go to the Indian spice-blend and the modest amount of powdered cashews that I usually add. They help to create a rich, flavorful sauce that binds all the ingredients in an endearing way.

Although I have enjoyed the beet borscht as a light soup at restaurants, I usually make it as the main meal of the day at home, by adding big bulky style pasta. Daring liberties are taken with good intentions, so I would like to think the darling people of eastern Europe would approve of my beet borscht.

Red Onion, Lime, Carrots, Beets, Cabbage, Fresh Dill and Red Potatoes ~ From Ritu Bazar for Borscht

(for two adults with a healthy appetite, for two meals)

Beets, carrots and red potatoes - peeled and cubed, 2 cups each
Cabbage - coarsely cut to pieces, about two cups
Red onion - finely sliced, about a cup
4 cloves of garlic - finely sliced
Quarter cup - roasted cashews, powdered to fine
Quarter cup - fresh dill, finely chopped
Quarter cup - lime juice
1 tablespoon - cumin:clove:cinnamon:coriander powder
½ teaspoon - chilli powder, salt and turmeric (or to taste)
1 tablespoon - ghee or butter
1 cup ( I chose the Trottole pasta for this recipe.)

In a sturdy big pot, heat the ghee or butter. Add and saute garlic and onions to soft. Add potatoes, beets and carrots. Saute for about ten minutes, stirring in-between. Next in line would be the delicate cabbage. When cabbage starts to wilt, add the seasoning - cashew powder, fresh dill, spice blend, lime juice, chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Mix and cook for couple of minutes.

Add in about 6 cups of water. Cover the pot with lid and simmer the ingredients on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. By this time the potatoes, beets will be turning to tender. Have a taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.

Add in the pasta. Cook until the pasta is al dente. Turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Ladle the pasta-beet borscht into serving bowls and enjoy!

Beet Borscht with Pasta and Kiwi Fruit ~ Our Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, Cabbage, Beetroot, Suwa (Dill) (Wednesday August 8, 2007 at 7:23 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Red Cabbage, Beetroot and Redbeans Curry

Beetroot is one vegetable that I am trying to incorporate into my diet more often. I need iron and beetroot is famous for its folate and iron content, with added bonus of some natural sugar.

Along with steamed and plain stir-fry, one other way I prepare a beetroot curry is by cooking in combination of red cabbage and red beans. Beetroot stains everything it touches and perfect to cook with red cabbage. When it comes to red cabbage, the vegetable may sound fancy but it is almost similar to regular cabbage in taste and texture. When red cabbage cut to half, the color is more purple than red, sometimes solid, sometimes combined with delicate streaks of white. Looks beautiful but it can’t escape the typical cabbage smell and taste. Together with, beetroot and red beans, this ruby red curry is a good, decent one to have on a rainy day with gray skies like the one we are having today.

Soaked Red Beans (Adzuki), Grated Beetroot, Shredded Red Cabbage


1 red cabbage - Shredded using a mandoline
4 small beetroots - peeled and finely chopped lengthwise
½ cup of red beans (chori, Adzuki) -
soaked in warm water for about 3 hours to rehydrate and drained.
1 red onion - finely sliced lengthwise
6 dried red chillies+2 garlic+½ tsp of salt - grinded to fine paste
½ tsp of turmeric and salt (or to taste)
Popu or tadka ingredients along with 1 tsp of peanut oil

In a big skillet, heat peanut oil. Do the popu or tadka (toast curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds). Add and saute onions and red beans for about five minutes.

Add the beetroot pieces. Sprinkle two tablespoon of water. Cover the skillet, and cook beetroot and red beans until they reach the tenderness you desire. At this stage, add the shredded red cabbage. Because cabbage cooks fast, we add it only after beetroots are cooked properly.

Add the red chilli-garlic paste that we have prepared along with turmeric and salt. Mix thoroughly. Cover and cook for another five minutes.

Serve hot with chapatis or tortillas with a cup of yogurt on the side.
(I have also added few teaspoons of toasted fresh coconut (Deepavali Puja) to the curry at the end.)

Red Cabbage~Beetroot and Red Beans Curry with Chapatis ~ Our Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Cabbage, Beetroot, Red Beans (Chori) (Tuesday October 24, 2006 at 6:42 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Cornmeal-Cabbage Muffins

Williams-Sonoma, the kitchenware shop that sells quality kitchen stuff, has a series of cook books - Like their shop, the cookbooks are very clean, organized, not a lot of recipes, but have an excellent presentation and gorgeous photos. The book size is not too big, not too small; they are like short notebooks with color photo on every page. Each book focuses on one topic. So far, Cookies, Cakes, Muffins, Breads and Risotto - these are the cookbooks, I borrowed from my local library and flicked through. More than anything, they are eye candy.


Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness, my blog friend is blogging recipes from ‘Muffins‘ cookbook. When she mentioned last week that she was going to try cornmeal-jalapeno muffin recipe, I wanted to join in and made a baking date with her. After two renewals and before returning the book to the library, I wanted to try at least one recipe. FInally last weekend, I baked cornmeal muffins from the book.

I followed the recipe mostly and also added some extras, because I was preparing these muffins for our supper. In addition to corn meal, all purpose flour, butter milk and baking powder etc, I have also added cabbage, shallot, chickpeas sauté to the cornmeal dough, so that the muffins baked would be more dinner worthy. They turned out, I can’t say excellent, but acceptable, even after all these extras. I can’t imagine the taste if I tried them bland with only just cornmeal and chillies.

cornmeal-cabbage dough in muffin pan - all ready for baking

(For 11 muffins)

1½ cups of yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
1½ cups of buttermilk
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon of each - salt, sugar and baking powder
Some cheese gratings to top the muffins
Veggies I added
3 cups of finely chopped cabbage (I used red cabbage)
3 shallots and 6 green chillies- finely chopped
½ cup of chickpeas (soaked overnight)

First I sautéed the veggies together for few minutes, until they are cooked. In the meantime, I mixed all other ingredients together thoroughly without any lumps. I stirred in the sautéed veggie mixture to the dough. Greased the muffin pan with little bit of oil, leaving one muffin cup empty and filling it with water to prevent warping (following the book suggestion). Filled the muffin cups with cornmeal-cabbage dough. I also sprinkled cheese on top of some. Baked them in a preheated oven at 400 F (200C) for about 25 minutes, until they are golden.

They tasted like baked versions of cabbage bajjis (you know the kind, bajjis/pakoras - veggies mixed in a gram flour-jowar flour-rice flour dough, then deep fried — almost like that).

Cornmeal Cabbage Muffins - One with cheese sprinkled on top and the other with no cheese topping
Cornmeal-Cabbage Muffins

Recipe Source: Adapted from ‘Williams Sonoma-Muffins’, page 46
Things I skipped adding (from the book’s recipe) are 2 eggs, another 1 ½ tsp of baking powder and more oil - reason for my flat muffin tops.

On a blogging break. See you all in a few days.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Cabbage, Chickpeas, Corn Meal, Shallots (Tuesday February 28, 2006 at 2:07 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi:

Cabbage Curry (Kobi Nu Shak)

I prefer Savoy cabbage. It has a mild flavor and I recently found out it has more folic acid and beta carotenes than regular cabbage, so an extra dollar I spend on this variety is not a waste.

Savoy cabbage

Mandoline is a useful thing to have, it has a way with cabbage, don’t you agree? You can cut cabbage into thin strips in a jiff with mandoline. When I used this contraption for cabbage, I was relieved to know that I didn’t waste 19 bucks, you see, it was a middle of the afternoon, impulsive, first time purchase from HSN. Ya, sometimes I do buy things from TV shopping networks.

Back to cabbage curry…


I medium sized Savoy Cabbage: Cut cabbage into thin long strips. Remember cabbage reduces in volume by 60 to 70% when cooked.
1 onion, 5 green chillies finely chopped.
1/4 cup of soaked chana dal
2 tsp of coconut powder
1/2 tsp of each, salt and turmeric
popu or tadka ingredients: 1 tsp each of cumin, mustard seeds, minced garlic and curry leaves

Doing the popu and adding the soaked chanadalAdding cabbage to onions

First do the popu (fry mustard seeds, cumin, garlic and curry leaves in oil), then add onions, chillies and chana dal, sauté them.

Add cabbage, salt, coconut powder and turmeric, mix them together. Cover and cook the cabbage in its own moisture. It will retain more nutrients in this way, (rather than cooking it in water, draining and then adding).

Five minutes maximum, curry is done. Have it with chapati or with rice and dal.

Cabbage curry with chapati and yogurt on the side

Cabbage curry, chapatis and cup of yogurt ~ our lunch today.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Vegetables, Cabbage (Wednesday May 18, 2005 at 4:16 pm- permalink)
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The New Home of Mahanandi: