Beet Salad -A celebration recipe

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For my birthday this year, a good friend of mine gave me an amazing book – ‘Share’ : A cookbook that celebrates our common humanity by Women for Women International (WFWI). The underlying message of Share is simple: for all our apparent diversity―as individuals, societies and nations―our actions, however small, can have an exponential, positive influence both on the world and the lives of others. Nothing more beautifully conveys our interdependence than the food we eat. The recipes featured in this uplifting book―provided by contributors who are all actively engaged in humanitarian issues, as well women from the eight countries in which Women for Women International (WfWI) work.

I am in love with the illustrations in this book. The night I received this book, I was up past midnight going through it. One recipe that caught my eye right away, was a beet salad recipe by Zainab Salbi, founder of women for women international. I love beets and it had many ingredients that I use everyday. Last weekend I finally decided to make this recipe.  As I was making it, I wasn’t sure how it would come together. However, when I tasted it, the flavors were out of this world! The flavors of sesame seeds, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh ginger along with all the chopped veggies were heavenly. This probably is one of my most favorite salads and I am going to make this again and again.

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I made some changes to the original recipe. Instead of using raw beets, I used roasted beets. I also replaced carrots with fresh orange bell pepper that is now in season and I added some grape tomatoes. I followed the rest of the recipe and it indeed was a celebration of colors and taste on my plate and my mouth!

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Tomato, Beetroot and Carrot soup

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Growing up, I remember eating tomato soup made by my mom frequently in winters. She would also make it for holiday parties and it was a great way to start the first course. A beautiful red soup with rich creamy texture was often served with her homemade croutons!

Very recently after tasting tomato soup at different places I realized hers has a different flavor and color. When I asked her for the recipe I found out that she adds carrots and beetroots to them which explains the beautiful color and the texture too! This super healthy soup is very appetizing with its sweet and tangy flavors, mildly spiced with wonderful aroma.

Tomatoes are packed full of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants and are a rich source of vitamins A and C and folic acid. Beetroots are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fiber, manganese and potassium.  Carrots are a particularly good source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants!

 

Here is a step by step recipe:

Wash tomatoes, Beetroot and carrots

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Peel and chop the carrots and beetroot.  Cut the tomatoes in half.

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Pressure cook all 3 vegetables with a small cinnamon stick for 10 mins.

Optionally, you can also cook them in a crock pot or a regular pot on stove stop with 1 cup of water.

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Let the boiled vegetables cool down. Remove the cinnamon stick and the skin from the tomatoes. Puree the rest and strain to remove any seeds from the tomatoes.

Mix corn starch to half cup of water and add it to the tomato puree. Stir well.

Heat ghee in a medium pot. Add cumin seeds and once they begin to sizzle turn off the heat and slowly add the puree.

Add sugar, salt, red chili powder and fresh ground pepper to taste. Bring it to boil on medium high heat stirring few times.

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Recipe:

Prep time: 5 mins  Cooking time:25 mins    Total time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

5 ripe tomatoes
2 carrots
1 small beetroot
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp ghee
1/4th tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp red chili powder
1/4th tsp fresh pepper
salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Peel and chop the carrots and beetroot.  Cut the tomatoes in half.
  2. Pressure cook all 3 vegetables with the cinnamon stick for 10 mins.
  3. Cool down boiled vegetables. Discard the cinnamon stick and the skin from the tomatoes.
  4. Puree the rest in a blender.
  5. Strain and discard any seeds from the tomatoes.
  6. Mix corn starch in 1/2 cup of water and Add it to the tomato puree. Stir well.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee a medium pot. Add cumin seeds and once they begin to sizzle turn off the heat and carefully pour the puree in the pot.
  8. Add sugar, salt, red chili powder and fresh ground pepper to taste.
  9. Bring to boil on medium high heat stirring few times.

Serve hot with some garlic croutons!

Enjoy!