The brilliant hue of beets and creamy texture of yogurt in my signature beet raita are a visually striking accompaniment for many Indian dishes. This cool and refreshing side dish can hold its own plate, but it can also enhance complex flavors while toning down the heat and warmth of spicy dishes.
Before I show you how to make beet raita here is some more info on beet root and leaves!
Beet also known as beetroot is a popular root vegetable in India that can be eaten raw, steamed or roasted. Beetroots have several health benefits and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
Green beet leaves are full of vitamin A, C, K and B2, so next time you buy the whole bunch of beets do not toss the leaves away. You can make a delicious side dish with beet leaves – finely dice the stems and saute them in olive oil with garlic. Once the stems have become tender add chopped leaves and saute until they have cooked down. Add salt and pepper to taste.
How to cook beets for beet raita:
For many years roasting beets in the oven was one my meal preps so I always had cooked beets handy in the refrigerator.
Although, now I prefer steaming beets in the Instant Pot. It is a lot more convinient and hands-free without having to heat up your kitchen.
How to steam beets in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker:
- Pour 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot and place the trivet in the pot. Place the beets on the trivet.
- Secure the lid and set the pressure reelease to sealing. Manual(Hi)/Pressure Cook for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally, this will take about 10 minutes. Open the pot and wearing heat-resistant mitts transfer the beets to a plate or cutting board. Let cool.
Once the beets cool down you can refrigerate them in an air tight container. When you are ready to use simply peel, chop and use in raita, salads, sandwiches or add to hummus for a burst of flavor and color.
I like to buy small to medium sized beets so they do not take as much time. But you can also easily cut large beets into halves or simply increase the cook times.
Instant Pot Cooking Time for Beets:
Use the steam setting on the Instant Pot and allow atelast 10 minute natural pressure release. For small whole beets adjust the cook time to 10-12 minutes, for medium whole beets 15-20 minutes and for large whole beets 20-25 minutes. You can also cut large beets into half and adjust the cook time accordingly. I prefer steaming whole beets as they do not drain out much of the nutritient rich inner juices.
Once you have steamed beets ready making beet raita is simple:
- In a medium bowl whisk together yogurt and salt. Stir in cucumber.
- Add peeled and chopped beets to the raita, stir to combine, and garnish with the mint. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and serve chilled.
Serve beet raita with:
- Chicken Biryani
- Vegetable & Paneer Biryani
- Chickpeas Biryani
- Brown Rice Chicken Biryani
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Dum Aloo
- Chana Saag
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Cooling raita with beets and cucumber that pairs well with spicy Indian curries, biryani and pulao.
- 2 medium beets
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups yogurt full fat
- 2 small cucumbers peeled and cubed
- 8 fresh mint leaves optional
Pour 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot and place the trivet in the pot. Place the beets on the trivet.
Secure the lid and set the pressure reelease to sealing. Manual(Hi)/Pressure Cook for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally, this will take about 10 minutes. Open the pot and wearing heat-resistant mitts transfer the beets to a plate or cutting board. Let cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the beets and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
In a medium bowl whisk together yogurt and salt. Stir in cucumber.
Add the beets to the raita, stir to combine, and garnish with the mint. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and serve chilled.
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Update Notes: I originally posted this recipe in 2015, but I updated it in July 2019 with new photos and information.
Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live New Jersey with my husband and two sons.