Roasting is not an Indian thing. Ovens simply weren’t available, so everything was boiled, steamed, or fried. But when Suma’s mother was visiting our Canadian home, she discovered her favorite beet salad recipe took on an entirely new depth of flavor when the beets were roasted. We often serve this for a late summer lunch, when young beets are abundant, with a stack of chapatis.
- Small Beets 8 assorted (ruby red, golden, Chioggia, and/or rainbow), scrubbed and patted dry
- Salt 2 tsp, divided
- Vegetable Oil 2 Tbs
- Curry Leaves 15, thinly sliced
- Indian or Thai Green Chiles 3, finely chopped
- Red Onions 2, coarsely chopped
- White Wine Vinegar 3 Tbs
- Coconut Oil 1 Tbs, melted
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- In a bowl, combine beets, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and vegetable oil and mix well. Transfer to a large piece of aluminum foil and wrap them tightly. Roast for 45 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a knife. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Peel off beet skins, then slice into wedges. In a serving bowl, combine beets and the remaining ingredients. Season with the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and mix well. Chill in the fridge.
- Serve with jeera rice and chapatis.
Excerpted from My Thali: A Simple Indian Kitchen by Joe Thottungal with Anne DesBrisay. Photography by Christian Lalonde. Copyright © 2023 by Thali Restaurant. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.