Jo's Beetroot chutney

I first ate this in Jyothsana's house. Not sure if this is actually the recipe she uses – but it was quite a stunning dish at the time.

Five fresh medium sized beetroots (tops cut off, washed then chopped or grated)

Sunflower oil (3 tablespoons)

Tamarind (a tiny piece, or a touch of tamarind paste)

Mustard seeds (1 and a half teaspoons)

Cumin seeds (1 and a half teaspoons)

Urad dal (2 teaspoons)

Broken cashew nuts (1 tablespoon, optional)

Dried red chillies (two)

Fresh chillies (two, slit open)

Karyapak (curry leaves, about ten)

Garlic (1 clove)

Turmeric (a pinch)

Asafoetida (a pinch)


Coriander leaves (just a few, to garnish)

In large frying pan, do the talimpu (tempering or seasoning): put in the sunflower oil; when it's hot (but not smoking) add 1 and the cumin seeds, then the mustard seeds, then the urad dal, (then, if you fancy, the cashew nuts), stir around, then add the dried red chillies, then the curry leaves, crisping them a bit (with heat high) if possible. Then the garlic, and the fresh chillies. Let it sizze for a minute, then add a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of asafoetida and some salt. Put half of this aside.

In the same pan, chuck in the beetroot and fry for a few minutes, then add a tiny piece of fresh tamarind (or a touch of tamarind paste, or at the end, after cooling add a bit of lemon). Now whizz it in the mixer. Serve into a nice bowl and pour the set aside seasoning on top, garnish with a few coriander leaves.