Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Bengali Style Beetroot Chutney Recipe / Beetroot Relish In Bengali Style Recipe


Whenever my eyes gaze through the bountiful colours around, which the Creator keeps filling in, on this huge canvas called nature, I wonder what magic and love the Creator combines to be able to paint each and every bit of this vast landscape with exotic colours. I remember watching this Disney movie called Tinker-bell where fluorescent pattern winged fairies are responsible for all the enchantment we see around. Whatever be the reason of their nemesis the hues of nature cannot be matched ever with the manmade artificial colours. The colours of the pink dragonfruit or the minty green from the spear mint leaves, the tangerine hued Oranges, the Gold dusted turmeric, the amber kissed saffron or the ruby red painted beetroot, nothing oh nothing can bring the smile upto my eyes than a hand with tinted fingers, splashed with gorgeousness from these brilliant shades.


To do my bit of surrounding myself with the tint of nature, I fill my dinning table with a variety of relishes, chutneys, dips made from fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs and then infuse them with tinges of radiant spices. This keeps me and the Mutha ménage happy through the numerous food gatherings that occur around these condiments. Sometime ago I fell in love with the beetroot and this affair is still going strong. Always looking out to incorporate the beetroot in every possible way in our menu, I have rustled up till date Beetroot Dosa, Beetroot Wraps, Beetroot Pasta Sauce , Beetroot Vegan BarfiBeetroot Balls in a Pilaf  etc. just to name a few. As my heart continues to beat for beetroot, I decided that my array of condiments were missing the beetroot component in them. So I re-created Ma's quintessential Bengali Chutney with Beetroot. The Bengali Style Beetroot Chutney is Unusual for a Bengali platter, but nonetheless the result with all honesty was tongue tapping and very enjoyable. 


As this relish was inspired by the indigenous Bengali Chutneys, I have known and relished growing up, I didn't want to bring in many changes in the ingredients that would be used. In fact I brought no changes to my Mother's way of cooking chutney, neither the basic ingredients were omitted. The only challenges I had was to mask the typical beetroot smell and more so to bring that sweet and sour balance in the chutney as beetroot unlike most ingredients used in a chutney has no tang. So I came up with the idea of pickling the beetroot by soaking thin strips of the beetroot in natural vinegar for 24 hours. Surprisingly this worked beautifully and the result was quite exciting. Taste wise surely didn't disappoint, infact the bowl of beetroot relish was in much demand that day and everyone from old to young said this had to have a permanent  place in our array of dining table condiments.

The best part about the beetroot chutney is that it is very easy to make. You can cook it in less than 30 minutes. The beetroot chutney can also be cooked in larger quantity and stored and used with the same amount of flavour and taste for months as the vinegar used increases the shelf life of the Chutney. Chutneys are flavour enhancers and always take the taste of the food eaten with to the next level. So let's take a look at the ingredients.

Bengali Style Beetroot Chutney Recipe / Beetroot Relish In Bengali Style Recipe ~

AUTHOR ~ PIYALI MUTHA
YIELDS ~ 250 Gms
CUISINE ~ BENGALI /INDIAN
TYPE ~ CONDIMENT / CHUTNEY / RELISH
TIME ~ 10 MINUTES PREPARATION + 20 MINUTES COOKING + 24 HOURS SOAKING THE BEETROOT JULIENNE IN VINEGAR

INGREDIENTS ~

500 Gms Beetroot juliennes, beetroot cut into very thin strips
4 Tbsp Natural Vinegar
200 Gms Raw Sugar 
1/2 Tsp Oil 
2 ~ 3 Dried Red Chilli any type
1 Tsp Fennel Seeds
1 Sprig Curry Leaves
2 Tbsp Raisins / Kishmish
Salt to taste

Let's Make Bengali Style Beetroot Chutney / Beetroot Relish In Bengali Style In Easy Steps ~

1) Wash, peel and cut the beetroot into very thin strips / juliennes. Take a large bowl and place the beetroot juliennes in it.

** Add the Natural Vinegar.
** Mix well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours.

2) Take oil in a frying pan. Temper Fennel seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies till the fennel seeds start to crackle and the chilli changes colour.

** Throw in the raisins.
** Once the raisins become plump, add the beetroot juliennes. Do not add the vinegar that the beetroot juliennes were soaked in right now.
** Add Sugar and season with salt.

3) Mix well and allow the sugar to coat the beetroot juliennes.

** Cover the frying pan and simmer for 10~15 minutes
** After 15 minutes when you open the lid you will see your relish bubbling away. It would have thickened and the beetroot julliennes shrunk and become thinner.
** Add the vinegar back now a little at a time, keep tasting as you add the vinegar to maintain the right balance of sweet and sour.
** Increase the flame and leave the relish for a minute or two to thicken further. Remove the pan from the burner, cool and store in airtight containers. Refrigerate.

Pictorial Stepwise Method How To Prepare Bengali Style Beetroot Chutney / Beetroot Relish In Bengali Style ~

1) Wash, peel and cut the beetroot into very thin strips / juliennes. Take a large bowl and place the beetroot juliennes in it.



** Add the Natural Vinegar.



** Mix well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours.



2) Take oil in a frying pan. Temper Fennel seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies till the fennel seeds start to crackle and the chilli changes colour.



** Throw in the raisins.


** Once the raisins become plump, add the beetroot juliennes. Do not add the vinegar that the beetroot juliennes were soaked in right now.



** Add Sugar and season with salt.



3) Mix well and allow the sugar to coat the beetroot juliennes.



** Cover the frying pan and simmer for 10~15 minutes
** After 15 minutes when you open the lid you will see your relish bubbling away. It would have thickened and the beetroot julliennes shrunk and become thinner.



** Add the vinegar back now a little at a time, keep tasting as you add the vinegar to maintain the right balance of sweet and sour.



** Increase the flame and leave the relish for a minute or two to thicken further. 



Remove the pan from the burner, cool and store in airtight containers. Refrigerate.


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