It was ridiculously naive of me to have discarded the beautiful Beet greens in the past.Well ,not any more,I've become very fond of this antioxidant rich wonder green.Isn't it strange earlier people ate exclusively the beet greens and not the roots.It's quite the opposite today,many know only the roots as the edible part.
While talking to mom the other day ,She asked me "what's cooking?".I said "Beet greens in dal" and asked her "Ammi does the subzi-wala(Vegetable Vendor) at your place sell beets with or without leaves on?" I was surprised to hear the answer as NO.Listen up subzi walas and others who carelessly throw away the beet greens in trash,you need some enlightenment about these Beet greens.Its next only to spinach,kale and chard in its nutritional value.No fair beet greens don't get just as much promotion as spinach.Beet greens can be used in cooking just as any of your favorite green.It can be sauteed or pureed ,to make a healthy addition to a meal.
Thanks to sweta of Bonne Nutrition,I borrowed her brilliant idea of using the beet greens in my everyday sambar.Sambar is the South Indian spicy lentil soup that goes great with rice.The beet greens should be just as good in any kind of lentil\vegetable stew\soup.Beet Greens Sambar is part of my Beet full meal ideas series.Pleased to be sending this over to Weekend Herb Blogging,hosted this week by Ivy of Kopiaste ...to greek hospitality.
Recipe :Beet Greens Sambar.
1/2 cup Yellow Split Lentil(Toor Dal)
1 cup beet greens with stems,washed and chopped
1 Medium sized Carrot sliced
1 medium Plum Tomato chopped
1 cup green pumpkin or squash or zucchini cut in cubes
1/2 onion or 2 shallots
1 big Clove of Garlic
1/2 inch Ginger root or use 1/2 teaspoon Ginger garlic paste.
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Red chilly powder
1/2 teaspoon each of Cumin and coriander powder or use 1 teaspoon sambar powder
1 tablespoon of tamarind paste in 11/2 cups of water
1 sprig of Curry leaves
1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds(Methi)
1 teaspoon Salt
Cook the Lentils
Wash and Soak lentil for 10minutes.
Wash and soak the lentil for 5-10 minutes. Drain the water,transfer in a pressure cooker or small saucepan with lid.Add 1 cups of water ,season with salt,1/4 tsp each of turmeric and chilli powder.Add the greens, cover and let cook on medium-high heat for about 10-12 minutes in pressure cooker and 45-50 minutes in the saucepan until soft.When cooked mash or blend it to smooth paste.
Cook the veggies and mix in the mashed Lentils
Heat oil in a saucepan on medium high .Slice the onion and saute for a minute along with cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add minced ginger and garlic saute for another minute before adding rest of the spices ,vegetables and tamarind juice. Simmer till vegetables are tender,about 15 minutes, then mix in the cooked mashed lentils. Simmer for another 5 minutes.Serve warm with rice.
Beet Health Fact
Unfortunately beets are not for people with kidney or gall bladder problems because of the concentration of oxalates in beets.