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I do believe that by now, you all must be pretty bored of me rhapsodizing about the elegance of simple recipes, ones that use few ingredients and have simple procedures. I can almost see the eyes being rolled – there she goes again. We get it, we get it. Simple recipes are God’s gift to mankind. Say something new, will ya?

But listen you people, I am no creative literary genius and as you must’ve figured by now, I’m no great chef either. I am just a simple girl who finds happiness in small mercies, and who while mad enough to labour over the hot stove once in a while for a special dish, is eternally thankful that everyday cooking need not be a herculean task. And I find such joy in finding new uses for old ingredients, new tastes lurking inside them which you never suspected, new combinations you never considered before.

Take, for instance, the beet. Don’t turn up your noses – this particular root has surprising tastes hidden behind its ugly knobby exterior.  For so many years, I had only eaten it in salads – either sliced raw or steamed and grated into a pretty pink raita with yoghurt. I can’t honestly say that I care for steamed beets too much. They lose their crunch and become a soggy mess and the taste takes a beating too. So in-spite of liking beets, I had resigned myself to eating them raw in salads. Imagine my delight then, when my mother-in-law made this sabzi with grated beets. It is an answer to my beetific prayers, pardon the pun! There is only one word for the combination of the inherent sweetness of the beets, the earthiness of the methi seeds and the balance the squeeze of lemon brings to the two – elegant.

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Prep Time: 45 mins
Serves: 6

WHAT YOU NEED:

3 medium sized Beets, peeled and grated
1 cup Peas
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Jeera / Cumin
1/2 tsp Methi / Fenugreek seeds
3-4 green Chillies
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander and a wedge of lemon for garnishing

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan. Add the jeera and methi seeds. Cut a lengthwise slit in the green chillies and add to the oil. Wait for a minute of two till the jeera starts crackling.
  2. Saute onions till translucent. Add the grated beets and green peas. Mix well, cover and keep on medium heat.
  3. Add salt to taste. Stir once in a while and cook covered until done.
  4. Garnish with coriander, squeeze a wedge of lemon on top and serve with chapatis.

UPDATE 14/04: I had forgotten to add salt! I do that sometimes. Ahem.

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