It is sadhow a lot of meat eaters turn up their noses at vegetarian dishes. While thereare some vegetables that are considered exotic, such as mushrooms or broccoli,and are relished with great pleasure, there are also some simple localingredients that are stunners in their own right. Take, for example, the humblebeetroot. It is dark and dirty on the outside but plump and vibrant once youpeel it, and apart from being very tasty when cooked right, it is incrediblyhealthy. Next time you dismiss the vegetarian section in your menu, try andkeep an eye out for some of these dishes – they will make you appreciatebeetroot like you have not before.
Beetroot tikki at Made in Punjab – Aloo tikkis are done to death.While they are still amazingly tasty, they are overdone. Made in Punjab, whichis a fabulous restaurant for Punjabi and North Indian fare, makes a beautifullybeetroot-based tikki that is a crisp patty made with grated beetroot, stuffedwith cottage cheese, processed cheese and some mango chutney, and then deep-fried.
Beetroot carpaccio at Serafina – Traditionally, carpaccio is onlythinly sliced meat. It is an absolute delight to devour and next to impossibleto substitute the meat to give you the same flavours. Serafina, however, does afabulous job of not substituting per say but giving vegetarians their ownunique version of the dish with thinly sliced beetroot. The beetroot is alsoroasted, marinated with roast onion, caramelised walnuts and a drizzle ofbalsamic reduction. It is a great salad and works well as an appetiser beforeyour main meal.
Beetroot risotto at Café Zoe – Beetroot works well in Indian foodbut, surprisingly, works extremely well with Italian risottos. Most risottos inthe city are heavily mushroom-based or then you have them with chicken orseafood. Café Zoe serves one of their risottos (there are a couple on the menu)with beetroot, and not only is it delicious topped with shredded cheese, but itlooks great.
Beetroot burger at Eddies Bistro– This trendy Bandra café is universally loved and has everything on their menufrom pasta, pizzas, sandwiches and all sorts of mains. One of the coolestdishes on their menu, however, is their beetroot burger. Not always the popularchoice with a menu full of meaty options, but this pink patty burger is one ofthe best ways to incorporate boring beetroot into a fun dish.
Beetroot salad at Fat Man’s Café – Not every salad needs to havelettuce leaves nor does it need to be green. Some of the tasty ones are pinkishred in colour! Fat Man’s Café serves up an interesting roasted beetroot saladwith broccoli, cherry tomatoes, cranberries and a lemon dressing. Usually abeetroot salad is paired with nuts or cheese, but this is an interesting mixand quite tasty.
Beetrootcake with Orange and Ginger Ice Cream at The Tasting Room – One thinks of beetroot in Indian cuisine or aMediterranean salad but never in a dessert. The Tasting Room does a very goodone with their beetroot-based ruby cake served with their signature Orange and GingerIce Cream. All very different flavours but blend together perfectly. Sadly, itgets overshadowed by popular choices such as tiramisu or cheesecake.
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