This is a fantastic way to eat beetroot – great for anyone who isn’t normally a fan of this amazing vegetable! The carby beetroot, pulse-y beans and nutty cashews make it pretty substantial, so you don’t really need rice or bread. A spoonful of plain, creamy yoghurt on the side is a nice addition, or bashed avocado works well for a vegan meal.
1–1.2kg beetroot (ideally with leaves, or you could use a few spinach leaves)
2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
4 garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp curry paste or powder
150g cashew nuts
500ml tomato passata
500ml hot veg stock
400g tin kidney or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Sea salt and black pepper
Natural yoghurt, to serve
- Peel the beetroot and cut into 2–3cm chunks; you can wash and reserve any leaves if they are in good nick.
- Set a large saucepan or a small stockpot over a medium heat and add the oil. When it is hot, add the onion. Once the onion is sizzling, lower the heat a little and fry gently for 8–10 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and curry paste or powder and fry, stirring, for another 2–3 minutes.
- Add the beetroot and cashews and stir them into the spicy mix. Add the passata and stock and bring up to a brisk simmer. Lower the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, until the beetroot is tender, stirring now and again. It should be cooked in around 20 minutes, but can take a bit longer, depending on the beetroot. As the sauce simmers, it will reduce down and thicken. If you think it’s reduced too much, add a splash of boiling water.
- Stir the beans into the curry for the last 5–10 minutes of cooking. If using beetroot or spinach leaves, shred these into thick strips and stir them in at the same time.
- Taste the curry and add salt or pepper if needed, then spoon into warm dishes. Top with a generous dollop of yoghurt and finish with a grinding of pepper.
Try replacing the beetroot with cubed squash, or a mix of squash and parsnips. And, in place of beet tops, stir in some shredded chard, kale, spring greens or spinach. Chickpeas can go in instead of the beans.