Beetroot Rasam

I’ve recently started harvesting my latest crop of beetroot.  Partially because its ready and partially to make more room for my purple cabbages which are getting really quite large….. My dad also grows beetroot, and he reckons his current batch is about to bolt.  As a result I have been cooking a fair bit of beetroot.  Of all the dishes I have made with beetroot recently this Beetroot Rasam would have to be my favourite.  It is quite a sweet soup, spicy but sweet.  It goes well with other vegetable curries and rice.   This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Chandra Padmanabhan from her book Southern Spice.  If you enjoy South Indian vegetarian cooking I would highly recommend either this or her previous book Dakshin.

Beetroot Rasam

  • 1 medium beetroot – cooked, peeled & mashed.
  • 2 tsp tamarind puree & 1.5 cups water (or a lime sized ball of tamarind soaked in 1.5 cups of water)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (or jaggery if you have it)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds – ground
  • 1/2 tsp asofeotida powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbspn dessicated coconut soaked in 1 tbspn hot water
  • Coriander leaves


  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • one chilli sliced in half
  • 10 curry leaves

Heat the first lot of oil in a saucepan, add ground spices (coriander, cumin, fenugreek, asofeotida & chilli powder).  Add beetroot, sugar, tamarind & water and coconut.  Season with salt and cook for about 5-10 minutes (the beetroot should disintegrated into the soup).  In a small pan heat the oil for the tempered spices, when hot add spices & leaves.  When the mustard seeds begin to pop tip everything into the soup.  Garnish with coriander & serve with other vegetables & rice.

As mentioned previously this makes quite a sweet soup.  You may want to add less sugar or more tamarind to taste.

I’m sharing this recipe on Garden To Table over at Greenish Thumb – take a look at what else people are cooking from their gardens this week.

This entry was posted in Autumn Harvesting, Greens - Lettuce, Spinach, Beets, Recipes, Spring Harvesting, Summer Harvesting, Winter Harvesting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Beetroot Rasam

  1. Mark Willis says:

    A very interesting use for beetroot. It’s not something we normally associate with Indian cuisine.

  2. Liz says:

    I suspect its not a particularly Indian vegetable as in Southern Spice it is always referred to as Beetroot and most other ingredients are referred to by their Indian names. Having said that I imagine most vegetables are used in one way or another somewhere in India. I just wish more Indian restaurants showcased South Indian food like Rasam as I really do enjoy the cooking style.

  3. Diana says:

    Wow I wish I have this for dinner tonight. I like spicy food. Our beetroots has started to bolt this week too. I had to harvest them all at once.

  4. Liz says:

    A few of my plants are bolting at the moment: beetroot, parsley and a few lettuces. Still at least that means the weather is finally starting to warm up…..

  5. Wendy says:

    this sounds delicious! I love Indian food and these flavors are my faves. Of course anything with beet is also beautiful!

  6. Wilderness says:

    Nice use of beets. I have only dug a few of mine so far. They are on my list for this coming week. The first digging was not very big so am hoping for better results from the rest.

    I am not very familiar with Indian cooking so found your recipe very interesting.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Wilderness, Thanks for visiting. I actually meant to link to a chutney post which funnily enough was also beetroot, its one of few things I am harvesting at the moment. I love Indian cooking, I have been interested for a few years now but have only scratched the surface so to speak – the is just so much variation – hardly surprising I guess as its a big country which has huge climatic variations.

  7. kitsapFG says:

    That looks not only tasty but really beautiful visually. I have lots of beets in the ground and if I can track down the rest of the ingredients, may have to give this recipe a try soon.

    • Liz says:

      Its an interesting flavour combination I think – some South Indian food can be a bit of an acquired taste but I reckon this is fairly accessible if you’re not familiar with it. Hope you enjoy it.

  8. Jody says:

    What a beautiful picture. I would really like to be able to take pictures like that. The soup looks delicious.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks Jody, Funnily enough I posted the wrong link on Garden of Eden and was trying to link to a Beetroot & Date Chutney. How that happened I don’t know but glad you enjoyed the picture (its all in the editting by the way – this picture originally had stray toys etc in the background but happily they were easily cut out.)

  9. Robin says:

    This recipe sounds wonderful! I sure wish that I had some beets growing this fall. “The Italian” would love it! Great pic

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