A Thanksgiving treat that’s tough to ‘beet’

Celebrate Thanksgiving with a touch of India.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I love to make beautiful plates of food. What comes to mind are beets, which are used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes in Kerala, my hometown in southern India. One of my earlier memories is of beets in a creamy vegetable kurma, along with a medley of other veggies, spices and coconut. Here’s my recipe for a simple beet salad that can be a different kind of appetizer or salad course for your Thanksgiving feast – at once colorful and delicious. Enjoy. – Rajni Menon

Indian-style beet salad with goat cheese


For the beets

6 beets – 3 yellow, 3 red

For the marinade

2 cups water

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper powder

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

2 tablespoons coconut oil

½ teaspoon fennel powder



Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Clean the beets and prepare the marinade. In two separate sheet pans, place the red and the yellow beets and add the marinade equally. Cover the pans with plastic wrap and foil and bake the beets for 60 minutes.

Peel the beets and cut them into quarters. Set them aside.


For the black bean purée

3 cups cooked black beans

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoons milk (any milk of your choice)



In a grinder, add all the above ingredients until puréed. Set aside.


For the arugula salad

1 ½ cups arugula

2 to 3 slices of goat cheese

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

2 to 3 slices of oranges or grapefruit



Mix the arugula, salt and olive oil together and set aside.



Plate the arugula and top it off with goat cheese and orange slices drizzled with honey.

On the side, spread ½ cup of the bean purée and place the beets on top. Drizzle with honey and top with roasted pistachios. Serves three to four.

For more, including information on Rajni’s three-course, plated dinner parties, call 914-255-2574 or visit creativerajni.com.

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