Chuqandar, in Urdu, also called as Beetroot in English are one of my favorite veggies. This nitrate rich, gorgeous root vegetable is best eaten as a salad, roasted, boiled or steamed and then seasoned lightly for added flavor. They are high in fibre, calcium, potassium, folate, antioxidants, vitamin A and C, minerals and other micro nutrients and quite low in calories. They are also used to treat hypertension and hence maintain a healthy cardio vascular system.
Beetroot – Chuqandar
Be careful when you are working with these ground vegetables, as its juices tend to stain whatever comes in contact, like your hands, chopping board etc.
Beetroots are also commonly referred to as Sweet Beets, as they are very sweet in taste. They have a unique earthy sweetness in them, and are hence perfect for halwa or a dessert to serve on special occasions.
Serves – 2 to 4
Chuqandar ka Halwa – Beetroot Dessert
Beetroot – 1, medium sized, washed, peeled and coarsely grated
Fat free Half and Half cream – 1 cup
Sugar – 4 to 5 tbsp or according to taste (the amount of sugar depends on the size and sweetness of the beets)
Ghee – 1 tsp
Finely slivered blanched almonds+pistachios – 1 tsp
Raisins + chopped walnuts – 1 tsp
Beetroot Dessert -Chuqandar Halwa
-Heat a thick bottomed non-stick saucepan at medium heat and add the grated beetroot.
-Pour in the cream and let simmer uncovered on low until most of the cream has been absorbed by the beetroot. Keep stirring it occasionally.
-During the mean time, heat ghee in a pan at medium heat and throw in the prepared dry fruits and nuts. Roast them until they turn golden brown. Reemove from heat and keep aside.
-Add sugar to the cooking beetroot and let cook for a furthur 5 minutes or until the halwa is thickened.
-Serve warm or cold garnished with the roasted dry fruits and nuts in ghee.
I am sending this royal halwa over to RCI-Lucknow cuisine.
For some more ideas on how to use beets, head over to the healthnut blog.