Sunday, August 23, 2009

Beetermilk Soup

Put some colour into your life!

I wanted to call this post Bawdy Beets (taking off on the poetic licence I could take with the colour and call it lurid pink) but there were two problems:

As my stats are wont to reveal sooner or later, everyone and his brother looking for bawdy delights will land up in my blog and curse me for misleading overstatement;

And, where, in fact, ARE the beets?

There aren't any. Their liquid is in the soup, and this soup did come alive with its addition. It's actually quite the traditional recipe for 'majjiga charu' (buttermilk soup?) which was often made to use up souring curds - just temper the buttermilk, and lo and behold, there it was!

Here, it's been turned into a bigger production with some vegetables which were threatening to turn sour as well, and liquid from boiling beets which I was turning into a stir-fry! Ingenious, no?

What you need:

Buttermilk: 2-3 cups (not too watery, though)
(I made the buttermilk by whisking some curds/yogurt thoroughly with water)

Dry ginger powder/sonthi: 2 pinches
Salt, to taste
Dosakaya/lemon (melon?) cucumber: 2, seeded and diced into medium cubes
White pumpkin: Diced - a handful
Green chillies: 2-3, slit through the centre
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Coriander leaves: To garnish
Mustard seed: 1 tsp
Jeera/cumin: 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/Methi: 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida: A tiny pinch (optional)
Oil:1-2 tsp

Juice from beets that have been boiled: About a cup

Add the dry ginger powder and salt to the buttermilk and whisk till it's well mixed.

Steam/lightly cook the vegetables till just cooked, with some of the green chillies. Cool it down.

The beet juice should be at room temperature too.

Now add the vegetables and their juices and the beet juice to the buttermilk. Mix.

In a pan, heat the oil. Pop the mustard, then the jeera. Add the curry leaves and the green chillies. Then add the asafoetida and turn off the heat. Add the fenugreek seeds right away. Tip all this into the beetermilk.


  1. Sure looks bawdy, but I think the color wouldn't matter when u are really hungry...:)

  2. The color's beautiful Sra. Never thought a soup with beet and buttermilk, great thinking.

  3. Ingenipus indeed! :) The color looks muttai pinkish and that is the main reason people like my kids will be attracted.

  4. nice innovation :-)

    I barely ever have pink water from cooking beets... I make my stir fry in the cooker!

  5. And Sra how did it taste ? But I am sure if a good photographer could click it, it would have shown up gorgeous. But I am just wondering what made you think this combo ?

  6. Beautiful recipe and a great name,Sra!

  7. Smart idea,Sra:D.I usually roast my beets,whenever I do boil in water,I use the water for rasam,the butter milk soup sounds so healthy :D

  8. hmm .. This is so new .. looks good

  9. Vidya, I suppose so - maybe we should make it a test for genuine hunger vs craving.
    Pari, just a perverted moment in the kitchen ;)
    Indo, I know, was wondering if it qualified to be called that colour!
    Nags, absurd, isn't it?
    Raaga, Really? Yeah, I wasn't willing to let it cook without prior pressure cooking because I'd have to be mindful of it and spend that much more time.
    Ni, no! So you don't think I'm a good photographer? It was just one of those things that occurred as I was cooking, that's all. Maybe I'll do this with all the vegetable liquids from now on! It didn't taste any different at all!
    Shri, you really think so? Thanks!
    Yasmeen, I usually drink it up :-)
    Deesha, it's a fun thing to make - bring some sensationalism on to the table.

  10. Hi Sra,
    This afternoon i was actually dreaming of some beetroot recipes, like a beet paratha maybe or even beet kheer (?)..
    And the I stumbled upon this..

    Great use of vegetables..

  11. Love the name''beetermilk'' :-D and truly love the colour too, ad th, of course, the recipe !

  12. You're too clever for me, Sra. It sounds and looks delicious, and I love the name! :)

  13. I like the color Sra. Another way to enjoy beets, all the things I'm learning :)

  14. LOL, only you can come up with names like Beetermilk Sra! And yeah, everyone and his brother are going to land up here looking for bawdy delights anyway as you mentioned it in the first sentence of the post :)
    BTW, looks like I missed a bunch of posts thanks to my overflowing reader! Can you please, pretty please, hook up your feed to fb?

  15. The color is pretty :) beet and buttermilk never could think of a combo like that. You are creative

  16. Sra , as sig says only you can come up with names like beetermilk ! Reminded me of the majjiga pulusu we make, just curious .. is the beetroot taste overpowering ?

  17. That "beetermilk" looks very pretty in pink.
    Trust you to get ingenious. :)

    Unfortunately, beets aren't very popular with the three of us. :(

  18. Kamal, thanks. Just one of those quirky recipes!
    Sunita, thankuthanku
    Lubna, really? I liked it only because I made it, not sure how I'd have reacted if I'd seen it somewhere else.
    Linda, thanks, I'm ROFL at the name.
    Mandira, it didn't really make any difference to the taste
    Sig, Oh dear, really?
    Bong Mom thank you (taking a bow)
    Dee, yes, like majjiga pulusu, but without all that attendant grinding, etc. There's no taste of beets at all!
    Aparna, like I've been saying, hardly any beet taste. It may even make the sour curds a little less sour!!!

  19. Ingenious, yes! Is this a lukewarm or chilled soup, Sra? I think I'd like it either way. Reminds me very much of borscht, the Slavic beet broth usually topped with a generous dollop of sour cream. A soup of this color would put the color back in one's cheeks. ; }

  20. Susan, this is best either at room temperature or chilled. We don't heat the buttermilk at all - only the tempering is cooked. All the same, it's mixed with rice and eaten, traditionally.

  21. LOL...sra you deliver what you promise!..really enjoyed the word play!...hope someday even with this mention some guy lands here won't be disappointed!..:)