Beetroot Koottu

Vegetable and dal stew packed with nutrients and protein. To be eaten with rice or roti.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • Beetroot - 1 medium size - 2 cups chopped
  • Moong dal - ½ cup
  • Turmeric - ¼ tsp
  • Brown or Coconut Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Salt as needed

For grinding into a paste:

  • Grated Coconut - ½ cup
  • Red Chili - 3
  • Chenna Dal - 1 tablespoon
  • Urad Dal - 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a pinch

For Tempering:

  • Mustard Seeds - ½ tsp
  • Urad Dal - ½ tsp
  • Vegetable Oil - 3 tsp
  • Curry Leaves - 8 to 10


  1. Wash and soak moong dal in warm water for an hour. Drain the dal in a colander and keep aside.
  2. Peel the beetroot. Chop them into small ¼” cubes.
  3. In a medium saucepan, add 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Turn down to medium heat and add the moong dal, beetroot and turmeric. Cover the saucepan partially with a lid to prevent boiling over. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until dal is cooked and beetroot is soft.
  4. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a small frypan. Add red chili and chenna dal and roast until dal turns golden, and transfer to a bowl.
  5. Heat ½ to 1 tsp of oil, add urad dal and roast until golden. Turn the stove off. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida to the dal while the pan is still hot, mix well, and transfer them to the bowl with the red chili and chenna dal.
  6. In a mixer, grind the dal-chili mixture with the grated coconut and water until it becomes a smooth paste. Be cautious while adding water so the paste does not get too watery. Remember the consistency of this dish should be like stew.
  7. Mix together the dal-chili paste, beets, moong dal and sugar in the saucepan. Season with salt and cook on medium flame for about 5 minutes.
  8. Prepare the tempering. Heat 1 tsp of oil in the small frypan. Add mustard seeds and close the pan with a lid. When the mustard seeds stop spluttering, add urad dal and fry on a medium flame until golden. Add curry leaves and turn the stove off.
  9. Pour the tempering into the vegetable-dal mixture.

Recipe Notes

Always roast or fry dal on medium flame so the dal is roasted all the way through. Roasting or frying on high heat will cause the dal to turn golden too quickly and the dal will not be roasted all the way through.


If using frozen coconut, bring it to room temperature before grinding. You can microwave the frozen packet for 30 seconds to soften, then scoop out the desired amount and microwave again for another 30 seconds.