Beetroot Pilau, A Healthy Weekend Dinner

Beetroot Pilau

Before we jump into the delicious and healthy beetroot pilau recipe, let’s take a step back.

Did I ever tell you how judged I feel being a stay at home mother? Well! I do! I have friends (don’t know if it is the right label to attach, but let’s call them that for lack of a better word) asking me directly or indirectly what do I do all day and why in the world do I get “Monday morning blues” as I don’t even go to work. And not only do I find it hard to explain my seemingly worthless routine to them but even harder to not judge them back for leaving their kids with a helper and going to work.

I grew up around a very independent and forward-thinking mother who made a career out of what she loved and who (in those days) was judged for having a career and not being physically there for her kids 24×7; a mother who made her kids very independent at an early age and taught them to do their own laundry and pack their own lunch box – a gift for which I will forever be thankful!

How funny are the ways of this world that no matter what a woman does, it (and more so the women themselves) finds a way to judge and point fingers at her? Is it that hard to be each other’s ladders rather than hurdles? We talk of woman liberalization, equal rights, and equality of paychecks but isn’t it all utterly worthless when our own brood is holding us back, waiting to pounce and immerse in that ever-filling pot of guilt which we make sure never needs a refill? We sure can do better than that. We have been created as nurturers and let us strive to be one in the real sense of the word.

I am constantly trying to experiment with new recipes to add variety to our daily food and keep meals exciting for my family. This beetroot pilau recipe is one such attempt. When my oldest refused to try the beetroot dip I made a few weeks back (while the rest of us licked our bowls clean), I refused to give up and kept thinking of ways to bring him to eat beetroot. Then in a eureka moment, I decided, why not mix it with rice (his favourite staple)! And the hack worked! He loved the brightly coloured rice and the subtle spice flavour. Hope you love it as much as he did 🙂

Beetroot Pilau


  • Cooked Basmati rice (preferably leftover or refrigerated)-2 cups
  • Medium-sized beetroot-1
  • Full fat yogurt- 3 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice-1 tablespoon
  • Medium-sized onion finely diced-1
  • Whole garam masala (1 mace, 1 star anise, 2centimters long cinnamon bark, 1 big cardamom, 4 small cardamoms)
  • Cumin seeds-1/2 teaspoon
  • Zaatar- 2 tablespoons
  • Vegetable oil or ghee-2 tablespoons
  • Toasted pine nuts and dried cranberries for garnish- 2 tablespoons or as desired


  1. First prepare the beetroot dip-
  2. Cover the beetroot in a foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 45-50 minutes. If a toothpick glides smoothly inside then it is cooked. Alternatively, you can pressure cook the beetroot until soft. Cool and blend until a smooth consistency is achieved. Do not add water
  3. To the blended beetroot add yogurt, lime juice, 1 tablespoon zaatar and mix well with a wire whisk and set aside
  4. For beetroot pilau-
  5. Keep the leftover rice out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before preparing the pilaf
  6. Add one-tablespoon oil in a heavy bottomed wok. Add onions and fry till their color changes to dark brown and set aside
  7. In the same wok heat one tablespoon oil and add cumin and whole garam masala and sauté for one minute on medium high heat till the spices start to release a sweet aroma. Add zaatar and mix well
  8. Add rice to the spice mixture followed by the beetroot dip and mix well. Cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes on a low flame
  9. Turn off the heat and garnish with fried onions, toasted pine nuts and dried cranberries
  10. Enjoy with a bowl of mixed vegetables or raita


Calories (per portion)- 250
Nutrition- Protein/Carbohydrates/Iron/Fiber/Vitamin C/ Potassium
It does wonders for your- Stamina/Immunity/Muscles/Cardiovascular health
This is “My 1 pm/8 pm Meal”


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