Ruby Beetroot and Pear Chutney with Squash and Chickpea Curry and Flatbreads

18 Feb

It’s all about the Beetroot Chutney for me. I don’t even like beetroot. Well I don’t like the beetroot you get in jars, all pickled and vinegary. Leaching it’s dark pink juice everywhere and contaminating whatever else is on the plate. 

I am always willing to be proven wrong and to make a complete about-face and this is one of those occasions. I love this beetroot chutney. I love the colour, it’s ruby-red shining jewels flecked with intriguing dark spices is a beautiful thing. I love the flavour, it’s a sweet, spicy, dark and mysterious blend that enhances any curry (or cheese sandwich for that matter)!

The other thing I love about it is that it is really easy to make. I just bought some cooked beetroot (it comes vacuum packed). You can roast or boil it and peel it yourself  if you like.

Ruby Beetroot & Pear Chutney Recipe

makes about 1 jar, vegan

  • 2 cooked beetroot, diced
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored & diced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp punch pooran*
  • 4 tbsp white or white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp white sugar

* Punch Pooran is a whole spice mix available from Indian supermarkets that gives a balanced flavour to any Indian dishes. Mine is from East End Foods.

Heat some oil in a pan over a medium heat and add in the whole spices. When they start to splutter add in the onion and ginger and cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until it has thickened and looks like chutney. Pour into a hot sterilised jar (just put it through the dishwasher), seal immediately, leave to cool then refrigerate.

Serve with mini poppadoms as an informal starter  to an Indian meal alongside a coriander & lemon yoghurt raita. Or pile it on a sharp cheese like a Lancashire Crumbly( thanks Joan & Terry) in a sandwich, as part of a cheese board or as a new jacket potato filling: Lancashire Crumbly & Beetroot & Pear Chutney. It’s the way forward. You could also serve it with your favourite curry dish which is what I did on Tuesday night when we had friends for dinner.

Now Rhian, who doesn’t cook, has promised to make this, because she enjoyed it so much and has been inspired. Okay Rhian, here’s the recipe, no excuses now………..

Butternut Squash & Chickpea Curry Recipe

serves 6 – 8, vegan

  • 1 large butternut squash, cut into 1 inch chunks
  •  1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  •  1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp onion seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 or 2 tsp punch pooran*
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 large red chilli, chopped
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes 400 gr
  • 3 or 4 tbsp tomato puree (tomate frito)
  • 1 400 gr jar/tin cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 500 ml – 1 litre veg stock
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • a big handful of fresh coriander, chopped. Plus leaves for garnish
  • * Punch Pooran is a whole spice mix available from Indian supermarkets that gives a balanced flavour to any Indian dishes. Mine is from East End Foods.

    In a big deep pot, heat some oil over a medium heat. Throw in the whole spices, when they start popping, add in the onion with a big pinch of salt and cook for about 4 minutes until softened. Add in the garlic, ginger, chilli and the  rest of the powdered spices and cook for another minute. Tumble in the squash chunks and stir well to coat with the spices. 

    Pour in the tinned tomatoes, rinsed chickpeas and the tomato puree. Stir again so everything is well-distributed. Season well with salt & black pepper then add in 5ooml veg stock. Stir and bring to the boil. When boiling reduce the heat and simmer, covered for 20 – 30 minutes depending on your squash.
    When the squash is cooked/tender take the lid off and cook for another 5 minutes to reduce/thicken the sauce if necessary. If it is dry add some more veg stock until you get the consistency you are looking for. If it is too liquidy you can take out a ladleful of the curry, blend it to a puree and add it back into the pot.
    Just before serving squeeze over the lemon juice and stir in the chopped coriander. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice to taste.

I served this with my Leek & Fennel Seed Flatbreads, some mixed wild rice and the beetroot & pear chutney. I used strong bread flour to make the flatbreads this time and had a much better result…..

Good luck & enjoy!!!

12 Responses to “Ruby Beetroot and Pear Chutney with Squash and Chickpea Curry and Flatbreads”

  1. Rhian sellers February 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    Yeay I made it onto your blog!! Yep and I did promise I will try this one out got my mate coming for supper next week, so will let you know how I get on. Watch this space …..

  2. tiffany February 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Yum! Is beetroot, the same as beet??? I bet the sweetness from the pear was super awesome!🙂

  3. tony ward February 19, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    We’ve come a loooooong way from a cheese and (Grandads) beetroot sandwich……can’t wait to try this one!
    The curry looks and sounds wonderful too.
    Maybe when there’s a break in the weather(its 38 again today) I’ll make that too. Happy hunting. xx

  4. Medeja February 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    What a wonderful dinner.. just they way I like it😀 and that chutney sounds very interesting, that combination is so unusual🙂

  5. unbelloaperitivo February 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    What an interesting combination! It looks great!

  6. Mateja February 20, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    The color of the beetroot is so bright, you did right to call it ruby! Love the curry too, tasty meal, thank you for sahring🙂

  7. Priya Sreeram February 20, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    loved the recipe for beet & pear chutney – usually make chutney with beet

  8. Brindusa@Cooking with my soul February 21, 2011 at 1:31 am #

    I LOVE beetroot. I always buy them during winter and make salad from them. Your chutney is amazing. It has inside everything that I like: Indian spices and beetroot.
    But tell me, wasn’t too sweet? Both pear and beetroot are sweet, and you added sugar too.
    Thanks for shearing.

    • foodblogandthedog February 21, 2011 at 10:58 am #

      I didn’t think it was too sweet no. The vinegar gives it that sweet & sour chutney flavour and the sugar makes it sticky. You could add less sugar if you are worried though. Let me know if you try it!!

  9. Charlotte H December 9, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    Got a huge vat of the Chutney on the hob now to make Christmas pressies for teachers! It smells devine hope there is enough left over for us! How long should it last?

    • foodblogandthedog December 9, 2011 at 11:54 am #

      How lovely! If you put it in sterilised jars it should last at least a month, probably longer but you’ll probably have eaten it all by then!! Enjoy…

      • Charlotte H December 9, 2011 at 10:13 pm #

        Superb thanks now have 8 little jars and 3 medium ones a fab way to use up 10 beetroots a glut of pears from my veg box many thanks!

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