Saturday, June 25, 2011

CSA Recipe: Faux-Indian Cumin Seed Beets with Goat Cheese "Raita"

Callie and I took a basic Uncurry Indian Spices cooking class with Kaumudi Marathe at Surfas recently and this dish was very loosely inspired by some of the techniques we used there. I have no idea if they have goat cheese in India, but I was out of yogurt and I always adore the ubiquitous goat cheese and beet salads at restaurants, so I figured with the glorious Drake Family Farms soft goat cheese we got in our share of the Silverlake Farms CSA this week I'd give that a shot. It was absolutely delicious and quote Hedonism-Bot from Futurama, "I regret nothing." 

So anyway, here's a totally not authentic recipe for beets with Indian flavors, which will be the color of the richest stained glass you've ever seen! 

Totally Inauthentic Indian Cumin Beets & Carrots with Goat Cheese Raita 

Serves 4

For the raita:

4 oz. soft goat cheese
2 Tbs Milk
1 teaspoon canola oil 
1/4 tsp sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 pinch turmeric
1/2 tsp chopped cilantro 

1) Mix the goat cheese and the milk in a small bowl until it is a creamy, smooth consistency, much like yogurt.

2) Add sugar, salt and cumin. Taste to adjust - it should be slightly sweet, slightly tart, slightly salty.  

3) Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat and toast the mustard seeds (Kaumudi says to do this until they "pop" - my mustard and cumin seeds seemed to be lazy and would hardly pop… maybe they don't like Wednesdays either? I just toasted them until they would taste good - i.e. very lightly, maybe 30-40 seconds). Remove from the heat and add the turmeric.

4) Stir the oil mixture and cilantro in to the goat cheese faux-yogurt. Refrigerate until you're ready to use it.   

For the Main:

1 lb beets, greens trimmed
1 lb young carrots, greens trimmed, cut in to 1" chunks
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tbs canola oil
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin seed
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh pepper to taste
Juice of 1 Lime
1 tbs cilantro, chopped

1) Roast ze beets! Wash well and pierce a couple times with a fork, and wrap each in foil. Put in a 425 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until they are very tender. 

2) Let cool, peel, then cut in to 1" chunks.

3) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seed and pop them (45 seconds-ish). 

4) Add the garlic, turmeric, garam masala. Cook for 30 seconds.

5) Add the onion and carrots. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and the carrots are just softened. 

6) Add the beets, pepper, salt, lime juice and stir up, reheating the beets for 1-2 minutes. 

7) Stir in the cilantro and serve with the raita and steamed rice!  

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