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Wine & Dine
July 25, 2018

The Tastemakers: Radhika Khandelwal On What Makes Beetroot A Dish-Elevating Ingredient

Text by Tina Dastur

It might be an under-the-radar ingredient, but this chef knows exactly how to make the most of the earthiness and versatility of beets

Radhika Khandelwal, 30
Chef and owner at Radish Hospitality (Fig & Maple and Ivy & Bean), New Delhi

Power ingredient “Although I like everything seasonal and indigenous, I am in love with beets. Best used fresh in the winter, beets can also be preserved to make delicious relishes and pickles that can be savoured all year round.”

Why “The versatility of beets resonates with me as a chef. I use beetroot in eight different dishes in my restaurant that range from shakes, salads and appetisers to mains and desserts. I pair beets with herbs, vegetables and even chocolate, so it’s pretty much a staple ingredient in my kitchen. In fact, one of the most popular dishes at Fig & Maple is the beetroot and chocolate shake.”

First tryst “I have been using beetroot since I became a chef, which was a decade ago. The colours, flavours and textures of different beets make them all the more attractive to use.”

Recipe

“I love making beetroot risotto. It really brings out the earthiness and sweetness of the beetroot, and with the creaminess from the cheese, it makes for the perfect balance of flavours and textures.”

Ingredients: 250g beetroot, two tsp butter, one chopped onion, one garlic clove, 100g Arborio rice, 100ml (dry) white wine, 500ml vegetable stock and grated parmesan, feta, dill leaves and parsley.

Method: Cut the beets into wedges, roast for approximately one hour at 180 degrees Celsius and puree. On the side, heat the butter in a pan with onion and garlic. Add in the Arborio rice and stir till translucent. Pour in the white wine and stir well while the mixture is still simmering. Add the stock and let the rice cook in it. Then add the beetroot puree. Finally, garnish with grated parmesan, feta, parsley and dill.

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