A simple supper dish that is ideal for using up odds and ends of vegetables. Don’t be put off by the idea of beetroot in an essentially Indian inspired dish because the colour and innate earthy sweetness really works. If you don’t have beetroot to hand try carrots or even young turnips. The results will differ but it won’t be any less delicious.

This recipe serves two people but use the ingredients below to tailor to the number of people you’re feeding.



100 grams basmati rice-soaked in cold water

½ green pepper

½ courgette

1 small onion

3 cooked beetroot (the ones I had were cooked from the garden but ready-cooked are fine)

3 tomatoes (the ones I used were rather sad soft specimens left in the fridge but ideal for cooking with)

2 tablespoons black mustard seeds

2 tablespoons sambar powder (see my separate recipe for this)

1 dessertspoon coconut oil

Water (double the amount of water to volume of rice)


Chop the vegetables finely and set aside the beetroot and tomatoes.  Fry gently in coconut oil along with the mustard seeds, add the drained rice and sambar powder stirring all the time until the rice is coloured and amalgamated with the vegetables. Add water or vegetable stock to cover, remembering the rice will absorb the liquid as it cooks. When the rice is almost ready add the beetroot and tomatoes stirring well in, leave to simmer gently until all the water is absorbed and the vegetables are cooked through. You may need to top up the water slightly if the rice is still ‘al dente’. Season to taste with a little sea salt.


I like to serve with steamed greens, in this case I used tenderstem broccoli from the garden. I sautéed a few sesame seeds in coconut oil and tossed the steamed broccoli in this fragrant mixture just before plating up.


Serve with poppadoms or chapattis.