Beetroot poriyal is a popular vegetable side dish in Indian cuisine. It’s a warm beet salad that is prepared quickly by first boiling cubed beets and then sautéingthe root vegetable in a pan stovetop with thin slices of onion and select spices. Garnish with roughly chopped almonds for added crunch, and serve!

a pan of cooked cubes of beetroot topped with chopped almonds in a gold tray with raw whole beets on the side.

“I had some leftover roasted beetroots and came across this recipe as this would be great side dish to go with our dahl. It was amazing! So simple to make and really tasty! I used 1 chilli, not 3 and thought the dish was pretty hot!! Will definitely be making this again!! Thanks for sharing your recipe, can’t wait to try out your other dishes too!!!” ~ Gigi

While it is true that many of us need to eat more vegetables, as a registered dietitian, I know it’s not always easy to find ways to fit them into our diets. That’s why I’m so excited to share this nutritious salad with you. Not to mention concocting Indian and Pakistani recipes with fresh and seasonal ingredients stirs up nostalgia within me.

This warm beetroot salad is an excellent option for anyone looking for nourishing side dishes who want to up their veggie intake. Plus, it’s easy to make, budget-friendly, and packed with goodness — and deliciousness.

Even though beetroot is often underrated, it’s immensely versatile and can be used in many dishes. This beet veggie dip, for example, is one of our favourites.

As a root vegetable, beets are packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals. They’re also a good source of antioxidants.

All of these nutrients and plant compounds are important for maintaining health. I’ve dived into the nutrition information and health benefits below – if you’re interested.

Following the success of my Mediterranean salad this week, I wanted to offer you something more traditional from my Desi culture. Of course, if South Asian (Indian and Pakistani) recipes are something that you want to see more of, please let me know in the comments!

What is beetroot poriyal?

Poriyal is a stir-fry, and beetroot poriyal is a dish made by stir-frying beetroots. It’s a popular dish in South Indian cuisine and is often served as a side dish.

I’ve always liked it as a warm salad or as part of a larger meal. In fact, it was my mother’s go-to “diabetes salad” to help control my father’s blood sugar levels. Equally significant – a beetroot salad, such as this one, provided more options than just greens.

Beets nutrition and health benefits

  • Folate-Rich Goodness: Beets are a fantastic source of folate, a key B-vitamin. This nutrient plays a vital role in repairing our DNA and ensuring our body functions smoothly.
  • Essential for Moms-to-be: Attention, expecting or planning-to-be moms! Beets are a great way to get your folate intake. They’re crucial for safeguarding against potential neural tube issues for your little one.
  • Potassium Boost: These root veggies are packed with potassium, an electrolyte that’s essential for balancing fluids, supporting muscle health, and keeping our nerves happy.
  • Manganese Support: Additionally, beets contain manganese. This mineral works behind the scenes, aiding energy production, bolstering our body’s defences against harmful substances, and contributing to the overall maintenance of our body systems.

It’s no secret that beetroot juice is popular among athletes since it has a high nitrate concentration, which is thought to improve athletic performance. After being consumed, nitrate is converted into nitric oxide (NO) in the mouth and stomach. NO is a vasodilator that opens up blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.

a pan of cooked cubes of beetroot topped with chopped almonds in a gold tray with raw whole beets on the side.

How to prepare beets for a salad (poriyal)?

The first step is to clean the beetroot thoroughly. Beetroots can be quite dirty, so thoroughly clean them using either a brush or your hands.

Once they’re clean, you can peel them or leave the skin on. I usually peel the skin for this poriyal recipe.

Then, dice them into medium pieces. And that’s it — they’re ready to be cooked!

Ingredients

a silver round tray with a bunch of raw beets and other ingredients in ramekins including almonds, orange liquid and spice.
  • Beetroot: four medium beetroots, peeled and diced.
  • Sesame oil adds a lovely nutty flavour to the dish, but you can use any other cooking oil.
  • Ginger: grated ginger works best in this poriyal recipe. The beet-ginger pairing is absolutely delicious.
  • Onion: thinly sliced onion is all you need to add some depth of flavour.
  • Cumin powder: a teaspoon of cumin helps to round out the flavours.
  • Green chillies: Thai chillies for a strong kick! You could use more or less depending on your spice tolerance.
  • Almonds: I like to use roughly chopped almonds for textural contrast.
  • Lemon: squeeze fresh lemon for a hint of tangy deliciousness!

How do you make a warm beetroot salad?

cubes of beets in a saucepan on a mobile stove with a bunch of raw beets on the side along with ramekins of ingredients.
Step 1: Boil bite-sized beets in a medium saucepan, ensuring the water covers them completely.
sliced onions in a pan on a mobile stove with a bunch of raw beets on the side.
Step 2: Meanwhile, fry the onion and ginger in oil until the onion becomes translucent. Keep an eye on the heat to prevent burning!
cubes of beets in a pan on a mobile stove with a bunch of raw beets on the side.
Step 3: Toss in the cooked beets along with cumin and chillies for a kick!
cubes of beets in a pan on a mobile stove with a bunch of raw beets on the side.
Step 4: Finish with lemon juice and chopped almonds for an extra layer of delicious texture.

You can find the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions in the recipe card below.

Cooking method tips

  • To prevent staining your hands, wear gloves when you are washing, peeling and chopping beets.
  • For evenly cooked beets, make sure to chop them into similar sizes.
  • For a quicker cooking process, make sure to cover your pot when boiling.
a pan of cooked cubes of beetroot topped with chopped almonds in a gold tray with raw whole beets on the side.

Nutrition note

The beet greens are not only edible – but also nutritious. They may be pan-fried with a bit of oil and seasonings to create a wholesome dish.

Variations and storage

Beetroot poriyal leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pan on the stove or in the microwave before eating.

Though it’s delicious ‘as is,’ there are a few variations you could try:

  • Swap out the almonds for another type of nut or seed. For example, we love it with walnuts, cashews, or pumpkin seeds, which are all delicious options.
  • Add some grated coconut for an extra dose of flavour and nutrients.
  • A few chopped beet greens into the mix will certainly boost the dish’s nutritional value.
  • Consider serving this poriyal as a side dish with rice and daal or as part of an Indian thali. It would also be delicious served with some roti or paratha.

Whether you’re looking for a healthy lunch option or a side dish to accompany your main course, this beetroot poriyal recipe is definitely worth trying!

What are your favourite easy healthy salad recipes?

If you try this warm Indian Beetroot salad recipe, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag #desiliciousrd on Instagram. I can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours, Shahzadi
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a close up shot of a pan of cooked cubes of beetroot topped with chopped almonds in a gold tray with raw whole beets on the side.
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Get the Recipe:

20 Minute Beetroot Poriyal (Warm Beet Salad)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 3 people
This beetroot poriyal is a delicious Indian warm salad that is vegan and gluten-free. It's ideal for folks looking for nutritious salads for lunch or dinner. If you're beet-curious, this beetroot salad recipe is the perfect place to start! The beetroot adds a beautiful textural element to the dish, and the almonds add a lovely crunch. The poriyal is also spicy, so if you're looking for a bit of heat, this dish will definitely deliver.

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Beetroots, medium, washed, peeled and chopped into medium cubes
  • 4 cups water, for boiling beets
  • tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 onion, medium, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, fresh, grated
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 3 green chilli, washed, finely chopped, adjust according to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¼ cup almonds, plain, roughly chopped

Instructions
 

  • Place beetroot cubes into a saucepan and fill with water to cover. Bring to boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes on medium-high until tender. Drain the water and set the beet cubes aside.
  • In a pan, add oil and saute onion and ginger for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  • Stir in the cooked beetroot chunks, cumin and green chillies and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Finish with lemon juice and sliced almonds.

Notes

Cooking method tips

  • To prevent staining your hands, wear gloves when you are washing, peeling and chopping beets.
  • For evenly cooked beets, make sure to chop them into similar sizes.
  • For a quicker cooking process, make sure to cover your pot when boiling.

Variations and storage

  • Swap out the almonds for another type of nut or seed. For example, we love it with walnuts, cashews, or pumpkin seeds, which are all delicious options.
  • Add some grated coconut for an extra dose of flavour and nutrients.
  • A few chopped beet greens into the mix will certainly boost the dish’s nutritional value.
  • Consider serving this poriyal as a side dish with rice and daal or as part of an Indian thali. It would also be delicious served with some roti or paratha.
 
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Nutrition Information:

Calories: 210kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 21g (7%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 13g (20%)Saturated Fat: 2g (10%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 254mg (11%)Potassium: 523mg (15%)Fiber: 7g (28%)Sugar: 11g (12%)Vitamin A: 46IU (1%)Vitamin C: 16mg (19%)Calcium: 74mg (7%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Keep in mind that the nutritional values provided are approximations and suggestions, and might fluctuate depending on ingredient variations, portion sizes, and recipe adjustments. This nutrition facts table cannot account for your individual needs. Your body — including your hunger and satiety cues — change daily. It’s perfectly fine to eat more or less on different days. Instead of letting food guilt take over, consider mindful eating.

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cuisine: Indian
Course: Salad, Side
Did you make this recipe?Mention @desiliciousrd on Instagram or tag #desiliciousrd.
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