Spooky Halloween Beet Recipe

Spooky Halloween Beet Recipe Recipe

It's almost that time of the year again and I'm ready to prepare a horror-themed dinner for the end of the month. I concocted a gory-looking dish using the elegant combination of mozzarella, garbanzo beans and beets. I figured the color of the beets looked very similar to blood and I paired the dish with mozzarella and olives to resemble blood-shot eyes. Spooky!

First, I soaked garbanzo beans and shredded raw beets. I cooked them together until the legumes were softened enough to be crushed between my thumb and index finger. Once the beet dish was transferred to a serving platter, the finishing touch was adding creepy eyes made of cheese and olives. So it's not that difficult to feed your Halloween fun!


Yields: 6 servings

1 fresh mozzarella ball, thickly sliced
¼ cup black olives, sliced
4 red beets, peeled and cut into matchsticks
½ cup dried garbanzo beans
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon dried garbanzo beans
1 clove garlic, freshly grated
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon red chili powder
3-4 fresh curry leaves, torn in half
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon turmeric


For the garbanzo beans:

In a bowl wash the garbanzo beans thoroughly; pick out and discard any badly-shaped beans. Soak them for several hours or overnight. Drain as much liquid as possible. Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the soaked beans,grated ginger, grated garlic, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil (I used garlic-infused oil). Add water; the water should cover the legumes entirely. Bring to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer and cook for about 25-30 minutes. Add salt half-way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the beans and they'll be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. The liquid should evaporate. Remove any liquid (if necessary). Note: For a faster cooking time, you could also cook them in a pressure cooker. It would take only 15 minutes.

Preparing the beets: Remove any dirt and scrub the beets under tap water. Trim off a little piece from the ends of the roots. Peel the beets and boil them for 5 minutes. Drain as much liquid as possible and pat dry. Using a mandoline slicer on a medium setting, cut into matchstick-like pieces. 

Cooking the beets:

In a large non-stick pan, heat the olive oil, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Reduce the heat to medium-low. When the cumin seeds start popping (after 5-10 seconds), add garam masala. Add the pre-cooked garbanzo beans and cook until lightly brown. Season with salt and pepper.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the beets, sugar, and about ¼ cup of water. Cook for 8-10 minutes until bright red and fork-tender. Adjust seasoning. Season with more salt (if necessary). Cover and let stand until ready to assemble.

For the "eyes": Using a ½-inch-diameter circle cutter, form small cheese rounds . "Stain" one side with a bit of the beets, then cover each round with a slice of olive. Set aside.


Transfer the beet dish to a serving platter. Garnish with the mozzarella rounds. 

Bon appétit!


Chana dal (dried garbanzo beans) can be found in any Indian store at a very low cost.


Published By: Jacqueline Pham on October 23, 2013.


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