Roasted beets with chiles, ginger, yogurt and Indian spices [Photo/The New York Times]
1 3/4 pounds beets; a mix of red, yellow and chiogga is nice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon lime juice, more to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Pomegranate seeds for garnish, optional.
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the beets and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss with the oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, then sprinkle with mustard seeds, coriander and cumin and roast until the beets are tender, about 15 minutes more.
2. While the beets roast, prepare the dressing: using the side of a knife or mortar and pestle, mash the garlic with a pinch of salt until it forms a paste. Place yogurt in a bowl; whisk in garlic paste, jalapeño, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Whisk in the cilantro.
3. Scrape the warm beets into a large bowl. Stir in the dressing and pomegranate seeds, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Yield: 2 to 3 servings.