When I was planning my first menu for Café Lota, I wanted it to reflect seasonality. This dish was conceived around that time. During a trip to the local market, I saw ruby-red winter beetroots and was immediately inspired to make my version of Kolkata’s beetroot chop. The famous Kolkata version hides the beetroot inside a coating of mashed potatoes. I didn’t want to do that. Pairing a salty cheese with something sweet like beetroot is a classic move, and I decided to add a bit of heat by spiking it with garam masala.
- 400 gm beetroot, peeled and grated
- 150 gm breadcrumbs
- 80 gm peanuts, roasted
- 40 gm coconut, grated
- 30 gm coriander, finely chopped
- 20 gm ginger, chopped
- 1/2 cup softened cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp Bengali garam masala
- 4 green chillies, chopped
- Mix garam masala into the cream cheese and refrigerate.
- In a spice grinder, add peanuts, green chillies and ginger. Pulse without water until coarsely ground.
- In a clean bowl, add grated beetroot, peanut mixture and grated coconut. Add breadcrumbs and salt to taste.
- Shape into thick patties and refrigerate for two or more hours.
- When you are ready to serve, heat oil to 180 degree Celsius. Fry each patty for a minute on each side, until crisp on the outside.
- Serve immediately with the spiced cream cheese.