I got this recipe from Vardaan Marwah, a 25-year-old chef I hired to become the Chef de Cuisine at my restaurant in Gurgaon. Vardaan is a rare gem. In him, I see vignettes of me at his age. These Beet Balls were the first idea he shared with me. We were in Mashobra when he made them for me. My input was the tamarind glaze. In the end, anyone who ate them was hooked at first taste.

  • Serves


    Yields around 48 beet balls
  • Cook Time

    1h 30m


  • 2 kg beetroot
  • 300 gm potatoes, boiled and cooled
  • 100 gm roasted salted peanuts, ground coarsely
  • 100 gm panko bread crumbs
  • 10 gm cumin powder
  • 10 gm salt or to taste
  • 10 gm red chilli powder
  • 10 gm chaat masala
  • 9 gm garam masala
  • 8 gm fennel powder
  • 5 gm fennel seeds
  • 15 ml oil
  • Freshly ground black peppercorn to taste

For Stuffing

  • 50 gm hung curd
  • 50 gm mozzarella
  • 50 gm soft goat cheese


  1. Begin by combining the hung curd, mozzarella and goat cheese to make the stuffing. Mix until smooth.
  2. Take a pastry bag and use it to create 48 small 1/4-1/2 inch balls. Place these in the freezer on a tray and allow them to get firm.
  3. In the meantime, cook the beetroot in a grill or tandoor or covered all around in foil individually and then placed in a tray in a preheated oven at 180˚C for 40-60 minutes.
  4. While the beets are cooking, mash the potatoes in a medium-large bowl.
  5. In a frying pan, take a couple of tablespoons of neutral oil and cook your dry spices for a minute or two over low-medium heat until fragrant. Add the peanuts and cook for a minute till the nutty flavour permeates your kitchen. Take off the heat and pour the contents of the frying pan over the potatoes. Mix well.
  6. Once the beets have cooked, cool completely. Then remove the foil, peel the roasted beets and mash the pulp, or grate it if you prefer more of a chunky texture, as we do in our kitchen.
  7. Add this to the potato-spice-peanut mix.
  8. Make a slurry using cornstarch and flour and water – it should be just thick enough to stick to the beet balls.
  9. In another bowl, mix the panko breadcrumbs and freshly ground pepper.
  10. Bring out the frozen stuffing. Take the beet-potato mix and stuff it with one of the frozen cheese balls and create a golf-sized smooth beet ball. You should have around 48 by the end.
  11. Next, take these balls, drag them into the slurry, and then toss them into the panko, and lay onto another clean sheet tray.
  12. Fry the balls in hot neutral oil. Serve hot with tamarind chutney or your favourite dipping sauce. 
Suvir Saran

Suvir Saran

Suvir Saran, the Chef-Owner of The House of Celeste in Gurgaon, is Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for August. A legend in New York’s food circles, Chef Suvir garnered a Michelin star at Devi, a first for Indian cuisine restaurants in North America. He is the chairman of Asian Culinary Studies for the Culinary Institute of America and has written three cookbooks: ‘Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food’, ‘American Masala: 125 New Classics from My Home Kitchen’ and ‘Masala Farm: Stories and Recipes from an Uncommon Life in the Country’. His fourth book, ‘Instamatic: A Chef’s Deeper More Thoughful Look into Today’s Instaworld’, released earlier this year. Chef Saran’s approachable style helped demystify Indian cuisine in the US and ultimately formed American Masala, his culinary philosophy that celebrates the best of Indian and American cooking.

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