Ask Amma

Beets Kura with mung and coconut

In Recipes on 28 August 2020 at 9:19 pm

Many a roommate of mine has told me after eating beets kura, “I have never liked beets … until today!”  There is something about the sharp combination of ginger and green chili along with the reassuring accompaniment of cumin and mustard seed that complement the plump and juicy beet.  The trio of dals – chana, urad and soaked mung, provide the reliable comfort while the coconut brings it all together.   Honestly, it is like a symphony playing on your taste buds.   The rice, if you will allow me to extend the metaphor, helps keep time so that it does not all play at once.  Or perhaps it is the air that allows the harmonious sound to reach you.

Ingredients for making beets Kura: Beets, shredded coconut, ginger, green pepper, oil, chana dal, mung dal, mustard seed, cumin seed, salt. Not pictured: karivepaku (curry leaves) and urad dal.

Now when I collected all my ingredients to take the above picture I left out the karivepaku – the leaf whose aroma stirs the soul. Here it is. Grow it if you can.

Karivepaku also known as kari patta or curry leaves.


Kura is a Telugu word that refers to any dish in which vegetables are stir-fried with a combination of spices known as tiragamuta.  In the plural, kuralu can refer to two or more kinds of raw vegetables or to two or more cooked vegetable dishes.

Alternative terms for tiragamuta are “popu” and in Hindi, “tadka.

Beets Kura

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Hearty spiced beets with mung dal and coconut.

Many a roommate of mine has told me after eating this Kura, “I have never liked beets … until today!”


    – 3 medium beets

    – Fresh ginger – ¼ inch slice, finely chopped

    – 1-2 green chili peppers

    – ¼ cup split mung dal, soaked for 30 minutes

    – ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 TBS oil

    – 1 tsp mustard seed

    – 1 tsp cumin seed

    – 1-2 TBS chana dal – split small garbanzo

    – 1 TBS urad dal – split black gram

    – 1 dried red chili pepper
  • Salt to taste


Step 1: Precook beets  

Wash beets, cut in half and precook in microwave for 5 minutes or in pressure cooker for 1 whistle.

Step 2: Chop beets.   Roughly ½ cm x ½cm x 2 cm

Step 3: In a shallow pan, sautee spices in oil, starting with ginger and green chili, then adding split dals, red chili, cumin and mustard seed.

Step 4:  Add beets, stir. Add salt.  Cook for 5 minutes on medium high heat.

Step 5:  After 5 mintues, add soaked mung dal and shredded coconut.  Stir and cook for 5 more minutes.


Serve with rice or millet

Serves 3-4









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