I love beetroot for its sweetness. This dish cuts that sweetness with light spicing and vinegar to make a mouth sumptuous dish. It’s from a recipe by Chandra Dissanayake from Ceylon Cookery.

Beetroot Tempered

A lightly spiced dish that let's beetroot star from the recipes of Chandra Dissanayke
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Keyword beetroot, tempered
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4


  • 500 g beetroot
  • 1 or 2 red chillies
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp onion
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tsp vinegar
  • 1 cup coconut milk


  • Wash 550 g beetroot. I have used baby beetroot but use whatever size to make up 500 g
  • Peel and grate the beetroot - use the coarsest grating size you have
  • Finely chop 1 or 2 red chillies
  • Pound to a powder 1 tsp coriander seeds (or use the equivalent in all ready ground coriander powder
  • Finely chop 2 tbsp brown onion
  • Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a saucepan
  • Add the 2 tbsp chopped onion to the pan
  • Add the 1 tsp ground coriander to the pan
  • Add 1 or 2 finely chopped chillies to the pan
  • Strip the leaflets off the curry leaf and add to the pan - you can chop them fine if you like or leave them whole
  • Add 2 tsp salt to the saucepan
  • Add 1 tsp sugar to the pan
  • Let this all saute for 2 - 3 minutes
  • Add the grated beetroot and let this all saute for a further 2 -3 minutes, stirring all the time to get the spicing mixed well with the beetroot
  • Add 3 tsps vinegar to the pan
  • Add 1 cup coconut milk to the pan
  • Let this all simmer till the beetroot is softened but not mushy - about 10 minutes at the most
  • Serve as a side dish with rice or roti.