Beetroot Curry

With 3 growing children we have started to go through much bread! I stumbled upon a little tip, particularly for the school holidays. A pot of curry or soup on the stove that they can help themselves to over the course of the day.

While this curry the easiest recipe I have found to whip up in the morning, it's still full of flavour despite it's simple ingredients. Based in a Sri Lankan family recipe from Ceres Fairfood. It’s also a great way to use up the odds and ends of vegetables. 


  • 1 tbs cooking oil – coconut oil is a great choice
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 3 shallots OR 1-2 red/brown onion, leek, sliced
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder, garam masala OR whole coriander & mustard seeds*
  • 3 large beetroots, grated or chopped fine (+ stalks and leaves washed and chopped fine) OR whatever other root vegetables you like 
  • ¼ cup red lentils or split peas, optional
  • ½ cup stock or water, optional (if adding lentils)
  • 1-2 tbs vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp chilli powder, optional
  • 800ml-1ltr coconut milk or 2 400gm tins of coconut milk
  • Several fresh or dried curry leaves if you can get them

* If using whole coriander (½ tbs) and mustard seeds (1 tsp), heat in a dry frying pan until they start to pop and smell fragrant. Then place in a mortar and pestle and grind into a fine powder. Use this as your curry powder.


Bring a saucepan to medium-high heat with the oil. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until softened. Add the curry powder and half the curry leaves if you have them and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute or so.

Add the beetroot, veggies & lentils (if using) and cook for 3-5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the vinegar and stir through. Cook for 2-3 minutes. 

Add the coconut milk, stock (if using), lentils (if using) and bring to boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, until the beetroot is cooked through. Add chopped up beetroot leaves (if using), cooking for a further 5 minutes until softened.

For crispy curry leaves: heat a small frying pan with coconut oil and add the curry leaves, remove once they have crisped up (about one minute).

Serve the beetroot curry with rice or flatbread.