Updated: Jun 24, 2021
I came across this recipe and was intrigued by the combination of beets and paneer with the hint of Indian spices. Almost coincidentally my mother had made a delicious batch of fresh paneer with chili flakes. This salad came together beautifully. I adapted the recipe from the original slightly. I boiled the beets and then quick sautéed them (see recipe) rather than roast them, and used spinach as my green of choice. I also used a homemade soft paneer flecked with chili flakes that added a gentle spice to the salad. The flavors of the salad are off the charts delicious, this salad is a keeper. I got the original salad from the Delicious site, and also subscribe to the Instagram account. The recipes, including this one are wonderful.
1 lb beetroot, in mixed colours, peeled, cut into wedges
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/4 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
2 cups paneer, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 bunch watercress, spinach or lettuce of your choice
Sprinkling of salt.
4 tablespoon natural yogurt
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
Juice ½ lemon
2 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon honey
Salt to taste
You can prepare the beets in a number of ways. You can keep about half of them raw, especially if they are young and tender. This adds a wonderful texture to the dish.
Alternatively you can boil them in salted water till just cooked, not completely mushy please. Remove the wedges and dry. Add 2 tablespoons to a frying pan and sauté the mustard seeds till they pop, about 30 seconds. Add the ginger and continue to sauté till the ginger is cooked and starts turning brown, about 1 minute. the boiled or raw beets and sauté for 3-4 minutes till they are coated with the spices. Set aside.
Finally, heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Put the beet wedges in a roasting tray and drizzle over half the oil. Sprinkle over the mustard seeds and ground ginger, toss to coat, then roast for 35-40 minutes.
Meanwhile, gently heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan, add the paneer pieces and fry, moving them around often, until they are golden brown on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper while you make the dressing.
Whisk together the yogurt, horseradish, lemon juice, dill, honey and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.
Arrange the paneer, with the beets and greens, drizzle some of the the dressing over the salad and sprinkle the almonds on top. serve with extra dressing on the side.