Are the tops of Beets Edible? Beet Greens Daal

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Beet Greens Daal

Are the tops of Beets Edible? Until recently I did not know that beet greens were edible.  During her last visit here my mother-in-law only mentioned it and cooked it for us.  I don't  know why I hadn't googled earlier to find more about these greens.  Better late than never, right?

I found out that Beet greens contain a large amount of vitamins A and K and anti-oxidants Beta Carotene and Lutein.  For more detailed information about the nutrient value click here.

Beet Greens

My mother-in-law mentioned that the stems are not edible, so she used only the leaves.  But later I searched in the net and found that the stems are edible, healthy and tasty too.  Check it out here

This Beet Greens Kootu is like preparing any other greens/vegetable kootu.  It's very simple to prepare and goes well with both rice and chapatis.

Beet Greens Daal Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
10 Mins30 Mins3-4 Servings
Are the tops of Beets Edible? Beet Greens Daal Enjoy this simple and delicious Indian Daal recipe using beet greens.
  • 1 Small Bunch Beet Greens
  • (We Bought A Bunch Which Had 3 Beets With Greens)
  • 1/4 Cup Moong Daal/Toor Daal
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • A Pinch Hing
  • As Per Taste Salt
For Griding:
  • 4 Tablespoons Coconut
  • 2 Teaspoons Cumin
  • 1/2 Red Chilli
  • 1/2 (Or As Per Taste) Green Chilli
  • 2-3 Teaspoons Or As Necessary Milk/Water
For Tempering:
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Channa Daal
  • 1 Teaspoon Urad Daal
  • As Needed Curry Leaves (Optional)
  1. Simply tear the leaves and rinse it thoroughly. We did not use the stems this time, because we did not know that it was edible.
  2. Beet Greens Chopped

  3. The daal and greens can be either pressure cooked together adding enough water for 1 whistle or it can be cooked in a vessel directly on stove top itself, if you are using moong daal. In case you choose to go with the latter method, first add the daal, turmeric powder, hing and enough water in a vessel and don't close it with a lid. If you close the vessel with the lid, the water will start overflowing while boiling and you will have to spend the next 5 minutes cleaning the range. Once the daal is half cooked add the cleaned greens and cook it tender adding water as required. Once both the daal and greens are cooked add enough salt.
  4. While the daal and greens are cooking add all the ingredients mentioned for grinding in a blender and grind it to a fine paste using milk/water.
  5. Add this paste to the cooked greens and let it boil for another couple of minutes, while you prepare the tadka.
  6. In a small frying pan add oil and after it heats add the remaining ingredients and fry until the daals turn golden brown and add it to the greens and remove it from heat.
My Notes:
  1. I have mentioned to grind the ingredients with milk because, while cooking any greens adding a very small quantity of milk will enhance the flavor of the greens. This is my mother's tip. So you can either grind using milk or first grind it with water and after adding the paste to the cooked greens add some milk and let it boil for another 3-4 minutes.
  2. Another tip, while grinding for any kootu/daal using a combination of red chillies and green chilies gives a better taste than using either one of them alone.
  3. Find some more beet greens recipes here.
New Updates:
  1. While grinding the ingredients for the daal, you can also use coconut milk powder instead of coconut. It gives an excellent taste to the daal.
  2. Similarly if you don't have coconut at home, you can also use carrots instead. This works in any kootu/daal recipe and also in mor-kuzhambu (but you will have an orange color kuzhambu). The end product tastes as good as using coconut itself. This was my mother's discovery. Back in South India, there is a practice that they don't want you to eat coconut for atleast 2-3 months after delivering a baby, especially if you are breast feeding. The elders say that it will create digestive problems in the newborn. So my mother experimented using carrots instead of coconuts in daals and other stuff and it came out very well also. Even yesterday I didn't have enough coconut for grinding chutney, so I used half a carrot. But you will have to increase the quantity of chillies to offset the sweetness of the carrots. The chutney had a light orange color, but no difference it taste whatsoever.
  3. Spring onions/scallions daal can also be prepared in the same way as above. This is one of my favorite side dish for chapathis. This is my grandmother's recipe, which I had mentioned in my tribute to her.
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  2. Dibs

    I read your latest post and then came here for the carrot tip! Amazing that carrot can replace coconut! I am surely going to try it – as many times I find coconut quite heavy.

  3. Paakapriya

    Amazing recipe!
    I used to always throw away the beet greens.
    Not anymore! Thanks for the tips on milk and
    substituting coconut with carrots !

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  5. Madhuram

    Give it a try Rupa, it tasted so good.

  6. rupa

    even I didn’t know it until I read this…will try it out for sure.. lovely 🙂

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  8. Madhuram

    Thanks for the tip Roma. I have also heard that adding little sugar and not closing the lid while cooking greens would help to retain the color. While grinding, instead of coconut, adding coconut milk powder will also give a wonderful taste. I’ve tried that one too.

    Try it Smitha. It tasted like spinach kootu only.

  9. Bavani

    Thanks for dropping by 🙂 and thanks a million for sending me that new site to check out. Having come ALL THE WAY here from Singapore, I do get homesick at times, and there’s nothing like watching something familiar to feel good 🙂 I will definitely check it out – are there any sites where tamil movies can be watched for free?

  10. Smitha

    It never occured to me that we can use the beet greens. Will defenitely try this recipe next time I buy beets.

  11. Roma

    Madhu, Great Tips! Really worth memorizing.

    About cooking greens , my friends in the neighborhood said that a pinch of soda makes the color of greens very bright. Thats why in restaurants we find their greens standing out of the dal.
    If we feel that soda is unhealthy to use we can add a fruit salt (like ENO) that serves the same purpose and is good for digestion too. Ohh! I need something like that given the amount I eat 🙂

  12. Madhuram

    Cham, noted your tip about cooking the stems first. Will do it the next time.

    Dhivya Sharma, I was also throwing it away earlier. Not any more.

    Thanks Uma, Arundathi, Laksh, Asha, Vaishali, Spillay and Anjali D.

    Vaishali this daal was especially nice with hot chapathis and paruppu saadam with ghee.

    Welcome to my blog Asha.

  13. Anjali Damerla

    Yummy, healthy and easy. That’s how I like it 🙂
    I did not know about adding milk to greens. Will try it next time.

  14. Spillay

    Looks very tasty. Never cooked this vege before – but I see it all the time. Now, I am motivated to give it a go 😆

  15. Vaishali

    Delicious-looking dal, Madhuram. I’ve cooked beet greens before, but never with dal. I also like your tip about using both red and green chilies- I usually use one or the other, but I’ll try it your way the next time.

  16. Asha

    I love Beet greens, never throw them away. They are healthy and yummy. Dal looks delcious!:)

  17. Laksh

    Looks yummy! The milk tip sounds nice. Will try and let you know.

  18. Arundathi

    i’ve used beet greens a lot and love them. they taste great in sambar too. thats a great tip about the milk – thanks!

  19. Uma

    I love this greens dal. I try dals with all the greens avaible in the market, ha ha ha! Your dal looks so delicious, Madhu!

  20. Divya Sharma

    Oh I shouldn’nt have thrown the greens yesterday 🙁 Anywyas next time gonna use it ..Thanks for sharing the lovely recipe .

  21. Cham

    I made last week like “keerai porial” it taste yummy 🙂 and i used even the stem part without wasting any! Need to cook first stem and add the leaves later. Looks tasty your curry Madhu.

  22. Madhuram

    I love this type of kootu very much SS. It’s my favorite too.

    Thanks Kamala for sending me the arusuvai ingredient. Actually I was going to send a mail today enquiring the same. Reg. the greens, swiss chard belongs to the beet family. What I have used is the greens you can find in the beet root itself. Try it out the next time you buy beet root, it’s very tasty. It’s best to use the leaves immediately after purchase. Just cut off the tops of the beet root and use the greens and you can store the beets in the fridge as usual.

  23. kamala

    Is this Swiss chard Madhu?I too found this green after seeing Suganya of Tastypalletes.Love it very much.By the way i have sent out the arusuvai ingredient

  24. SS

    This is right down my alley , sort of a comfort food for me:)