Beet Greens Usili

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Beet Greens Usli

Ever since I came to know that beet greens were edible and prepared Beet Greens Daal, I have wanted to use it more often. Recently I prepared usili using beet greens and beets. Initially I thought of using beet greens alone, but once I cooked it, the quantity was very less, so proceeded using the beets also. I increased the quantity of chillies while grinding the daals, to offset the sweetness of the beets. This was the first time I was preparing beet usili and we all totally loved it.

Beet Greens Usili Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
25 Mins08 Mins3 Servings
Beet Greens Usili A simple and easy recipe to prepare usili (Indian side-dish for lunch) using beet green leaves and various kinds of daal.
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Urad Daal
  • 1 Teaspoon Channa Daal
  • 1 Bunch Beet Greens
  • 5 Small Beets
  • As Required Usili (Check The Procedure For Making The Usili Below)

Beet Greens Usili Ingredients

Ingredients For Usili:
  • 1/2 Cup Channa Daal
  • 1/4 Cup Toor Daal
  • 1/4 Cup Masoor Daal
  • 1 Or As Per Your Taste Green Chillies
  • 2 Or As Per Your Taste Red Chillies
  • 1 Teaspoon Hing
  1. Cut the beet greens from the beets. I came to know from one of my blogger friend that the stems take more time to cook, so I chopped the stems as well as the leaves separately, rinsed it and drained it in a colander. Peel the beets, cut into half. Now place the drained beet greens stems, leaves and the halved beets (with water just enough to cover the beets) in separate bowls and sprinkle little salt in all the 3. I have a cooker which holds all the 3 vessels, so I cooked everything at once and kept it for 1 whistle. I guess microwave or stove top cooking should also be fine. The cooked stems tasted good. So you can cook both the stems and greens together.
  2. Once the pressure is released open the cooker and cut the cooked beets into small cubes and reserve the water for preparing Rasam/Soup.
  3. Now in a frying pan do the tempering, sauteed the cooked beet greens and the stems for 2 minutes, then add the beets and finally the usili and combine it well. Garnish it with cilantro and beet usili is ready.
Procedure for Usili:
  1. Soak the daals and chillies in water for at least an hour. (I usually soak it the previous night itself before going to bed.)
  2. Now grind the above, adding salt and hing.
  3. Grease 2 idli plates and divide the mixture among the 8 moulds.
  4. Steam it, as you would do for idlis, maybe couple more extra minutes. A knife/toothpick inserted should come out clean.
  5. Once it is done, remove the daal idlis, cut them into small pieces, keep it in a plate, cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in freezer for 10 minutes. (Don’t forget that you have kept it in the freezer, then it will become rock hard)
  6. After removing from the freezer, place the contents either in a blender or a food processor and powder it. The texture will be so good, if this method is followed. (Now you would understand why I have mentioned to keep it in the freezer. If it is ground as soon as it is steamed, it will have a lot of lumps)
  7. This powder can either be used on the same day itself with vegetables of your choice (beans, carrots or a combo of both, in my case even beets) or it can be freezed for later use, so that you can have usili on a busy work day too.
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Also check out Beet Rasam/Soup recipe.

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  4. Remy


    You have a terrific website that is well written and easy to follow–thank you. However, some of us are not quite as familiar with Indian cuisine terminology and it would be appreciated if you included (perhaps only with the first recipe) a sidebar that helps us understand some of the ingredients (like daal and the different types of daal). If I missed this somewhere in the website, my apologies.



    Thank you very much Remy. Your suggestion is duly noted. I started this website to mainly concentrate on egg free baking but then I started including Indian recipes too. So I’ll see what I can do to make it more informative for the non-Indian visitors too.

  5. Vidya

    i’ve never used those beetgreens. it’s a nice idea.

  6. bee

    we have a forest of beet greens. usli is a lovely idea.

  7. Cham

    I cook seperatly,it looks wonderful ur curry 😛

  8. Deepa

    Hi Madhu,
    Yes – beet greens are edible. Greens of anything you buy, such as carrots, turnips, radishes – all edible. And you can throw them into anything where a slight bitterness is tolerable. Thanks for the tip on rasam.

    I am so excited about this blog. We’re baking the brownies tomorrow.

  9. DivyA Vikram

    I cook beetroot a lot..This should be a nice variation madhu..Thanks for the recipe..Will let u know how it turns out..

  10. dee

    Madhu , yes the beets are very tasty , we make a zunka or grated dry curry with coconut and lots of garlic… really good with rice or roti, now Im craving for it looking at your picture 🙂

  11. Pooja

    i never had this . the recipe looks so tempting 🙂 . thanks for sharing Madhuram.

  12. notyet100

    somethin new again…thnks for sharin,..