Sunday 24 June 2007

LOT #6 Leftover Beetroot Koftas in Carrot Sauce

After my stuffed dumpling effort last week, I had quite a bit of the beetroot filling leftover and not much energy for much cooking. It was a interesting mixture of textures and tastes - it had beetroot, potato, cottage cheese, walnuts and a tad too much lemon zest.

Some nights I spend lots of time cooking in the kitchen, listening to music or keeping an eye on the telly. But work does not leave me with the energy to do this every night and I love my leftovers from the fridge and freezer. Leftovers do not mean the same old thing every night. They force me to be creative in serving up the same food in different ways – as well as allowing me to sit and relax in front of the evening news. I was interested to see a challenge started by David on Cooking Chat which asks bloggers to be innovative with leftovers. This month Delores at Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity is hosting. I thought, I could do that, so here is my recipe renovation.

I thought the bright purple beetroot colour would look pretty as dumplings but it was quite moist. The previous night, I had used it to fill dumplings but these were outside my comfort zone because I am not used to stuffed dumplings. The sort of dumplings I am familiar with, are the sort that soak up the flavours of a stew. I made a spicy carrot and bean dip a couple of months back which went into the freezer when I had eaten my fill. It was a lovely orange colour which would have a nice retro look with beetroot purple dumplings. The spiciness made me think of Indian-style koftas.

Freezers produce some wonderful possibilities for resurrections. As well as my dip, I found a a small multigrain bread roll which I grated into the beetroot mixture to make it firmer. I watered down the dip and tipped it into a medium casserole dish. Then I rolled the beetroot mixture into small dumplings (more purple hands!) and placed them in the dip-cum-sauce. I baked it in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes.

For accompaniments I went back to my freezer for a tub that has been lurking too long. I thought it was curry but found it was a corn and pasta stew. I had beetroot leaves leftover from buying the baby beetroots so I chopped them up and fried them with some mushrooms, lemon juice and smoked paprika. And finally, I had some Guinness bread I had made during the week. The meal felt like a pot luck supper with bits and pieces from everywhere but it was delicious.
The extreme lemon taste of the beetroot koftas was nicely balanced by the spices in the sauce. In addition I liked the chunky texture of the koftas with the smooth pureed sauce. Possibly they were better served this way than in the potato dumpling dough - lighter and able to feature more prominently.

To make this complete meal from scratch would have been hours of work – maybe this is why leftover meals can be so hard to replicate. But I would recommend the beetroot dumplings in spicy carrot and bean sauce (check the links above for original recipes). They were great first time round, but I still had them leftover the next day, and enjoyed them on toast. I almost put them into another leftover meal but it was getting ridiculous: how many times one can use leftovers! But I still have a couple of dumplings in the fridge. Maybe tomorrow’s lunch?


  1. Delicious. Rather pretty purple shade too, especially against the orange of the carrot sauce.

  2. I love it, a new use for beetroot, my favourite vegetable,

  3. I agree Lucy - I think beetroot and carrot have complementary flavours and colours - doesn't it look like some funky 1970s fabric print.

    kathryn - glad you love beetroot too - it is so versatile and beautiful although sometimes I wish it didn't stain my fingers so readily.

  4. Not a huge fan of beetroot but love the sound of dumplings in a carrot sauce. Perhaps this would convert me.
    Love leftovers! My favourite is left over roast potatoes. They never last long in my fridge. :)

  5. Hi Johanna,
    I was shocked to realise I do not have you an my favourite blog list! I have now rectified the matter!

  6. Wow, the most incredible, incredible colours there. Wow, i'm riveted to the screen to see your food!!

  7. wendy - I too love roast potatoes fresh or leftover - in fact once I get organised I will be posting about them and about my newest roast potato leftover dish! You could use other vegies instead of beetroot but beetroot looks so good

    thanks holler - happy to be listed as one of your faves

    thanks Kleopatra - I was pretty happy with how it looked - I would make it again just for the colours :-)

  8. Thanks for playing along wih LOT this month. Who says leftovers are boring? This is one of the most colorful applications of "recycled food" I've ever seen!

  9. thanks culinarily curious - isn't it wonderful how leftovers expand our horizons at so little cost to our energy reserves!


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