Mother-InLaw’s Beets in Mustard and Coconut Sauce – Sasmi

Marriages not only bring new customs and traditions but also bring a whole new set of recipes to one’s repository of ideas/ skills in the kitchen. Cooking knowledge, ideas and skills that one might have not been exposed to previously. My cooking skills have expanded since to explore many other traditional recipes that I had not come across.

Here is an example of such a recipe. Sasmi is a simple, traditional South Indian curry that works very well with hot steamed rice. Steamed beets cooked in a fresh coconut and black mustard sauce. It’s seasoned with a ghee and curryleaf-based tadka.

Prep time: 10min                                                              Cook time: 20mins


Masala paste: 

  • 2 tablespoons of black mustard seeds
  • 40 grams of fresh coconut pieces/ or grated
  •  5-6 dried red chillies


  • 2 teaspoons of ghee
  • half a teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • half a teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • half a teaspoon of urad dal
  • 2 sprigs of fresh curryleaves
  • 2 fresh green chillies
  • 5-6 pods of garlic – finely chopped


  • 1 teaspoon of tamarind paste
  • 4 large-sized beets – peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • salt to taste
  • one pinch of turmeric powder
  • 2 mugs of water (size of a regular coffee or tea mug)
  • one pinch of asafetida

Start by washing and peeling beets. Chop them into small pieces. Next finely chop garlic and slit the two green chillies.

To a steam or pressure cooker, add the chopped beets, water and pinch of turmeric powder and cook till the beets are cooked through. This process should take about 5-8mins.

For the Sauce: simultaneously as the beets are cooking, into a grinder/ food processor, add fresh coconut, dried red chillies, two tablespoons of mustard seeds and grind to a fine paste. add a little warm water to help the grinding process.

Once the beets are cooked through, add the coconut/ mustard paste and bring to a roaring boil for a minute or two. Season with salt and turn heat off.

For the tadka: to a small pan on medium heat, add ghee, add cumin, mustard, urad dal, asafetida, green chillies and curry leaves. Add garlic and sauce till golden. This would only take a minute or two. Finally add the tadka to your cooked beets.

Serve with hot steamed rice. Enjoy!

Do tell me about some other recipes you’ve picked up along the way… 🙂

Tip: Beets cook in lesser time the smaller the pieces, try to chop them small to reduce cooking time.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Looks tasty 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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