Beetroot Gnocchi With Spicy Coconut Sauce (First Video Post!)

Beetroot Gnocchi with Spicy Coconut Sauce from IndianSimmer on Vimeo.

Rubbing those sea deep brown eyes, in his arms, the butterfly and her papa entered the kitchen. I was straining his tea and prepping to warm up her milk when they sneaked from behind and hugged me. Landed countless “monster puchis” (those big fat kisses, the butterfly nomenclatured so) on either of my cheeks and got a family group hug in response. Although the very next moment was not something they were used to for the past couple weeks. The rushing look on my face told them that the party was over and we are back to business! First day back to school, work and the daily grind. A disappointed sigh and then off to the drill. Stepping out the doorstep the butterfly cried a little in agitation and if he could then her papa would have done the same. “Just a couple days with your friends at school before we leave for our big India trip and Mama’s (uncle, mum’s brother) wedding!”, I tried to console her which still wasn’t enough. Yet off they went with a droopy face. I don’t blame them, a two week long break, away from all the “man made” craziness of life does that to you.

This break was specially relaxing for the husband who between his school, work and “chores” barely finds time to satisfy his passion – photography. Not sure if enough people know but he is the photographer in the family. Abhishek is the one who started me with the basics. He was the one who brought the first DSLR home and he’s definitely more educated about the techniques than I am. Only if he had more time, although he says, “one day!”. So for this winter break, since unlike every year we were not away on a long trip we decided to play around with something we wanted to do together for a while. We tried our hands on videography. Or more like he tried his hands on videography as I was always in front of the camera, which just for the record is SO boring! But together we were able to create something for you.

Beetroot Gnocchi
For our first video together, we thought it would only be appropriate to share a recipe that the two of us created together and have been enjoying for a couple years now. The recipe started with me wanting to try my hands at making gnocchi, one of our favorite dishes. With time a simple gnocchi evolved and got the color and flavors we enjoy as a family.
I was hoping to share this post before we hopped on a plane to leave on a month long trip to India. A trip which was supposed to be very special and turned out to be nothing less. We were to join a very special person in my life for a very special occasion in his life. My little brother, my partner in crime and my best friend was getting married! I was thrilled and then amongst all the excitement, planning and preparation, this post went on a back burner. We put it on simmer and left for India. But now we are back and it has been cooked to something of our liking so I am sharing it today with you.

The recipe here for beetroot gnocchi makes double the quantity suitable
for the amount of sauce. I usually save one half of the dough for later.
You can either do that OR reduce the gnocchi recipe to half OR can also double
the recipe for sauce if your are entertaining a larger crowd.

For Beetroot Gnocchi: Serves 6
500 grams russet potato (yields 2 cups mashed potatoes)
230 grams beets (yields 3/4 cups beetroot puree)
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour + extra for dusting
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt

For Spicy Coconut Cream Sauce: Serves 3-4
2 tablespoon unsweetened grated coconut (fresh or dry, dessicated)
1 tablespoon ground almond
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tsp grated ginger
1-2 cloves garlic, grated
1 cup coconut milk

For Beetroot Gnocchi:
Pre heat the oven to 350 deg. F.
Wash the beetroots. Pat dry. Chop the leaves and ends off. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes until fork tender.
Pull out of the oven. Let cool before peeling the skin off. Chop. Puree in a blender or food processor. Set aside to cool.
Boil water in a sauce pan.
Peel potatoes. Chop into chunks.Boil in water until cooked through. Strain water.
Mash potatoes using a masher or food mill leaving no lumps. Set aside to cool.
On a clean counter top bring all the ingredients of gnocchi together.
Mix well and while dusting occasionally, knead into a smooth soft dough, dry to touch.
Divide into two parts. Wrap one half and save for later.
Divide the other half into 3-4 smaller portions. Roll into long dowels about 3/4 inch in diameter.
Cut into 3/4-1 inch long dowel pieces. Flick pieces into the back of a fork or gnocchi maker.
Boil a pot of salt water. Add 2 tablespoon oil. Drop the gnocchi.
Cook for a few minutes. Once cooked gnocchi float to the surface of the water. Fish them out. Collect in a dish.

For the Spicy Coconut Cream Sauce:
In a medium hot pan, dry roast ground almond and coconut for a few minutes until the coconut turns golden in color.
Add bay leaf followed by ground spices and salt. Quick roast for 10-15 seconds.
Add salt followed by coconut milk. Mix everything well together. Simmer on low heat for a minute.
By now the gnocchi should be cooked. Add to the sauce. Toss to coat gnocchi with sauce.
Serve immediately with your choice of wine.