Vegan beetroot pachadi or South-Indian raita is an easy pitta-pacifying dish. Beetroot and coconut give the sweet taste, spices such as mustard seeds and green chilli the bitter taste, and yogurt the astringent taste. Fennel seeds has a cooling potency (virya), which is used in place of cumin.
In a small grinder, blend the desiccated coconut, green chilli and ginger to a smooth paste.
In a mixing bowl, beat the coconut yogurt with spices until smooth. Add in the coconut paste and mix well. Then fold-in the grated beetroot. Adjust the consistency of the pachadi to your liking by adding water, if necessary.
Next make the tadka. Heat coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to crackle and pop, add the curry leaves. Remove from heat and pour tadka over the beetroot pachadi.
Serve beetroot pachadi with zoodles, biryani, or fold-into cooked rice or barley to make instant "curd rice."
Lazy Beetroot Dip
For a quick version without the hassle of grating beetroot, you can use whole steamed beetroots or beetroot juice and blend with all the other ingredients except those for the tempering. Then, proceed to season the beetroot dip with the tadka. The texture is a dip, and not like traditional pachadi, but just as delicious.