October 28, 2010

Middle Eastern Beet Salad

This is a wonderful recipe that comes from my cousin Poopa Dweck's grand cookbook Aromas of Aleppo. My mother never made beet salad in this way, so I tried Poopa's recipe and was delighted with the results. The most important flavor in this recipe, and most exotic, is the sour taste of tamarind paste; pomegranate syrup would also work, but not the sweetened juice. This ingredient can be found in some health food stores and in Middle Eastern and Indian markets. I've had great success with this salad at pot lucks.

2 pounds of beets, boiled and skins removed
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs tamarind paste
1 teas ground cumin
1/4 teas cayenne
salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 small red onion, chopped

  1. Cut beets into 1/2 inch cubes.
  2. Make the dressing by combining olive oil, lemon juice, tamarind, spices and salt. Mix well.
  3. Pour the dressing over the beets, then add the parsley and onions and stir.


  1. Looks and sounds divine. We usually have tamarind paste, but I still have not found pomegranate syrup and I have a number of recipes that use it. One of these days a local shop will suddenly stock it!

  2. hi Linda, well, I don't know about divine, but it sure is delicious. I've understood that the sour syrups are somewhat interchangeable, as what you are after is a sour taste.