Until now, I had only heard of Agar agar being used excessively in Asian desserts and by vegans who don’t want to use gelatin.
Here’s a little surprise – we are all probably eating a lot more of this stuff than we know. If you’ve ever eaten a beautifully plated meal in a fancy restaurant where the sauce is drawn out in intricate patterns on the plate, chances are, it was either gelled with Agar Agar or a low-acyl gellan gum.
I have to confess here – I am was not a huge beet fan. Except for Beetroot Halwa (which I absolutely adore), I cannot imagine consuming beets in any savoury way. That all changed when I tried my hand at this Spicy Masala Beet Gel.
Restaurant quality results, doled straight from a domestic kitchen.
You first start with some gorgeous beetroot. I used about 2 medium sized ones, and they usually vary in sizes and juice content, so keep that in mind. Buy an extra, just in case. Wash, peel and chop them up.
You cook the juice over low-medium heat just for a bit. The heat will help dissolve and ‘activate’ the gelling agent (Agar agar). I added a few spices to kick it up a notch, but that’s totally optional.
Cool the beet gel over an ice bath and refrigerate to speed things along until it is firmed up nicely.
Witness the gelling progress, ladies and gents. It is so much fun!
Only thing left to do, is blend the firm gel until you get a smooth, creamy gel pureé.
So how does it taste? Earthy beetroot gets an earthier masala kick and the gel just slides down your tongue like satin.
Thanks to Chef Steps whose videos inspire this and me to do more than what I think I can.
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