Put the oil in a medium, preferably nonstick frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the asafetida, quickly followed by the cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for a few seconds. Add the fenugreek seeds and, a second later, put in all the beets plus the ginger, coriander and cumin. Stir for 2–3 minutes. Add the turmeric and chili powder and stir for a few seconds.
Stir in 1 cup water and . teaspoon of salt, then bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat, and cook gently for 20 minutes or until the beets are tender. Add the tomatoes and cook, uncovered, stirring over a high heat, for another 2–3 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender and well combined and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Sprinkle in some more salt as needed.
Excerpted from VEGETARIAN INDIA by Madhur Jaffrey. Copyright © 2015 by Random House. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.