Turmeric Mushroom Salad With Beetroot And Sweet Potato

by | Oct 21, 2014 | 19 comments


Turmeric Mushroom Salad With Beetroot And Sweet Potato - Cook Republic

Ayurveda and the importance of food as medicine.

One of the most constant piece of advice I was given by my mum during my growing years was the importance of healing my body from the inside by harnessing the natural power of food. She knew exactly what food to serve to clear up a nasty cold, to perk up a sluggish demeanour and to make those monthly hormonal days seem like a breeze. I used to think she had magical powers because she could make me feel better without medicines. It was, later on, I realised that it was the wisdom of Ayurveda (India's alternative traditional medicine) from her ancestors and from cooking and observing for years.


According to Ayurveda, medicines and foods are either Sattvic, Rajasic or Tamasic. Sattvic foods are fresh, light, nourishing and vibrant. They provide energy without taxing your body and can be found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, herbs, beans and milk. Rajasic foods are fried or processed foods that cause excitement and provide a high either temporary or permanent. Tamasic foods are dry, dead or decaying foods that include all meat, fungi, eggs and liquor.


Turmeric Mushroom Salad With Beetroot And Sweet Potato - Cook Republic

The myth of why Ayurveda considers mushrooms to be Tamasic - decaying food.

We didn't eat mushrooms while growing up. They were considered Tamasic and believers of Ayurveda avoided them. Besides, they were not readily available. In fact, my first taste of mushroom was in Singapore when I was in my mid-twenties. It was a bowl of Swiss mushroom soup and I was smitten. When I started digging into the health benefits of mushroom and the use of mushroom in a plant-based diet, I was surprised by how ignorant some of the ancient teachings of Ayurveda were. I know of folklores that suggest that mushrooms got a bad rep because of yogis residing deep in the forests, foraging for food and dying because of poisonous mushrooms.


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Mushrooms are super healthy and have cancer inhibiting properties

The good news is that folklores and ignorant food practices are a thing of the past. Mushrooms are slowly gaining popularity in the modern Ayurveda diet besides being immensely popular in the Western diet for years. They are one of the richest sources of folate and potassium amongst the plant/fungi kingdom with a single Portobello mushroom having more potassium than a banana. Mushrooms in recent studies have shown their prowess in inhibiting cancer cells and retarding the growth of tumours. The vitamins in mushrooms are known to repair cells and regulate new cell growth.

In 2009, research from the University of Western Australia showed that women who ate an average of only 10g of mushrooms a day had a 65% lower risk of breast cancer. So mushrooms are a natural fit in a healthy lifestyle especially for women. And because October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Mushroom Grower's Association of Australia are backing it up with their Mushrooms Go Pink Campaign that spreads awareness about the disease and educates on the power of mushrooms to combat it in many different ways. Since 2010 the mushroom industry has raised almost $180,000 for cancer charities in Australia.


Roasting Sweet Potatoes

Turmeric Mushroom Salad - Cook Republic

A most delicious mushroom and root vegetable packed salad.

I cannot imagine a week without a couple of mushroom meals. It is no wonder that it makes a regular appearance on this blog in these delicious recipes. In honour of Mushrooms going pink in October, I was asked by the Mushroom Grower's Of Australia to create a mushroom recipe. I wanted to create an empowering recipe for women everywhere that harnessed the healing power of mushrooms, the goodness of warming spices like turmeric and cinnamon, the blood cleansing qualities of beetroot, the earthiness of sweet potato and the vitality of fresh herbs and nuts.


This beautiful salad is a mouthful of explosive flavours and textures that satiate and nourish from the inside out. It is great as a complete meal for work or a sight to behold on a brunch table with friends. Don't fret over the long ingredient list. It literally takes only about 45 minutes to throw together.


Turmeric Mushroom Salad With Beetroot And Sweet Potato - Cook Republic

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A warming and nourishing salad packed with the prowess of immune boosting mushrooms, turmeric and almonds and packed with blood cleansing beetroot and a bowlful of greens, herbs and nuts.
Print Recipe Rate / Comment
Author: Sneh
Course // Salad
Cuisine // Vegetarian
Servings: 6


for the sweet potato

  • 2 (500 g) medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil/coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

for the couscous

  • 2 cups (400 g) couscous, dry
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

for the dressing

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup

for the mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil/coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon grain mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) button mushrooms, brushed clean
  • 4-5 springs of thyme, leaves picked
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody bits trimmed and rest chopped
  • a cup of mixed salad greens, to serve
  • handful of fresh chopped coriander leaves, to serve
  • 1 small raw beetroot, peeled and grated


  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Place all ingredients for sweet potato in a large bowl and mix well. Spread on a foil lined baking tray and bake in the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes until roasted but still firm. Remove and set aside. Discard the bay leaves.
  • To make the couscous, bring water, salt, vinegar and oil to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Pour in the couscous. Cover and rest for 5-8 minutes until water is absorbed. Gently fluff up the couscous with a fork.
  • To make the dressing, place all ingredients in a small jar fitted with a tight lid. Shake to mix well. Set aside.
  • To make the mushrooms, heat oil in a large frying pan on medium. Add garlic and mustard. Sauté for a few seconds. Add the mushrooms, thyme, turmeric and salt. Sauté for 15-18 minutes until mushrooms are cooked and starting to turn golden. Add the asparagus. Cook for another minute and remove from heat.
  • To assemble the salad place two cups of cooked couscous, roasted sweet potato, mushrooms, dressing, salad greens, beetroot and coriander in a large bowl. Toss to mix well. Serve.


You can make this gluten free by substituting the couscous with quinoa or basmati rice.
Omitting honey and replacing with rice malt syrup as suggested above will make this suitable for vegans.
Did you make my recipe?I'd love to hear how you went! Tag me on Instagram @cookrepublic






I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!


  1. Christine Burzomi

    I love mushrooms. Will try this recipe as it looks delicious.

  2. Lisa

    Yum, this recipe has my mouth watering. Writing my shopping list now. Thanks Sneh for just sorting dinner for me. Xx

  3. Beth

    Hmmn, beetroot? Looks good in the pictures but can't find it in the recipe....

    • Sneh

      aha! good catch! thanks love. fixing it. x

  4. Martyna @ WholesomeCook

    Yum Sneh, I'm a big mish mash salad lover and absolutely adore the addition of mushrooms here! Garlic is one of my to go tos when it comes to feeling under the weather. Lovely photos as always!

  5. Suné Moolman

    What an excellent array of ingredients in this salad! Who knew mushrooms were good for you – thanks for the info and thanks for this great recipe! 🙂

  6. Medeja

    Almonds, sweet potato and couscous.. Sounds and looks really good!

  7. Mushroom Enthusiast

    Love the recipe. Looks absolutely fantastic and it is on the menu for the not too distant future... Thanks for sharing the news about the power of mushrooms.....

  8. cynthia

    These photos are so stunning, Sneh! And I loved reading about Ayurveda and how it influences foods -- so new to me and so fascinating. (And it's funny how mothers just have a knack for knowing what you need when you're sick, isn't it?) This mushroom salad sounds delicious. Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. Lail | With A Spin

    Thank you for the explanation, Sneh. Finally, I know why some of the vegetarian people I know do not eat mushrooms. I asked many vegetarian friends from India. While some eat mushrooms, those who don't didn't quite know why mushroom is forbidden in their diet. I am a little more knowledgable for your post and won't think someone is crazy to think of mushroom as non-veg.

    Absolutely adore the salad. Like you, I love mushrooms too.

  10. Amanda @ Gourmanda

    This looks like the most amazing, hearty comfort meal that's super healthy and good for you! With so many veggies, you can't help but feel virtuous when you eat something like this. 🙂

  11. Tieghan

    You are such an inspiration for me. Your photos, your flavors and your writing. Thank you!!

    These photos are STUNNING! Love the colors!

  12. Eha

    Sneh - this salad is absolutely fascinating as it combines ingredients not usually seen together in salad form. I loved cooked [or, as in this case, partly cooked] salads and shall be trying this soonest and sharing with friends!! Thank you!!

  13. Nicole - Seeking Victory

    Your mum's traditional way of nourishing sounds so good. The opposite of comfort food but far more comforting:) This sounds delicious, turmeric is supposed to be a bit of a cancer-buster too.

  14. Christine // my natural kitchen

    I find Ayurvedic ideas so fascinating (I even went through a period last year where I made all my friends complete a questionnaire to determine their doshas! haha), so I loved reading about that here 🙂 You're so lucky to have a mom that integrated that knowledge into her cooking! I found a photo of this salad on pinterest and had to come check it out - what a beautiful recipe.

  15. dixya@food, pleasure, and health

    what a vibrant and nourishing salad~

  16. Nik@ABrownTable

    My dad still mentions the Ayurveda rules to me on and off. Though, I know he loves his mushrooms and bends the rules every now and then. This salad has all the makings of a wonderful autumn salad that I love, especially the sweet potatoes and beets!

  17. Lindsay

    Made this last night - so delicious! Thank you.

  18. Aimée

    Hi Sneh, I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe. It is one of my favourites. Absolutely love mushrooms ☺️ and this combined with the sweet spicy sweet potatoes is perfect.


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