Laboo (لبو) is cooked beetroot. It is referred to as both red beetroots and sugar beets. Iranians cook it with a particular method and serve it as a snack. The name Laboo probably comes from the ancient languages such as Babylon and Assur that called the beetroots “Lapbat”. In Aramaic, they called beetroot, “Lanta”. Since all Iran was a part of these regions in the past, historians believe that the name Laboo is extracted from those terms. In Iran, when the weather gets colder and autumn starts, you can find carts selling Laboo on the streets. The scent of hot Laboo in the cold weather makes an alluring scene that causes everyone to taste some.
Furthermore, this dish has a crucial role in Shab e Yalda’s catering in Iran. Persian people celebrate the last night of fall since the darkness starts to get shorter. They gather and celebrate it by eating a particular food and reading poems. Rootbeets are one of those foods that Iranians serve in Yalda Night(the last night of fall).
Different kinds of Laboo:
Iranians cook both beetroots ad sugar roots, they call beetroots Laboo and sugar roots Choghondar. It is possible to add some spices to the red beetroot and spice it up. For example, you may find Heracleum beetroot(لبوی گلپری). Other spices are possible to add according to one’s taste. However, most people like the pure form of it that they cook in boiling water. Sometimes, they add sugar to it while preparing to taste it up.
Important Nutrition Facts of Laboo:
A 100gr of Laboo has 44 kcal. It is so rich in nutrition, and It is an excellent source of antioxidants. Moreover, It contains 87 gr of water in 100fr and 10gr carbohydrates. It has about 1.68 gr protein and almost no fat per 100gr.
Furthermore, it contains 3.6 mg vitamin C and 4.2mg vitamin B4 and many other essential vitamins. Besides, it includes 305mg potassium, 77mg sodium, 38mg phosphor, 23mg magnesium, and 16mg calcium and many other critical minerals. It is very recommended by doctors to use as antioxidants; you can either cook it in Persian style or extract its water. The antioxidants effects of it have been proved in helping cancer cure.
There is no food more vegetarian than Laboo in Persian cuisine. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan you can confidently cook and eat this food. The ingredient is an only red boot that is prepared with the proper amount of water. It is an excellent choice of snack for you.
Serving style of Laboo:
Iranians cook whole beetroots. Most of the time they prepare a number of them together and keep it for future use. If you eat it on the carts next to the streets in Iran, they will cut it into small cube pieces or any pieces to your taste. Homemade Laboo is usually sliced in thin circles and place them in a dish. Moreover, you can make pickles from these cooked beetroots. You can add sugar and vinegar and salt to make Torshi e Laboo(beetroot pickles, ترشی لبو). For a more beautiful appearance, you can cut the beetroots with bakery shapes such as flowers or leaves. They mostly serve it as a snack, or as a side dish. Moreover, you can cut cold Laboo into your salad.
What are the ingredients of Laboo?
The main ingredient is beetroot. You can choose how many beetroots you like to your taste. Moreover, you need a proper amount of water according to the number of your beetroots. Sugar is required in order to adjust and moderate the taste. However, for a healthier meal, I suggest you add no sugar.
How to cook Laboo?
To cook Laboo, first, you need to peel and cut the stems of beetroots. Then you have to wash them thoroughly. Add the beetroots in a pot and add water to them. Sprinkle the sugar all over the beetroots and cook them for 1.5 hours. Make sure that all the beetroots have sugar on them. At last, take off the lid, and boil the water for some minutes to make a thick juice. Serve it as a snack, side dish, or in your salad.
This recipe is for cooking six beets. The preparation time is 5 minutes and cooking time is 1.5 hours. The serving amount depends on your liking.
- 6 red beetroots (small, with skin)
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Wash the beetroots thoroughly
- Cut the roots and stems out.
- Place them in a proper pot.
- Cover the beets with water
- Sparkle sugar on them
- Heat the water until it boils.
- Cover the pot with a lid and cook it on medium heat for 1.5 hours
- After 1.5 hours, take the lid out and let it boil until a little juice is left.
- Watch the pot after taking out the lid, because it can quickly burn.
- If you have time cook it on low heat.
- Test the softness of beets with a fork to see whether they are cooked or not.