Peel the beets and grate them using a food processor fitted with the coarse shredding disk, or on the coarse side of a box grater. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the coconut, garlic, green chile, ground masala, and salt with about 1/4 cup water to form a moist ball. Set aside.
In a large wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds and cover. When the seeds have popped toss in the dried red chiles and curry leaves. After the leaves crackle for a few seconds, put in the rice and stir for 5 seconds or until rice turns opaque white. Add the grated beets and stir thoroughly. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally until the beets become soft. Add the coconut mixture and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and check the salt.
2000 Maya Kaimal, from Savoring the Spice Coast of India HarperCollins, 2000