Okay, we admit it, we still haven’t found a great way to use turnips. That means we’ll be trying new turnip recipes each week we get some of those purple-topped root vegetables in our CSA share. We know how hard our farmer and his crew work to produce our food, and we are always thankful, so we feel that we need to really try to find great uses for all the items that we may get in a week.
We tried this the same day we picked up our share. We had known ahead of time that we’d be getting some turnips, so we quickly put together a batch of chapatis and set rice to soaking so we could have Basmati rice with the Masala Shalgam — which means spicy turnips.
We found the recipe here, but we did change it a bit, so we’ll post our version, too.
- 4 medium turnips, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, sliced into rounds
- 1 can (14 ounce) diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup onions, chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/8 tsp ground red chili powder (or cayenne)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
It looks like a long ingredient list, but this dish is really easy to put together and it is quite good — not too turnipy. For the onions, we used some spring onions we got in our CSA share, but regular onions would be fine. For the chili powder, you want ground chili peppers, not the chili powder made with paprika; we had some that we ground ourselves, but cayenne would also work — just watch the amount, as cayenne can be super hot.
Mise en Place. We chopped our onion, carrots, and turnips, and minced our ginger all so that we could just toss ingredients in as we needed them. It really does make the cooking easier.
Saute. Saute the onions, the garlic and the ginger for 3-5 minutes or until the onions are starting to brown just a bit.
Add tomatoes and spices. Add the can of tomatoes and the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Don’t add the salt and sugar just yet; we’ll do that near the end. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add carrots and turnips. Once the tomatoes are simmering along, add the root vegetables and about 1 cup of water, then bring back to a boil. Cook on medium-high for about 15 minutes, or until the carrots are starting to become tender. Then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes more.
Add sugar and salt. You can do both to taste, but the amounts listed are good starting points.
Serve. We had ours with freshly made chapatis and Basmati rice. Quite nice.
This is a good way to use turnips, especially if you like food with a slight Indian bent. It’s not too spicy, and the flavor combination is good. We both liked the slight sweetness of the added sugar which set off the carrots nicely. So, while we are still searching for turnip recipes, we’ll definitely make this again, so 4 stars. Especially considering how easy and quick this recipe is.