Last week at the farmers’ market, I bought a vegetable with which I have never cooked: turnips.
I’ve only even eaten turnip once before; my mom’s not fond of it, so it doesn’t normally enter the house. However, they looked absolutely beautiful– creamy purple-and-white– so I couldn’t help myself. They sat in the refrigerator for a few days, because cooking with something totally new is rather intimidating. Whatever I made with them had to have a strong flavor, to cover the bitterness that many people dislike about turnips. I didn’t have any idea what that should be, so I waited.
Finally, this morning, I had a bit of inspiration. While I was browsing Pinterest for curry recipes, I came across a fantastic-looking recipe for chicken Tikka Masala. I thought that it would be interesting to make a vegan version of that dish, and since it has such a strong flavor, it seemed like the perfect thing to use my turnips in.
I browsed several recipes to get a feel for the basic ingredients, since I have little experience with this dish. It’s spicier than what I normally make, which makes for a really nice change. It’s probably far from authentic, but that’s okay– it still tastes great.
Turnip Tikka Masala
- olive oil
- 5 turnips, peeled & chopped
- 1 t cumin
- 1 t coriander
- 1/2 t cayenne
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1″ fresh ginger, grated
- 2 C tomato purée
- 2 T garam masala
- 1 t turmeric
- 1/2 t cayenne
- 1/2 C coconut milk
- juice of 1/2 lime (or lemon)
- Toss turnips with the first cumin, coriander, and cayenne on the list. Cook in a pan with a bit of olive oil until tender. Move to a bowl.
- In the same pan, heat more olive oil. Add onion and sauté until fragrant, 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 more minutes. Add the tomato purée, garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne. Mix, then bring to a boil. Put the turnips back into the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 more minutes.
- Add the coconut milk and lime juice, and salt to taste. Serve with brown rice.