Recipe Source: The Indian Vegetarian Cookbook. Roli & Janssen BV, New Delhi, 2000 p. 108.
I'm always amazed by turnips. I never ate them growing up, but I'd heard about them. I'd heard about them in other places, in a kind of deprivation-type context. You know, "During the winter of 1408 the peasants were so poor that a family of eighteen had only one turnip between them," that sort of thing. Even though I've consumed turnips and enjoyed them, I'm always surprised to find that I enjoy them. My mind hasn't caught up with what my brain knows about turnips, which is that they are a quite tasty winter vegetable indeed.
I made this as a side dish one recent evening. It was satisfying, although my husband ate the better part of it because he really loves turnips. I made a few changes, largely from necessity. The original recipe called for this strange patty-like spice concoction that I just didn't have. It takes several days to prepare, which I also didn't have. I added a bunch of spices to the mixture instead. Most of them were spices that were included in the strange spice patty. Others were just spices that I like. I also added some chili peppers to the dish to use them up. I also omitted the sugar, as I feel turnips are quite sweet enough without it.
Mashed Turnips (serves 4; approx. $0.80/serving)
1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into pieces (I actually could only get pre-peeled and pre-cut turnips, otherwise the cost per serving would probably be lower.)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon asafetida
Kosher salt to taste
2 jalapeno chilies, chopped
1 lemon chili, chopped
5 dried red chilies, crumbled
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon mace powder
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup water
- Large saucepan with lid
- Potato masher
- Heat the oil in the pan.
- Add the turnips, asafetida, chilies and salt.
- Add the dried red chilies and cook over high heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add the spices and the water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook until the turnips are soft. Stir frequently or you will regret it when the time comes to clean up!
- Mash the turnips and serve hot.