Holiday turnips? Really? Turnips have been called a lot of things but never really anything associated with holidays or even a good time. Turnips are something the wicked step-mother usually forces someone to peel endlessly or eat endlessly in some Mittle European fairy tale that hasn't been cleaned up by the PTA. It only goes downhill from there. Turnips might smack a bit of desperation but really.... well things have been nuts around here, and every now and then what's wrong with a good bowl of turnips? Plain, simple, honest, turnips have gotten a bad rap. Add a bit of spice and they're a whole new vegetable.
There's also a story to these turnips. While I was buying them, there was a woman in line ahead of me. The checker was ringing the sale up and she examined the vegetable, "and this is...??"
"A rutabega" said the woman. "You call them turnips here. We call them rutabegas back East where I come from."
"Where you come from?" I thought. "Here on planet earth where I come from, these are known as turnips. Rutabegas are an entirely different beast, or vegetable." It was a Woody Allen moment for me. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch this.
I wanted to drag out Julia Child to set her straight. I had all I could do to contain myself. But of course that would make me crazy Turnip Lady. Not going there.
Okay, just for a minute....
This is a RutabagaTurnips
And yes if you want to get technical, turnips and rutabegas are related. The rutabega is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage but the lady with the rutabega was no Luther Burbank. Way more than anyone needs to know about that anyway. So here's a simple Indian turnip recipe that works with an menu.
Turnips With Cumin and Tomato
Here's What You Need:
1 lb of turnips, peeled and cubed
2 Tbs chickpea flour aka gram flour aka besan
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 Tbs of vegetable oil, I use coconut oil
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
3 dried red chilies
1/8 tsp of turmeric
salt to taste
Here's What to Do:
Peel and cube the turnips set them aside.
In a bowl mix together the chickpea flour along with the tomatoes, 2 Tbs of water, the tomato juice left over from the can, 1/4 cup of water.
In a skillet or kadhai, heat the vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot, toss in the cumin seeds.
Stir things around for a few seconds and then add in the dried chilies.
Wait a few seconds and add in the turnips and turmeric.
Add in 1/2 cup of water, the chickpea flour tomatoes mixture and salt.
Stir things around and bring it to a boil.
Put a lid on the pan, turn down the heat to simmer and let things cook for about 20 minutes. The turnips ought to be tender by that time.
Check the seasonings and serve them up.
That's all she wrote.
Simple, simple, simple.
Coming up next, I go sweet and gluten free with the perfect movie night treat. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori