Braised Turnips with Tomatoes and Garam Masala

In my early February fridge cleanout, I discovered some small white harukai turnips that under other circumstances would have been eaten raw, or lightly pickled. I saved the denser varieties for soup, but these delicate orbs, which do not need peeling, deserved a lighter touch. Because I didn’t have many, I combined them with separately cooked carrots but normally would serve them alone. The turnips were stewed with a little onion, tomato and a surprise ingredient, garam masala, an enticing Indian mix of spices. Although my process is slightly different, the idea came from Bert Greene’s classic Greene on Greens. His “farmhouse turnips” were cooked with a little allspice. I’ve made turnips this way for many years. In fact, the notation in my tattered copy of the book reads, “Excellent! 10-8-95.” (Good heavens.)

Braised Turnips adapted from Bert Greene’s “Farmhouse Turnips”

1 tbsp butter

1 small onion, diced

1 lb white turnips, peeled and cubed or sliced

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp garam masala or ½ tsp ground allspice

2 plum tomatoes, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the onions in the butter until translucent, add the turnips and sugar and continue to cook until the sugar somewhat carmelizes the surface of the turnips.  Add the garam masala or allspice and stir to coat. Add the tomatoes, cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Season to taste and garnish if you would like (I added braised carrots and chopped parsley).

Categories: Tomato, Turnips and rutabagasTags: ,

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