I need to share a secret. In this household, our focus on Winter veggies has been low. Turnips and Swedes (Rutabaga) have been relegated to vegetable soups, Parsnips have been a little more loved, beautiful winter greens are pretty much only simply quickly steamed or sauteed.
But our Winter Kitchen is changing. Horseradish returns. We found some Mustard greens. Beets, home grown, are prized for their earthy flavours. Celeriac is never left, ignored, in the bottom of the fridge. Jerusalem Artichokes are loved. Lotus root tentatively played with. Jicama (Yam Bean) has always been loved. Potatoes and Daikon make more regular appearance. Swede and Turnips are loved for their own flavours. Sweet Potato and Yam – beautiful textures and flavours.
Today we cook some wonderful baby turnips with spices, mustard greens and a little creamy yoghurt sauce. Such an extraordinary dish. But use any other green if you can’t source Mustard Greens.
Similar dishes include Turnip Salad with Capers, Spicy Turnips in Yoghurt, Sri Lankan Mustard Greens with Coconut, Steamed Mustard Greens with Shiitake and Sambal, Turnips with Quince Molasses, Mustard Greens with Mooli, and Turnip Soup with Yoghurt and Coriander-Walnut Paste.
Turnips with Mustard Greens in a Creamy Sauce
2 Tblspn ghee or 1 Tblspn ghee with 1 Tblspn Indian mustard oil
1 Indian dried red chilli
1 Tblspn ginger, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
2 black cardamom pods
1 Indian bay leaf (Teja Pat)
1 tspn fennel seeds
440g young turnips, trimmed. Halve or quarter them if necessary, depending on size
1 cup water
4 cups lightly packed mustard greens, washed well and very coarsely chopped
3 Tblspn Indian or Greek yoghurt beaten briefly with a fork with 0.5 tspn chickpea flour
coriander leaves, to garnish
sea salt to taste
Heat the ghee or oil in a kadhai or pan over a medium heat and saute the chilli and ginger for 2 minutes until fragrant and soft but not brown.
Add the whole garlic cloves, cardamom pods and fennel seeds. and saute for another 20 – 30 seconds, still over a medium heat.
Add the Indian bay leaf, turnips, water and sea salt to taste. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the turnips are tender. Add a little more water if necessary.
When the turnips are tender, add the greens on top and allow them to wilt for a couple of minutes, then very gently stir through the turnips. Simmer for a minute more.
Stir through the beaten yoghurt, keeping the heat very low, and bring back to a very low simmer. Allow to only just simmer for several minutes until the sauce thickens a little. Then adjust seasonings and serve.
Garnish with coriander leaves if desired.
recipe notes and alternatives
Thick cream can be used instead of yoghurt if desired – omit the chickpea flour.
Other greens can be used in place of the mustard greens, although the mustard greens add such a delightful crispness and flavour.