Some of the quickest and really good spicy dishes from India are those that take a vegetable or two and stir fry them with a few spices. These subzi dishes are wonderful side dishes, or make a simple lunch or supper served with rice or Indian flatbread.
Many of our Winter root vegetables are not as common in India, and most uses of them take existing recipes and replace the vegetable (e.g. carrot) with turnip, swede, parsnip, etc. As the Indian diaspora settles around the world, and as European and American vegetables make greater appearances in India, this will change over time.
This recipe takes a bunch of Winter vegetables and magics them into a subzi. Turnip, Swede and Cauliflower are used. Mixed with onions and spices, it makes a curry worthy of Winter. For freshness, scatter loads of coriander on top and finish with a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Winter Curry | Cauliflower, Turnip and Swede Subzi
1 Tblspn ghee or mustard oil
1 tspn brown mustard seeds
1 tspn fennel seeds
1 tspn fenugreek seeds
0.5 tspn cumin seeds
2 Indian dried red chillies
10 curry leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cms ginger root, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped finely
1 green chilli, chopped finely
0.5 tspn Indian chilli powder, or to taste
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150g turnip, peeled and diced
100g swede, peeled and diced
1 small cauliflower, broken into florets
200g chopped tomatoes (tinned are Ok)
4 Tblspn grated coconut (frozen or desiccated if fresh is not available)
bunch of fresh coriander
lemon or lime juice
Make a tadka by heating the ghee in a kadhai, heavy pan or wok, and add the mustard seeds. Allow them to start popping, add the fennel, cumin and fenugreek seeds with the dried red chillies. After some moments add the curry leaves. Let them splutter, and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Turn the heat down a little, and saute for 4 minutes or until the onions are soft.
Add the tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric, coconut, swede, turnip and enough water to steam the vegetables. Season, cover, and simmer on low heat for 10 mins, adding more water if needed.
Add the cauliflower and mix through, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Place the vegetables and spices on a serving platter, Squeeze some lemon, lime or cumquat juice over the vegetables, and scatter with fresh coriander.
Accompany with rice and yoghurt, or naan, roti or paratha.
recipe notes and alternatives
Uses Panch Phoron in place of the spices.