With the turnips that I bought at the Farmers' Market, I decided to cook the same with mutton. Potatoes are usually added to our mutton curries but once in a while they can be substituted with other vegetables. I would love to cook the fabled Kashmiri dish with turnips called Shab deg but that will have to wait till I get back home. This is the easier version but tastes wonderful anyway.
It also helps that the butcher in the area sells excellent quality of meat and that makes cooking mutton in Delhi a sheer delight.
500 grams mutton
4 medium turnips
4 large onions, sliced thin
10 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
Thumb-size ginger, grated
1 tbs cumin powder
2 tbs coriander powder
1 tbs red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp pepper powder
A quarter tsp turmeric powder
4 green chillies, scored lengthwise, seeds intact
3 tomatoes, blanched and chopped
2 bruised black cardamoms
Salt to taste
A bunch of chopped coriander leaves for the garnish
4 tbs vegetable oil
Cut off the ends of the turnips and peel them. Cut them into quarters, rub some salt and keep them aside for about an hour.
Wash off the salt and drain the vegetables in a colander.Heat 2 tbs oil in a pan and lightly fry the turnips till they start to turn a little golden. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
Add the rest of the oil. Throw in the bruised black cardamoms and the tejpatta.
Put in the onions and fry till they turn golden. Now add the meat, ginger, garlic, turmeric, green chillies and the rest of the spices except the garam masala.
Stir at regular intervals and keep cooking till the meat is tender. If it threatens to catch at the bottom, pour a bit of water and continue cooking. This will take about 30-35 minutes. Season with salt.
Now add the tomatoes and stir well. Check the seasoning and make any adjustments.Once the tomatoes blend into the dish pour about 2 cups of hot water.
Add the prepared turnips and cook for another ten minutes.
Remove from the flame, transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh coriander.
The cumin and coriander powder that I used were roasted and ground.
The garam masala was made of equal proportions of cardamom, clove, and cinnamon, broiled together and ground.
The whole cardamoms and the tejpatta can be removed from the dish.
I loved this curry. And it went very well with plain rice, arhar dal and a simple cucumber and carrot salad that we had for lunch.