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masala shalgam - turnip curry

the inspiration for this recipe is owed to marylou, a local business owner and CSA participant.  earlier in the summer she thanked me for the recipes we contributed to covelo organic in the years past and asked if we had more turnip recipes as they were a common occurrence in the CSA shares.  her challenge was that no matter what you do to the turnip it still tastes kind of boring...  in our masala shalgam the simple turnip gets an east indian makeover with spices, coconut milk and tomatoes.  served hot and topped with yogurt, you just might find yourself hoping for more turnips in the box!

8 ounces, 1 1/2 cups, hakuri or purple top turnips
1 med onion, 1 cup chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups  tomatoes peeled, chopped (canned plum tomatoes work too)
1 packed cup chopped turnip greens
2  tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp coriander seed
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 cayenne pepper, fresh or dry, chopped
1/2 tsp + sea salt
fresh ground pepper

begin by placing your cumin and coriander seeds in a dry saute pan and heat over a medium flame shaking consistently until the seeds have toasted and released their scent.  add the garam marsala and turmeric powder.  brown another thirty seconds stirring with a heat proof spatula.  remove from heat and grind to a powder.  if using a dried pepper, add to the grinder as well.  set aside.

if you can multi-task, put a small pot of water to boil at the same time as the saute pan.  when it comes to a boil, slide in the tomatoes.  remove them after a bit, 5 to 30 seconds or when the skins have just begun to split.  transfer to a bowl of cold water to cool.  simply rub off the skins, core and chop... easy.  if using canned tomatoes, skip this step, except for chopping them into bite-sized chunks.

add the coconut oil and turnips, to the now hot saute pan, cooking over a med-high heat until browned.  add the onions, and saute until soft, another 2-3 minutes.  add the garlic, ground spices and coconut milk.  bring to a simmer and turn the heat down, mixing in 1/2 tsp sea salt. 

if you haven’t already, now is a good time to skin and chop the tomatoes.  after the turnips have simmered a few minutes, stir in the tomatoes and turnip greens (this is optional, if the greens are yellowish skip it).  taste the seasoning adding more hot pepper, a few shakes of cayenne powder, a few pinches salt and or ground pepper if needed.  saute over a medium heat until the sauce thickens a bit, 3-5 minutes.  serve hot drizzled with a liberal amount of plain yogurt, trust us, its delicious!
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