Turnip Kuzhambu

Sunday, December 8, 2013 0 comments
Turnip is a root vegetable related to radish and mustard family. Turnip and the other vegetable Swede (Rutabaga) are often confused enenthough they may look quite different. Turnips are smaller with white flesh than the swede which has a yellow/ orangish flesh and is a lot larger. In some places swede is also called as yellow turnip.  

Turnips are high in vitamin C and a great source of dietary fibre. They are a good source of potassium, beta carotene, vitamin E and folate. It is a low calorie vegetable. Its leaves are also edible.   

I am not sure of the right name of Turnip in Tamil but it closely resembles the vegetable Nookal which is widely available in Tamilnadu. Nookal is called as Ganth Gobhi, Knol Khol and Kohlrabi in other parts of India. It is the German turnip belonging to cabbage family. Kohlrabi seems to be an important vegetable of Kashmiri diet. 

(So can you make out the difference between turnip, swede and nookal. Turnip and Swede belong to radish family and its leaves sprout from the vegetable top. Kohlrabi / Nookal belong to cabbage family and its leaves shoot out like antenna from the bulb of the vegetable. Tastewise, the three of them tastes similar with subtle differences)

Most people do not seem to use this vegetable and the recipe given below is a wonderful simple way to include it in your menu often. Its much used in the preparation of sambar, kuzhambu and kootu. Any varieties shown in the pictures can be used in this recipe. This kuzhambu is my favorite and despite being simple, its one of the most flavorful kuzhambu. Any South Indian poriyal or thoran varieties will make an excellent sidedish to this kuzhambu. 

1 medium sized turnip (skin peeled and cut in cubes)
Handful of cut drumsticks
1 medium sized onion
1 big tomato
4 ts kuzhambu podi
3/4 ts tamarind paste
Few curry leaves
1 ts mustard seed, 1/2 ts urad dal
Sesame oil as per need


- Heal oil a kadai. Once they turn hot add the mustard seed and urad dal. Next add curry leaves and allow them to splutter.
- Add chopped onions and fry until they turn translucent. 
- Add chopped tomatoes with little salt. Cook until tomatoes become mushy.
- Now add the cubed turnip pieces and fry them for a minute.
- Then combine in the drumstick pieces also.
- Now add kuzhambu podi, tamarind paste, enough salt with around 3 cups of water.
- Bring the curry to a roaring boil. Then cook in simmer until the gravy thickens and oil seperates. 


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