I am a strict vegetarian. Living abroad limits you to lesser variety when eating out as there are less herbivores in other countries. I am here to talk about a vegetable that I re-discovered. I use the word re-discover here as Turnip or Nulkol as it is known in Tamil seems to be one vegetable which is not oft seen in Brahmin households. I haven't seen Turnip in Mumbai too much, that maybe the reason I didnt know what to make with it when I saw it in the Singapore Indian markets.Turnip belongs to the vegetable kingdom. When I first bought Turnip I didnt know how to cook it...I explored the internet for south Indian recipes using Turnip as my keyword but alas there were none. I asked my mom and she said" we dont eat Turnip much" I asked a few people around who are from down south and they also said they dont know how to make it. Then one old aunty from down south said that Turnip (Nulkol) is good for health and since people dont like the smell or taste of it much, it is usually put in the kootu with other vegetables. Please do try this kootu recipe. It tastes excellent with any Thogayal and roasted or fried lijjat pappads....a combination to die for.
Its a must try!!!!!!!!!!!! Toor Dal(Split pigeon peas) / Better still Half split yellow mung dal(Paitham(Paasi) paruppu) l- 1 cup
Any vegetables can be put - Elavan (Ash gourd or White pumpkin), Bangalore katrikkai, Nulkol, Carrot, potato, raw bananas,(all these must be peeled and chopped into square pieces) beans, green brinjals (chopped into small pieces), drumsticks(chopped into finger lengths), greenpeas. curry leaves. You can add even one tomato if u like.
Add one piece of each vegetable, but if the Nulkol is small add 2 pieces. As we are mixing a lot of vegetables the quantity will become too much.
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt as per taste
Asafoetida- a pinch
Red chilies- 3 (again depending on taste and the type of red chillies u r using)
Oil- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal- 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut- 1 cup
Cumin Seeds – 1tbsp
Pressure cook the toor/mung dal and set aside.
Steam all of the vegetables with turmeric, asafoetida & salt in a pan. Break a few curry leaves and add it to the vegetables for aroma. Don’t cook it too soft that it gets mashed completely (don’t steam cook in the pressure cooker. It’s better if u do it in a pan and cover with a lid, so u can keep checking if the vegetables are done.)
Once cooked, Mix the cooked dal with the steamed vegetables.
Now in a mixie take one cup coconut, add 1tbsp jeera(cumin seeds) and 3 red chillies and grind to a paste). Allow it all to boil together for a while so that the masala enters the vegetables.
Then u do the tempering(tadka)
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When it starts to pop add urad dhal and fry for few minutes. You can add 1 or 2 red chillies (this will make it spicy so be careful) and season the kootu.
Taste the kootu when u are cooking it. Tasting and cooking is a foolproof method of cooking for beginners.
Once seasoned it is ready to be served.
It tastes good with Chappati or rice. Its highly nutritious too as it has so many vegetables and hardly any oil. Its totally steam cooked. The only oil u use is for tempering.
I am sure you’ll will enjoy this recipe.
You can read more about Turnip here
and the nutritional benefits of eating Turnip here