I picked up a Swede -Turnip (Neep) last week thinking ahead of St Andrews Day. I wanted to honour my friends and my time in Scotland. I also wanted to get my hands on some vegetarian haggis, as I didn't have the inclination this time round to make some vegan haggis from scratch, but as our visit to the city this weekend was cut short by the weather - we had neither home-made or shop bought haggis.
So with St Andrews Day here, I have to admit I wasn't overly energetic or experimental as I had done so in the past, so resorted to making a vegan Neep Curry.
And although nothing like his recipe, I was actually inspired by Denis Cotter to make a Turnip Swede Curry from his book Wild Garlic, Gooseberries and Me. Denis Cotters recipe is made with leeks, double cream and yogurt.
Happy St Andrews Day to Scottish friends in Scotland and those who have migrated to other parts of the world!
Turnip Swede, Kale and Chickpeas Curry
Serves 4 - 6
4 - 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium onions, minced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 inch of ginger, grated or minced
1 teaspoon of salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 fresh chillies, sliced or 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder or to taste
2 tablespoons tomato puree or paste*
1 large turnip or Swede, peeled and cubed into small bite size pieces
200g curly kale, pulled of stalks/ribs and roughly chopped
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Optional: garam masala for garnishing
In a large wide pan, heat the oil then add the minced onions, garlic and ginger and cook until transparent, add the spices and cook until the oil rises to the surface. Add the tomato paste and stir in the chopped Swede or turnip pieces and cook until the marrow is beginning to soften, but still has some bite. Keep stirring to stop the sauce and vegetables from sticking to the pan, when the turnip or swede is cooked, stir in the kale and cook until it wilts and begins to soften, then finally stir in the chickpeas.
Cook for a few more minutes more and serve it as a thick dry curry. If you want it more saucy, then replace the tomato paste with 400g tinned chopped tomatoes.
Serve with rice and garnish with a little sprinkling of garam masala.
If you want to try Denis Cotter's original recipe for Swede Turnip and Leek Curry, follow this link.