Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Indian Style Rutabaga

I had a friend who came from Newfoundland, and he told me that the only vegetable Newfoundland was self-sufficient in was rutabaga. He did not seem impressed with this fact; indeed I was left with the impression that it was a factor in his having left.

Now me, I quite like rutabaga, and I would think that a dish like this might even have helped to make my friend change his mind. Like yesterdays' cabbage this was inspired by a dish from Modern India restaurant in Cambridge. Lots of bold, lively flavours here to keep you warm and full in the late winter. (I might have known that as soon as I admitted the idea that spring might be on the way it would SNOW! Aaargh.)

4 servings
1 hour 30 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

Indian Style Rutabaga
4 cups diced rutabaga (1/2 medium-large rutabaga)
1/4 cup red lentils
2 cups diced or crushed canned tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 small onion
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2-3 dried red chiles
2 tablespoons fine unsweetened dessicated coconut

Peel the rutabaga and cut it in dice. Put it in a good sized pot, with the red lentils and water just sufficient to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, stirring regularly; about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and grate or finely mince the garlic. Peel and grate the ginger. Set them aside.

About 10 minutes before the rutabaga is done, add the tomatoes to them.

Peel and chop the onion. Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onion until soft and very slightly browned. Add the fennel seeds, chiles and coconut, and continue cooking and stirring for another 2 or 3 minutes, until the coconut begins to colour. Add the ginger and garlic, and continue cooking and stirring for another minute or two. Then add the contents of the skillet to the rutabaga.

Continue to simmer the rutabaga for 15 minutes to half an hour, until everything is well amalgamated and the sauce has cooked down to thick soupy texture. Serve with rice.

Last year at this time I made Baked Parsnips Crusted with Nuts & Seeds.


Joanne said...

This looks like it would warm me up so nicely...between the chiles and the soup-iness... I don't think I've ever had a rutabaga, definitely on my list of veggies to try.

Ferdzy said...

No!! Really?!?

I'm truly shocked. I thought every Canadian was weaned from mother's milk to rutabaga, even if it isn't universally beloved. It grows so well everywhere in Canada and keeps all winter well into spring.

If you are going to try it, get a small one to start with. They can be a bit tough, so use a large sharp knife. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of rutabaga, one way or the other.

Ferdzy said...

Ah, sorry just checked. Not Canadian. I guess that explains it... Still I would think they'd be keen rutabagers in New England.