Gilfeather Turnip and Winter Squash Bhaji
Adapted from Lini Mazumdar,
Anjali Farm and Lini’s Indian Tiffins, South Londonderry
At one point, Lini Mazumdar and her husband, Emmett Dunbar, grew Gilfeather turnips at Anjali Farm, but over the years, they have focused on a few specialty crops like pick-your-own blueberries, chili peppers and heirloom tomato plants. In addition, Lini, who grew up all over India, started offering vibrantly flavored, nourishing, home-cooked Indian meals made from seasonal ingredients. Customers order ahead and come to the farm to pick up their multidish tiffin meals packed in round, stacked, metal lunch containers. This curried vegetable dish could be one of several in a meal or simply served with rice and perhaps the spiced lentil stew known as dal.
Note: The Bengali Five Spice mixture called panch phoron contains black mustard, cumin, fennel, nigella and fenugreek seeds; you can substitute whole cumin seeds.
3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
1 medium (about 1 pound) Gilfeather turnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
to yield about 2 generous cups
1 pound winter squash, such as pumpkin, delicata or butternut,
peeled (no need to peel delicata) and cut into ½-inch cubes
to yield about 2 cups
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon panch phoron spice
mixture (see note above) or
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh, finely grated
1 small dried Thai red chili, crushed, or ¼–½ teaspoon crushed red
pepper, to taste
2 cups firmly packed ribboned kale
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 F. Put one tablespoon of coconut oil in a rimmed sheet pan or large baking dish and place in oven to melt coconut oil. In a medium bowl, toss turnip and squash cubes with 1 teaspoon salt and turmeric powder. Spread in melted coconut oil and toss to coat. Bake 25–30 minutes until a fork easily pierces vegetables and they are slightly colored.
In a medium cast-iron frying pan or other heavy-bottomed sauté pan, set over medium-high heat, toast panch phoron or cumin just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil and lower heat to medium. Stir in garlic, ginger, and chili or crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes until colored. (Add a splash of water if ginger sticks to bottom of pan.) Add roasted turnips and squash along with kale and lemon juice. Stir to combine and toss for 3 to 4 minutes until kale is wilted. Taste and add more salt or hot pepper as desired. Serves 4–6.