Kashmir is the most beautiful State of India and has a cuisine which is set apart from the rest of the country.They make use of ingredients which provide warmth as most of the time the place is cold and people face shivering temperatures in almost all months of the year.So essentially they use warming ingredients like Walnut Oil,spices,dried fruits and vegetables and non vegetarian preserves like Mutton Pickle and hearty warming teas!
Their spices include all the normal Indian ones but they extensively make use of spices which give warmth like Ginger,Cloves,Cinnamon,Star Anise and Nutmeg.The humble vegetable – Turnip or let us call it by the Indian term Shaljam is loved a lot and made frequently.The Kashmiris have a tradition of drying vegetables in the Sun and using it at times when there is a dearth of produce or it is too cold or snowy to go out.Gugji is the Kashmiri term for Turnip and so Tao Gugji is a delicious stir fry or subzi best with hot Chapati/Roti or Paratha!
Taken from Krishna Prasad Dar’s Historic work – Kashmiri Cooking!
Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Makes : 3 servings
500 gms Turnips/Shaljam
Salt to taste
For the tadka :
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
1/4 tsp Asafoetida (Heeng)
1/2 tsp Clove Powder (Laung)/4 whole Cloves
1/2 tsp Ginger paste/1 inch piece Ginger – minced
1/2 tsp Ginger Powder (Sonth)
Other ingredients :
1 Green Chilli – minced
1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Coriander Powder (Dhaniya)
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Coriander Leaves – finely chopped
Wash,wipe,peel and cut the Turnips into dices or small quarters.Heat the Oil in a pan and pan fry the Turnips on medium heat tossing them often.They will turn golden brown.Drain and keep aside.
Heat 2 tsp of the Oil you fried the Turnips in and add the Cumin seeds,Asafoetida,Clove Powder/Cloves and Ginger Powder.Fry on low heat till the cumin seeds turn brown.Now mix in the Ginger paste/minced Ginger and fry for a second then add the chopped Turnips.
Stir to amalgamate everything and then sprinkle over the salt,red chilli powder,turmeric and sugar.Mix well and pour in 3/4 cup of water.
Close the lid and allow the Turnips to cook on low heat for 10 minutes till they are tender and absorb the Masala.
After 10 minutes,remove lid and add the Coriander Powder and Garam Masala and mix well.Cook further to let the water completely evaporate.
Remove to a bowl and sprinkle the Coriander Leaves on top.Serve warm to get the perfect taste!
Served as an accompaniment for a full thali lunch…Seen here are ghee covered Roti,plain Rice,Tao Gugji,Saag Paneer and a Mixed Vegetable Salad!
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