Indian Stew with Turnips and Cumin

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November 15, 2010 by Sara Kreidler

This recipe is adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking.  The original recipe doesn’t call for carrots or green beans, but we decided to add them to the pot since we had them on hand from the CSA.  The stew is very easy to make and has a ton of flavor.  We served  it with a side of sautéed kale with chili flakes and garlic naan.


  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 5 canned plum tomatoes, well chopped, plus 1/3 cup juice from the can
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 teaspoons crushed red chili flakes
  • 5 medium turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 3 carrots, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 pound green beans, ends trimmed and beans cut in half


  1. Put the flour in a medium mixing bowl. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of water, stirring and breaking up the lumps as you go. Add the canned tomatoes, the juice from the can, and ¼ cup water and mix well to combine. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and the red chili flakes. Stir and add the turnips, carrots and turmeric. Saute for one minute, then add ½ cup water, the flour and tomato mixture, and salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the turnips and carrots are tender.  Add the green beans and cook for 5 more minutes.
  3. Serve stew in large bowls alongside naan and a side of sauteed kale.

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