Thursday, February 3, 2011

gogji nadir | turnips and lotus stem in a soupy curry ......... straight from kashmir...

Gogji nadir is turnips and lotus stem if translated. Turnips are the one seasonal outburst of goodness I enjoy along with our red juicy desi gajar ( heirloom carrots?) . These two root vegetables are so much looked forward to as they are used so frequently for my raw salads .

I love the sweetish aroma of cooked turnips and make many low fat curries with this fresh and juicy vegetable. A few of my turnip curries are being posted in a series this time . 

This gogji nadir is an authentic kashmiri recipe i found here on Anita's blog . I have been making a curry of both these vegetables together thinking it is a kashmiri curry but as i saw this recipe on Anita's blog i knew the original thing was something different than i had thought . The first trial was not very encouraging as i had used lesser mustard oil and had cooked under pressure for 8-10 minutes as instructed , but i found the lotus stem too mushy for my taste and the curry turned out a bit bland for me ... At the same time i knew the curry could be better and when i tried the next time it was an awesome flavorful curry .

This time around i used a bit more mustard oil and cooked it in a thick base handi pan , the result was great and the curry has been repeated a few more time since then . Arvind didn't like the curry much as he doesn't like these vegetables but it was an okay kind of curry for him which he can eat once in a while for a change ...

The vegetables are cut in a specific manner , lotus stems scraped lightly and cut in slanting slices , turnips unpeeled and cut haphazardly , green chillies broken into two. I wanted a more pronounced flavor of chillies in this curry without the heat and used the bigger n milder chillies 3-4 of them ( the variety is called Bangalore Torpedo ).

As there are just these three ingredients in this curry and mustard oil infused with asafoetida makes the base flavor , balancing the flavors may be difficult as happens in most of the simple curries like nenua ki subzi . Just like this nenua ki subzi ( sponge gaurd curry ), you need to love turnips to like this curry as the flavors of turnips are enhanced by stir frying them till they turn brown at the edges. A sweetish caramelized flavor which is balanced with a pungency of mustard oil and asafoetida and a sharp hit of green chillies . Lotus roots provide a nice texture to bite in . The combination is superbly healthy .

The procedure is simple but you need to keep in mind that the steps of cooking are followed rightly to bring out the desired flavors .... I did a mistake of using very less mustard oil , not stir frying enough and too much pressure cooking the first time myself....The right procedure for me goes like this...

Two tablespoons of mustard oil is heated till it smokes , a generous pinch of asafoetida is added and it quickly goes frothy . 

Add the chopped turnips and lotus stems and stir fry till the edges of turnips start browning . This step is crucial as it gives a different aroma to the finished curry .

Add water and salt to taste and let it boil and then simmer on low heat , covered. 

When the turnips turn soft , add the broken chillies and cover and cook again for a couple of minutes. That's it , the turnips turn mushy and lotus stems are well cooked but firm . 

Two large turnips and one large and thick lotus stem was used for the recipe .

If you like hot chillies you can add 2-3 green chillies but as i like the aroma of chillies more , i used the longer n milder chillies , 3-4 chillies resulted in larger amount as they are huge sized . Also , Anita cooks it in the pressure cooker and you can do that if you find it suitable , for me the pressure cooking resulted in overdone lotus stems and pan cooking was just as i wanted . If you are pressure cooking , i think try putting off the flame as soon as the first whistle blows up .

One more quick curry with simple flavors in my repertoire , even made it without lotus stem and found it interesting that the curry tastes the same , just the texture of the lotus stem is missing and the curry is much lighter....

Kashmiris eat this curry ( gogji nadir ) with rice and lots of fresh curds as Anita has mentioned . I tried it both with rotis and rice along with fresh curds , i personally liked it more with rotis .... with rice it was okay for me . A big bowl of fresh curds or a light raita is a great combination with gogji nadir , whether you are having it with rice or roti ......

I have been getting a few requests for posting curry recipes with turnips as there were no recipes with this vegetable apart from my multi grain soup and another turnip and tomato  soup . One of my friends' husband loves the flavor of turnip and i had promised her a few light curries i make ...... I am late as always but to make up for the delay i am posting a series of turnip curries in different combinations ... entirely different flavors of turnip will be unfolded in the next few posts....

Stay tuned....


  1. Dear Sangeeta
    How are you? So you have posted so many recipes at one go.
    I like this recipe. I have eaten this in my Kashmiri friend's house but never made any.
    I also saw the recipe at Anita, Very nice indeed.
    have a nice weekend

  2. Thank you Ushnish ...
    I was not posting anything for so long and kind of made up for my absence . This gogji nadir is a keeper recipe . Anita's blog is a treasure house of kashmiri and some other traditional recipes.

    Thank Priya ...

  3. never cooked with lotus stems before, but they look so cute in the curry, I love their shape and your presentations. I rarely cook with turnips, but I guess I should use them more :)

  4. Good to see you back!
    Have never tried this vegetable.

  5. Thank you Priya and '?' ... these two are the most neglected vegetables i guess , but very nutritious and worth including in your repertoire ... The large sized bangalore green chillies too i find very good as a hot green chilly substitute here.