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Old 04-01-2012, 10:59 PM   #1
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Why is it bitter?

I made a rutabaga curry the other night. It was okay, but it tasted a bit bitter to me. DH didn't notice a bitter flavour. I sometimes get the same, unpleasant bitterness when I use garam masala. Any idea what is causing it? I haven't noticed that bitterness when I eat in Indian restaurants.

This is the recipe I used:

1 lb of rutabagas peeled and diced
1 onion thinly sliced
1 fresh green chili finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger minced
1 large fresh tomato chopped

1 tsp of coriander
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1 tsp of brown sugar
1/4 cup of grated creamed coconut

Heat 1 Tbs of vegetable oil
When the oil is hot, add the cubed turnips and brown them lightly.
When they are lightly browned, set them aside.
In the same skillet add the sliced onions, ginger and chili. My chili wasn't hot, so I added 1 tsp crushed dry chili.
Cook until the ginger and chili are soft and the onions are translucent and slightly browned.
Add the chopped tomato. Cook a bit longer
Add the sugar, cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon and salt.
Stir, then add the turmeric and stir.
Cook for about 1 minute then add in the coconut.
Stir well and add the browned turnips.
Add about 1/3 cup of water, stir well and put a lid on the pan.
Simmer everything for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Check the turnips for tenderness. They shouldn't be too soft.
Reduce the sauce if necessary. The sauce should be on the thick side.

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Old 04-01-2012, 11:10 PM   #2
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probably from browning the turnips... bitterness is usually from browning in curries.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by againuntodust View Post
most common bitter taste in curries is from burning the garlic. the garlic should only cook for a few seconds before you add in your tomatoes or liquid. if it browns, it will make the dish bitter.
There wasn't any garlic.

Nothing got burnt.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
There wasn't any garlic.

Nothing got burnt.
I just noticed that and edited, sorry.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:17 PM   #5
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on a rare occasion, a turnip can be bitter. it depends on how much of it was above ground and exposed to strong sunlight.

that's about all that i can think might have done it. nothing else should be bitter if it didn't burn
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
on a rare occasion, a turnip can be bitter. it depends on how much of it was above ground and exposed to strong sunlight.

that's about all that i can think might have done it. nothing else should be bitter if it didn't burn

I think that turnips are inherently a little on the bitter side, though some can be more so than others.

I am intrigued by the idea of a turnip/rutabaga curry, gonna try this soon.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:34 AM   #7
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i agree that turnips have a slightly bitter taste, but it seems to get amplified if the soil is not mounded up around them as they grow, especially later in the season when the sun gets to them.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
i agree that turnips have a slightly bitter taste, but it seems to get amplified if the soil is not mounded up around them as they grow, especially later in the season when the sun gets to them.

Yeah, for sure. I agree 100%.
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Old 04-02-2012, 01:03 AM   #9
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When you peel a turnip, just below and next to the skin is a light circle going around the turnip. It is only about 1/8" wide. This is bitter and the turnip should be peeled below this light circle. Parsnips also have this problem. You should peel not just the skin but a second layer also. There are other root veggies that you need to look a when you are peeling them. It is Mother Nature's way of protecting the vegetable from those underground critters that like to have a midnight snack. We all know about the photosynthesis on a potato. That is caused from the potato being exposed to the sun. That green is really bitter. The potato can still be used. You just have to cut away any and all green spots.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:59 AM   #10
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I thought rutebuggers are swedes not turnips.?
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Why is it bitter? I made a rutabaga curry the other night. It was okay, but it tasted a bit bitter to me. DH didn't notice a bitter flavour. I sometimes get the same, unpleasant bitterness when I use garam masala. Any idea what is causing it? I haven't noticed that bitterness when I eat in Indian restaurants. This is the recipe I used: 1 lb of rutabagas peeled and diced 1 onion thinly sliced 1 fresh green chili finely chopped 1 inch piece of ginger minced 1 large fresh tomato chopped 1 tsp of coriander 1 tsp of cumin 1 tsp of salt 1/2 tsp of turmeric 1/2 tsp of ground cloves 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon 1 tsp of brown sugar 1/4 cup of grated creamed coconut Heat 1 Tbs of vegetable oil When the oil is hot, add the cubed turnips and brown them lightly. When they are lightly browned, set them aside. In the same skillet add the sliced onions, ginger and chili. My chili wasn't hot, so I added 1 tsp crushed dry chili. Cook until the ginger and chili are soft and the onions are translucent and slightly browned. Add the chopped tomato. Cook a bit longer Add the sugar, cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Stir, then add the turmeric and stir. Cook for about 1 minute then add in the coconut. Stir well and add the browned turnips. Add about 1/3 cup of water, stir well and put a lid on the pan. Simmer everything for about 15 to 20 minutes. Check the turnips for tenderness. They shouldn't be too soft. Reduce the sauce if necessary. The sauce should be on the thick side. 3 stars 1 reviews
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