Indian Root Vegetable Curry

4.60 from 22 votes
45 minutes
Jump To Recipe

Indian Root Vegetable Curry is hearty and humble but over-the-top with flavor!  It’s the perfect down-to-earth dinner anytime!

Photo of Indian Root Vegetable Curry in black bowl.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you had a joyous and wonderful holiday season!

I’m just getting back into the swing of things.  It sure does the mind and body good to “check out” every once in a while.  I did things like just hanging out with my 90 1/2-year-old father and listened to and soaked up stories about what life was like when he was a boy.  Oh, my gosh folks, too many of us don’t have a clue about hardship or the little things that really matter.

One of the things he said to me was, “Imagine 16 people sitting around a table all waiting to be fed and there’s no food in the house.”  (He had 13 brothers and sisters!)  However, his mother (my grandmother) was a miracle worker and could always pull a meal together.

Their meals in those days, no doubt, were very humble so I wanted to honor that and create something humble.

Here’s a dish that’s simple and hearty but over-the-top with flavor…  Indian Root Vegetable Curry!

How to make Indian Root Vegetable Curry:

  • Gather up some root vegetables!
    • Onions
    • Carrots
    • Turnips
    • Rutabaga can be used in place of turnips or added
  • Onions, carrots and turnips simmer right in the curried coconut milk/vegetable broth combination.

Photo of cubed turnips.

  • Gather up some root vegetables!
    • Onions
    • Carrots
    • Turnips
    • Rutabaga can be used in place of turnips or added
    • Potatoes can be used in place of the turnips or added
  • Onions, carrots and turnips simmer right in the curried coconut milk/vegetable broth combination until tender and lovely!

One of the biggest culinary/food trends of 2016 and heading into 2017 is using as much of each vegetable as is edible–from the root to the very end of the leaves.  A prime example of being able to use the entire plant is the turnip.

Baby turnips will often still have the greens attached, but they can be hard to find.  I don’t usually find mature turnips with the greens attached.  So, for this dish, I purchased them separately.  If using baby turnips, you’ll most likely need two bunches for this Indian Root Vegetable Curry dish.

Swiss chard, spinach or kale would also work in place of the turnips greens.

Photo of fresh turnip greens.

Photo of Indian Root Vegetable Curry in black bowl with small bowls of spices in the background.

Close-up photo of Indian Root Vegetable Curry in black bowl.

All you need is some brown basmati rice.  Here’s to a great 2017!

For more great vegetarian and vegan curry recipes, be sure to try my:

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Logo for From A Chef's Kitchen with gray oval border and green knife.
Indian Root Vegetable Curry in black bowl.

Indian Root Vegetable Curry

4.60 from 22 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef's Kitchen
Indian Root Vegetable Curry is hearty and humble but over-the-top with flavor!  It's the perfect down-to-earth dinner anytime!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Vegetarian / Vegan Entrees
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 336 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium onion - sliced vertically
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper - or to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15-ounce) coconut milk - regular or light
  • 3 medium carrots - peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium turnips - peeled and cubed
  • 1 bunch turnip greens - coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Brown basmati rice - for serving


  • Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 4-5 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander and cayenne. Stir briefly (approximately 30 seconds) or until fragrant.
  • Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, carrots and turnips. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Add the turnip greens in handfuls if necessary, allowing each to wilt. Season to taste with salt and black peopper.
  • Serve with brown basmati rice.


MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made 1 day ahead of time.  Refrigerate until needed.  Reheat on the stovetop or microwave until heated through.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Place in an airtight container and freeze 1-2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator or microwave.  Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 408mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 8144IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Well I didn’t have enough turnips so added parsnip root to augment my shortage. Also did not have turnip greens but had kale. Nevertheless it turned out wonderful. You probably can’t go wrong with any root and leafy green combos with the wonderful set of herbs and spices that this recipe has you begin with.

    1. Hi, George, Thanks so very much and glad you enjoyed! Love how you improvised and used what you had. You’re right–you can change out the root veggies however you like. Thanks again!

  2. Hi Carol,
    This looks delicious and I’m looking forward to making it soon! Does it really have a whole tablespoon of turmeric? I love turmeric but I’ve never used this much in a recipe before – so just wanted to check, in case of it being a typo!
    Thanks for posting this recipe.

    1. Hi, Iseult, Thanks so much for your question. Perhaps I was using wimpy turmeric… 🙂 By no means do you have to use that much turmeric. Start with 1 teaspoon and if you like the flavor or you think it needs more then add more. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  3. My family is from Ireland and lived from farm to table so I completely relate to this delicious recipe! I love turnip and turnip greens are amazing! I love the spice additions! This is a recipe to keep in my regular rotation of great meals! I also love that you got to spend time with you Dad who must have some wonderful stories to share!

    1. Thank you, Eileen! The consumption of root vegetables is very “old world.” We visited there a number of years ago and noticed quite a few Indian restaurants. We had one of the best Indian meals ever in Killarney!

  4. Your story of your dad growing up so reminded me of my childhood time spent with my grandmother. Very hard and poor times, rich with love. I miss her so much, and what a wonderful cook she was! I really think she is the person that most inspired my love of cooking. Thank you for sharing this beautiful dish, I am going to try it and will use turnips!

    1. Thank you, Diane! You nailed it–hard and poor times but rich with love. The stories from my dad are so rich and I hope to hear many more!

  5. I love old family stories – I laughed at the “not the walking to school in a snowstorm” story, because who hasn’t heard that from their parents and grandparents? I’m still trying to figure out how the uphill both ways part works. 😉

    I’m a huge fan of Indian curries, and this looks absolutely delicious.

  6. Happy New Year! Gorgeous flavors and colors you have going on here! And such beautiful pictures! It was wonderful to hear your dad’s stories. I still have my grandpa, he is 96, and I lost my grandma at 97, so I heard many stories from them of the wartime in Italy and big families with not enough to eat!

  7. I loved reading the story about your father and grandmother! I wish I had asked more questions of my grandparents. My folks didn’t really relay stories to us before they passed. This curry looks delicious! All but the turnip, which I’m not fond of. But I’m sure I could find a substitute. 🙂