Curried swede / rutabaga / turnip or neep

 Down south (in the UK) swedes are called swedes. Up North they are sometimes called turnips and in Scotland ‘neeps’. Turnips down South are a white smaller vegetable. In the USA they are called rutabagas. I hope that has cleared up any confusion!

It is not the most loved vegetable on the supermarket shelf but it is definitely one of the cheapest pound for pound. Therefore it is worth looking into ways to cook it. My wife and I sometimes have swede mashed up like you would potato. I won't include a recipe here but I will just say that you first cut it into cubes (not easy because it is so tough), boil it in salted water until a piece mashes easily under the tines of a fork, drain it and mash it up. While it is still hot throw in a generous chunk of butter (or olive oil), a little salt and pepper and serve as you would mashed potato. Lovely.

From a health point of view Swede contains plenty of fibre, they contain vitamins E and C and the mineral potassium. So during the winter months it is a good idea to bring them into your diet.

Curried Swede recipe

I personally think swede goes well with spices. It has a strong robust flavour and can take a wide variety of spice flavours including chilli. To bring out the sweeter side of the swede and counteract its general bitter taste the method in this recipe uses a method similar to the cooking of the sweet potato mash. It is cooked in its juices with only a little added water.


25g butter or oil or margarine

300g swede, cut into cubes

1 teaspoon curry powder or curry paste

100ml water

½ teaspoon salt


Melt the butter in a small pan and add the diced swede with the curry powder.

Put a lid on it and turn the heat down to a minimum. Turn the swede cubes over every few minutes. After about 10 minutes add the water. Leave  the lid off and continue cooking. They will slowly cook in the spicy butter juices until they break up and eventually form a mash.

When the diced swede is cooked, season with ½ teaspoon of salt.

If you are making a curry and you have some curried swede leftover add it to your curry it will taste amazing!