Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Masala Turnips (Masala Shalgam)

Turnips (Shalgam)

Turnips (shalgam) are little bit smelly, but when cooked they almost taste like potatoes. While searching through the Internet about turnips, I learned that they are available in India, mainly in cold, North Indian regions. I didn’t know that before, I thought they are available only here. I came across a new Kashmiri recipe called Masala Shalgam, and I tried it today for lunch. I also made rotis with recently milled, fresh sorghum flour (Jonna Pindi) that I brought from India.

Very much enjoyed the combination.

Sauteed Turnips


4 small to medium sized turnips, washed, pared thinly and cubed.
4 ripe juicy tomatoes, cut or pureed.
1 onion, finely chopped lengthwise

First, saute the cubed turnips, till they leave the smell and brown a little, for about ten to fifteen minutes on low heat. Meanwhile prepare the masala.

Make a paste of ginger, garlic, cilantro, dried red chillies, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, fenugreek, coconut and salt. Measurements of these ingredients are up to you.

In a pan on medium heat, take 1 tsp of oil, when it is hot, add the onions, saute them to soft, and then add the tomatoes, the prepared masala and browned turnips. Add pinch of turmeric and salt. Mix them once and cook them all covered for about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the curry hot with chapati or roti.

Turnips Kurma with Sorghum Roti ( Shalgam Curry with Jonna Roti)
Masala Turnips with Sorghum Roti ~ Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Turnips (Friday September 2, 2005 at 3:54 pm- permalink)
Comments (22)

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22 comments for Masala Turnips (Masala Shalgam) »

  1. Masala turnips–I will have to try them.

    You know, I think that turnips are delicious, both raw and cooked. I only used to eat them raw when I was little–they were crisp and sharp, like big radishes, and I loved them. But when I got pregnant with my daughter, fifteen years ago, I craved turnips and beets and dark greens, and I began to love the sweet flavor of cooked turnips.

    I have converted my husband and daughter to liking them cooked, so now, my next step is try them cooked your way. I think they will approve.

    Comment by Barbara — September 2, 2005 @ 7:03 pm

  2. Hi Indira, welcome back! Glad to see your posts again.
    Shalgam?? In Turkey, where I come from, turnips are also called shalgam. But we never cook them the way you do it. So I’ll try your very interesting sounding masala shalgam 🙂

    Comment by mine — September 2, 2005 @ 8:14 pm

  3. Wow, looks very interesting. I have never made turnips before…its time to try them.

    Comment by Nupur — September 3, 2005 @ 8:03 am

  4. Barbara, not able to buy familiar Indian vegetables forced me to try what’s available locally. I was little bit hesitant to try turnips at first but they are winners in taste department. I like them dry,saute and in this new masala gravy version. You know, you can add lamb or chicken pieces if you want to this masala. Original Kashmiri recipe included lamb too.

    Mine- Thanks. Shalgam in Turkish too? I am surprised. How do you cook them usually? mash and puree or with meat?

    Nupur, I promise, you won’t regret making the effort and trying out this recipe:).

    Comment by Indira — September 3, 2005 @ 8:59 pm

  5. Hi Indira- welcome back. Nice to read your posts after a time. Turnips pressure cooked with dal is the only way I make them. But this kashmiri version sounds great.

    Comment by mika — September 4, 2005 @ 2:24 pm

  6. Very interesting, can’t wait to make this once the turnips come in! I’ve also posted the recipe as a Veggie Post of the Week over at the Veggie Venture. Many thanks! Alanna

    Comment by Alanna — September 4, 2005 @ 11:26 pm

  7. Have you tried rutabagas, Indira? They are yellow turnips–they are usually larger than most turnips, and some of them because of that can have a woodier texture, so you have to be careful with that. But I think some of them are sweeter than turnips.

    Also–I bet you would like parsnips. They are similar to carrots (they are related), but they are white. They have an interesting, delicate sweet flavor and a very nice texture when cooked. They taste somewhere between the way carrots taste and the smell of carrot tops (a kind of green, herbally smell).

    I think that they would take well to Indian styles of cookery.

    Comment by Barbara — September 5, 2005 @ 12:35 pm

  8. Mika, thanks, I did miss your posts. Please post the recipe of turnips with dal. I would love to try that too. The only way I cooked them till now is dry saute, now this new recipe.

    Alanna- thanks. Please try this recipe and let me know.

    Barbara, I tried and like parsnips, but I never tried rutabagas, I don’t remember even seeing them. I am going to take your word, buy and try them this fall.Thanks for the info.

    Comment by Indira — September 5, 2005 @ 8:58 pm

  9. I came in from Ravi’s who in turn had a left a comment in mine. I am sure you are from AP Nandyala. This recipe is great and I tried it immediately.Thanks

    Comment by padmasani — September 6, 2005 @ 5:11 am

  10. Hi!it is an interesting preparation..Very few people know the goodness of Shalgam and i am so impressed that u have a blog on shalagam! In my recipe i use fennel seeds instead of fenugreek and avoide coconut,It still tastes great but i will try with dry fennugreek leaves and experiment.

    Comment by pankhudi — June 16, 2006 @ 10:49 am

  11. Hi Indira,

    Iam a new visitor to your website. Need I say Iam spellbound by your passion.?! Well, I love to cook too and experiment various stuff and make my own HEALTHY versions and challenge myself to make sure to have the same taste in tact. 🙂

    I tried your turnip masala.. While I loved it , couldnt escape the bitterness of the veggie . I added my own twist – instead of coconut I added almond paste which I guess makes the curry more rich and healthier too.

    I am hoping to blog my learnings sometime soon .

    Oh I know a spanish chef who said the bitterness of turnips can be avoided if we boil the veggie in salt and vinegar.. havent tried it yet though!

    Thanks for sharing so much of food stuff here.

    Happy cooking!

    Comment by Soumya — December 3, 2006 @ 7:54 pm

  12. Hey,

    this recipe of turnips looks Yummylicious 😀

    but being a Kashmiri i know this is not the way kahsmiri’s cook turnips.

    But am going to try this method soon


    Comment by Ansh — April 13, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

  13. Your site is a great help to an uninspired cook like me. I see fresh turnips and bok choy at the farmers market and long to try something new, it’s great to find recipes for those “American” veggies.

    BTW, I studied in Kurnool and have acquired Rayalaseema tastebuds 🙂

    That’s great to hear, Aparna. I studied at Kurnool too.:)
    – Indira

    Comment by Aparna — December 12, 2007 @ 5:15 pm

  14. I tried your recipe on turnips (Masala Turnips) and boy does it come out GOOD!! I was eating even while preparing it 🙂
    I was lucky that the dish did not turn out bitter like some of you have experienced.
    Its a very simple recipe with AMAZING taste!
    Thanks for posting it…

    Comment by Rinki — December 22, 2007 @ 10:14 am

  15. […] Recipe: Masala Turnips (Mahanandi) Recipe: Scalloped Turnips (Simply Recipes) Recipe: Potato Turnip Cakes (Wednesday Chef) Recipe: Golden Vegetable Bisque (Married…With Dinner) […]

    Pingback by Cookthink: root source: turnip — February 2, 2008 @ 5:10 am

  16. hey..i never cooked turnips before…bought sm frm d store d otherday n was searching for recipes when i hit over urs….thankz a ton!

    Comment by Madhumita — February 4, 2008 @ 4:23 am

  17. Greetings. Thanks for a great recipe. I’m no great fan of turnips but my husband came home from the farmers market with a huge bag recently and I was at a loss as to how to prepare them. This recipe was quite tasty and went over well at my house. I’ve learned so much here at your website and I always enjoy my visits. Many thanks for all your efforts!

    Comment by Magpie Ima — March 2, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

  18. I tried same except the masala is little different.
    But the currey is bitter — any ideas how to get rid of the bitterness?


    Comment by Kiran — March 13, 2008 @ 6:37 pm

  19. Hi Indira,
    I have tried your recipe and in the end I added a small amount of sugar too to the above recipe.
    I could not believe that turnip could taste so good. They were really awesome!


    Comment by Parul Gupta — June 5, 2008 @ 11:46 am

  20. Hey ! Was craving to eat shalgam. My mum used to make them punjabi style although we are bengalis and I used to love it. I’m trying your recipe today, first time to cook shalgam. I’m sure it’ll turn out great. Can’t wait for dinner…. Sllrrrrp… Dj

    Comment by debjani — March 3, 2009 @ 2:38 am

  21. […] Masala Turnips […]

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  22. I tried it and it came out really well. Thanks for the recipe.

    Comment by Sushma — July 16, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

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