RoodonFood Recipes: Indian Turnips (Shalgam)

Happy Diwali and Kali Puja everyone.

Indian Turnip Recipe (Shalgam)

Indian Turnip Recipe (Shalgam)

I wanted to share a new favorite recipe with you. It’s a slight variation of classic Indian turnips (Shalgam/Shalgam-er Torkari). My family members aren’t big fans so it was unfamiliar to me until I mistakenly got them at the legendary Punjabi deli. Raw turnips are naturally acidic and peppery which isn’t terribly appealing for many people. But don’t be scared. A funny thing happens to these root vegetables when cooked: they forsake their bitter acidity and mellow out into sweetness.

Note: The recipe below uses ajwain (Bengali: jowan). It’s a spice you can pick up at Indian/Pakistani grocery stores. In English it’s called bishop weed. It has a cleansing, almost minty taste with the mildest kick. The peas and bell pepper add a little extra color. Serve with luchi, puri or rice. Yields ~4 servings as a side. Recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.

2 turnips (chopped small)
1/3 onion (chopped)
½ medium size tomato (chopped)
1 oz bell pepper (diced)
1 oz green peas
1 t cumin seeds
1 T ajwain
1 t tumeric
1 t ginger
1 t coriander powder
chopped chili pepper or chili powder to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste


Add chopped onion to pan and turn on to medium low. Allow a minute to cook. Next drop in cumin seeds, ajwain, ginger. Give one minute to sputter. Now toss in remaining ingredients and 1/3 cup of water. Continue cooking covered. They’re done once partially translucent, roughly 30 minutes.

2 comments on “RoodonFood Recipes: Indian Turnips (Shalgam)

  1. […] bacon or even simpler is the roasting recipe below. Roasting removes part of the sourness and like turnips, some of the natural sugars come out. This makes for a great Thanksgiving, Christmas, Holidays side […]

  2. […] Indian Turnip Recipe AKA Shalgam (Gluten Free, Vegan) […]

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