SHALGAM KA BHARTA / शल्गम का भरता (Mashed Turnips)


Those of you who follow this blog regularly would by now be pretty familiar with my lop sided love for summers but that does not mean that I like nothing about winters. As I had mentioned in this post, I like the initial onset of winters and also when it is time for it to make an exit. Winters do provide me a few reasons to appreciate it – picnic and outdoor activities with family for instance besides indulging in Delhi’s stupendous variety of street food…i.e. if I happen to be there during winters.

But these are not the only reasons why I have that ‘special’ space in my heart for winters. If I love Indian summer for its awesome bounty of fruits, I love the Indian winter for its magnificent veggies – the cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, fenugreek greens, spinach greens, mustard greens, radish, peas, turnips, pumpkin and how could I forget the red and juicy Delhi carrots. There isn’t a single winter veggie that I don’t likeactually, I love them all to the core!

Well, to be honest, turnip didn’t happen to be on that list a decade ago. I don’t think many of us appreciate mushed up looking food. Add to that the fact that turnips lack the glamour quotient of say cauliflower or peas, which makes it tough for this humble veggie to find a place for itself on many dinner tables. I grew up hearing this often that turnips are a sweet vegetable however I believe they border somewhat on being bitter. And it was much later, while visiting my mother post my daughter’s birth, that I started appreciating this humble vegetable. And since then I believe that it hasn’t received its due coz if treated well, it tastes pretty darn good. I immediately asked her for the recipe and I was amazed how simple it was! She didn’t do much with it actually and just gave it a simple tempering and oh boy, it did wonders to the turnips. They had these amazing flavors that were sweet and sour and spicy, all in one.

Thanks to Mum’s tried and tested recipe, over the past few years I have successfully managed to convert quite a number of turnip haters into loving this humble root vegetable. My dad loves to have it with Makki ki Roti (Cornmeal Flat bread) however I enjoy it most with hot parathas smeared with some ghee.

You will need,


8 medium (650 – 700 gms) Turnips

1 tbsp Oil

1 small Red Onion (finely chopped)

1/2 tsp very finely chopped Ginger

1 Green Chili (I used just 1 since mine was super hot)

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

1/2 tsp Red Chili Powder (+ / -)

1 to 1½ tsp Sugar (granular)

1 tsp Amchur/ Dry Mango Powder (+ / -)

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Coriander (Cilantro)

Peel the turnips and wash them. Cut them in two halves and then roughly dice them (check the first pic). In a pot boil sufficient water and cook the diced turnips in it till they are done (not too soft). Using a colander, drain all the water and keep the turnips aside.

In a pan, heat oil and add onions, ginger along with green chilies. Saute till the onions begin to just turn golden. Reduce heat and add salt, chili powder, turmeric powder and saute for half a minute more. Add the boiled turnips and mash them coarsely with the back of spoon or you can use a fork to do the job. Add sugar and amchur and stir the contents well. At this point, adjust the sour sweet flavors to your taste. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh coriander and reserve the rest for garnish. Before serving garnish with fresh coriander. Serve with chapati or as a side dish to your favorite roast recipe.


Note: I pressure cooked the turnips to save on time.

Note: Feel free to use butter instead of oil to saute. I love to add just a little drizzle of Ghee over the curry before serving.

Note: Adjust the sweet and sour flavors to suit your taste.

Serves: 3 – 4

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27 thoughts on “SHALGAM KA BHARTA / शल्गम का भरता (Mashed Turnips)

  1. God don’t remind me of those juicy red carrots that we get in Delhi during winters! I soo miss it, the gajar halwa can never taste the same with the orange carrots that we get here in US 🙁 anyway this bharta looks really good, I need to cook with shalgam!

  2. Hmmm mashed turnips!!! never heard of this dish before. In the Middle East we make turnip pickles which is so so delish.. Thanks for sharing your recipe… I might convert after a bowl or two 🙂

  3. I like the idea of a little ghee on the dish. Big fan of it but I use moderately. I don’t think we have that variety of turnip over here. Neither have I cooked a similar dish. But sure as said, inviting.

  4. I know I’ve probably eaten turnips (I never refuse a veggie), but I don’t think I’ve ever cooked them! You’ve made a gorgeous, flavorful dish!!!

  5. Wow, can you believe that I have never had turnip prepared this way? Thanks for the recipe…sound delicious!
    Hope you are enjoying your week 🙂

  6. Winter veggies are wonderful — loads of flavor, and usually really nice texture. Mashed turnips are a brilliant idea — great flavor, and creamy texture. I’ve never had them — but I will. 🙂 Love all the spices in this dish — thanks.

  7. Turnips were definitely a child nightmare veggie and cannot say I have developed a love for it. But I had it always super plain and rather unseasoned. I think will all the added flavors here I could be a convert.

  8. This looks really yummy. I always end up just roasting root vegetables, which is delicious, but I’m kind of in a rut. I want to try this preparation!

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