Turnips Simmered in Date Syrup

Mayi’ il-Shalgham

Preparation info
  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in
Delights from the Garden of Eden

By Nawal Nasrallah

Published 2019

  • About

A street-food snack of turnips simmered to tenderness, and hence the epithet maye’ (literally ‘melting’). The small amount of date syrup traditionally used in this food helps give the turnips a delicately sweet taste. Molasses will give almost the same delicious taste and lovely hue.


  • 2 lbs (900 g) turnips
  • ¼ cup (60


  • Wash turnips, cut off both ends, and cut each one horizontally into halves, but not all the way through, leaving them intact. Put turnips, date syrup or molasses, and salt in a medium pot and cover them by about 2in/5cm cold water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let them simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm sprinkled with a dash of coarse salt.