Mashed turnip with cumin, ginger and chillies


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

Turnips are very low in calories and they provide plenty of dietary fibre. Shalgam Ka Bharta is a quick recipe for which you can roast and mash the turnips in advance and spice them up just before serving. It has amazing depth of flavour and can be eaten as a simple vegetarian meal or with meat and poultry dishes.


  • 675 g/lb turnips
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp sunflower oil or light olive oil
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm/1 in piece of root ginger, finely grated
  • 1–2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped (deseeded if preferred)
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground fennel
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp coriander (cilantro) leaves and stalks, finely chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°/400°/Gas 6. Peel the turnips and cut them into 2.5cm/1 in cubes. (See also Cook’s Tip)

  2. Put the turnips in a roasting pan and add 15ml/1 tbsp of the oil. Rub it well into the turnips with your fingertips. Position the pan just above the centre of the oven and roast the turnips for 20 minutes or until they are tender and brown.

  3. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes, then mash them roughly with a fork or in the food processor, using the pulse action.

  4. In a heavy sauté or frying pan, heat the remaining oil over a medium heat and add the cumin and nigella seeds. Let them sizzle for 15–20 seconds.

  5. Add the onion, ginger and chillies. Fry them for 6–7 minutes, stirring regularly, then add the turmeric and fennel.

  6. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add 30–45ml/2–3 tbsp water. Stir-fry until all of the water evaporates and repeat this process of adding and evaporating water once more.

  7. Add the mashed turnips and salt. Stir-fry for 4–5 minutes, reducing the heat slightly, if necessary.

  8. Stir in the coriander leaves and remove from the heat. Serve immediately.

Per portion Energy 198kcal/822kJ; Protein 3g; Carbohydrate 13g, of which sugars 11g; Fat 16g, of which saturates 2g; Cholesterol 0mg; Calcium 110mg; Fibre 5g; Sodium 275mg.