Tasty Treats With Turnips By Chef Kaviraj Khialani

Learn how to make various recipes with shalgam with our Chef Kaviraj Khialani 

Chef Kaviraj Khialani
recipes with shalgam

The turnip or shalgam as it is also called is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, fleshy taproot. The word turnip is derived from the Latin word called Napus, the word used for the plant. The turnip or white turnip is a root vegetable. It is commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, fleshy taproot. There are over 30 varieties of turnips which differ in size, color, flavor and usage. Purple-top turnips are the most common type. Smaller kinds of turnip are grown for human food. Larger ones are grown to feed livestock.

The most common type of turnip is mostly white-skinned apart from the upper part which protrude above the ground and are purple or red or greenish where the sun has hit. The turnip is a hardy biennial plant in the mustard family which are closely related) in flavor. The turnip is a cool-season crop but does not require a long growing season. In mild climates, turnips are sown either in early spring or in late summer and develop rapidly enough to produce a crop before extremes of summer or late fall weather occur.


Young turnip roots are eaten raw in salads or pickled, they are also cooked and served whole or mashed and are used in stews Turnip greens are a common side dish in southeastern U.S. cooking, primarily during late fall and winter. Turnip roots are excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and vitamin B6, folate, calcium, potassium, and copper. The greens are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as a good source of calcium, iron, and riboflavin. Some evidence shows the turnip was domesticated before the 15th century BC; it was grown in India at this time for its oil-bearing seeds.

The turnip was a well-established crop in Hellenistic and Roman times, which leads to the assumption that it was brought into cultivation earlier. In Roman times, the turnip was the weapon of choice to hurl at unpopular public figures.

What Are 3 Health Benefits Of Turnips?

Turnips are loaded with fiber and vitamins K, A, C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6, B2 and folate (one of the B vitamins), as well as minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and copper. They are also a good source of phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

What Are Turnips Grown For?

Fast-maturing and easy to grow, turnips always emerge as stars in the autumn garden. Sown after summer crops of onions, squash, beans or sweet corn, turnip seeds germinate within days, and tender greens are ready to pick within a month. Juicy roots come later, and you can grow turnips for greens, roots, or both.

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Storing Turnips

Turnips store very well, which is one of the reasons you see them long into the winter season. Once its green top is removed, the root will keep for a few months in a dry, sealed container, much like the potato and other root vegetables.

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Cooking With Turnips - Pro Tips:

If you’re put off by the sometimes bitter flavor of turnips, make sure you generously peel them before cooking. When you slice a turnip in half, you’ll notice a yellow line about a quarter of an inch into the root. Peeling beyond that line is a way to prevent a bitter batch of turnips. Some also claim that boiling turnips with a potato will decrease bitterness.

Preserving Turnips

Turnips’ peppery flavor makes them perfect for pickling. You can also freeze your winter haul of by peeling, slicing and blanching the turnips. After a plunge in an ice bath to stop the cooking process, you can vacuum seal or transfer to in sealable containers and store in your freezer for months.

Turnips Nutrition

Turnips are rich in Vitamin C and contain good amounts of Vitamins B-6, A and K in addition to trace minerals. But it’s the greens that packs a nutritional punch with a hefty dose of Vitamins A, C, K, calcium, folic acid and manganese. Turnips are also low in calories as they are mostly fiber and water. A very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and manganese. The turnip greens are a super food and packed with nutrients. They are a good source of protein, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iron, and phosphorus.

Here Are A Few Health Benefits Of Turnips:

1. Turnips are considered good for boosting immunity levels in our body, and are also good for heart health.

2. Turnips are good for the health of our lungs and also help treat

Common ailments.

3. Turnips improve metabolism and also help in digestion.

4. Turnips are common anti- oxidants and anti- cancer.

5. Turnips have high quality of Vitamin – C and lowers high blood pressure.

6. Turnips are rich in beta carotene and dietary fiber which is beneficial for our health and diets.

7. Turnips are rich in potassium, calcium, manganese etc which add value to our foods.

8. Turnips are helpful in curing asthma and also help in weight loss.

9. Turnips are rich in minerals for our body development, and prevent body odour.

10. Turnips are good for detoxifying our blood, and also good for cardio-vascular health.

“Turnips or Shalgam is a well-known winter vegetable which is not only loaded with nutrients but can also be added to a number of culinary delicacies under various categories of recipes and under global cuisines”- Dr. Kaviraj Khialani, celebrity master chef.

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Here Are A Few Easy To Make Recipes Using Turnips Or Shalgam!




For the base of the salad:

Iceberg lettuce/ Lollorosso lettuce/ mixed greens- 1 cup

For the body of the salad:

Turnips- 250 gms, peeled and cut/sliced/shredded/ cut into strips

Barley- 1 cup boiled/ cooked.

Carrots- ½ cup peeled, cut

Cucumber-1 small, peeled and sliced

Assorted nuts-2-3 tbsp.

Dates- 2-3 tbsp. sliced

Celery- ½ cup sliced

For the dressing for the salad:

Olive oil- 2-3 tbsp.

Honey- 2-3 tbsp.

Lime juice- 2-3 tbsp.

Salt and pepper to taste

Flax seeds/ sunflower seeds- 2-3 tsp

Toasted white sesame seeds- 2-3 tsp

Chickoo/orange segments-1/2 cup

For the garnish of the salad:

Micro-greens/ cherry tomatoes/ assorted nuts and seeds

Parsley/coriander/mint leaves


1. Prepare all the ingredients for the salad as per the recipe.

2. Clean, wash and place the salad greens in chilled water.

3. Prepare the ingredients for the dressing of the salad and mix it up well.

4. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a salad plate, in a mixing bowl combine together the body of the salad with turnips, cooked barley along with other ingredients and add the dressing, toss the salad.

5. Place the tossed salad on the bed of crispy lettuce and garnish as desired, serve the salad instantly, the same salad can also be done in non-veg options by adding boiled shredded chicken/ roasted sliced meat etc, we can also add grilled tofu as well.




Oil- 2 tsp

Ghee- 2 tsp

Cinnamon- 1-inch piece

Peppercorns- 4-5 no

Hing-1/2 tsp

Onion- 1 medium sized, chopped

Green chilies- 2-3 slit

Ginger- 2 tsp chopped

Tomatoes- 1 cup puree/chop

Turnips- 200 gms, peeled and cut

Sweet potatoes- 150 gms, peeled and cut

Salt to taste

Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp

Coriander powder- 2 tsp

Red chili powder- 1 tsp

Cumin powder-1/4 tsp

Garam masala powder-1/4 tsp

Water-1/2 cup

Aamchur powder-1/4 tsp

Coriander leaves- 2 tbsp.


1. Prepare all the ingredients for the recipe as per the list.

2. Heat oil and ghee in a pan add in the hing, onions, ginger, green chilies and saute for a few seconds.

3. Add in the tomatoes and salt, all powdered spices, little water and allow to cook the masala for 1-2 mins.

4. Now add in the turnips, potatoes and bhunofy for 1 minute, add a little water and mix, cover, simmer and cook the subzi for 12-20 mins, stir in between and check for seasonings, add in aamchur and fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with phulkas, rotis and parathas etc.




Oil-2 tsp

Mustard seeds- 1 tsp

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Hing-1/2 tsp

Curry leaves- 10-12 no

Slit green chilies- 2-4 slit

Carrots- 1 cup shredded

Turnips- 150 gms, peeled and shredded

Celery- ½ cup shredded

Black sesame seeds- ½ tsp

For the dressing of the relish:

Honey-2-3 tsp

Lime juice- 2-3 tsp

Jaggery- 2-3 tsp

Red chili flakes-1/2 tsp

White vinegar- 2-3 tsp

Salt and pepper to taste

Dates- 2-3 tsp chopped

Flax seeds / pumpkin seeds- 1 tsp

Sugar- 1 tsp

For the garnish of the relish:

Roasted crushed peanuts/ micro-greens/ parsley/ mint/ coriander.


1. Prepare all the ingredients for the relish recipe as listed.

2. In a pan add a little oil add in the seeds, chilies, curry leaves, allow to splutter for a few seconds.

3. Add in the celery, turnips and carrots and saute them all for a few seconds and turn off the flame.

4. Allow the mixture to cool and come to room temperature. In a separate bowl combine together the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and mix well, add it to the turnip mixture.

5. Mix well and place the turnip and dressing mixture into a glass jar and keep it refrigerated for a day.

6. Next day we can serve the relish along with some starters/snacks etc garnish the relish with greens/ nuts/ seeds as desired.




oil- 2 tsp

butter- 1 tsp

bay leaf-1-2 no

peppercorns- 4-5 no

onion- 1 small sliced

garlic- 1 tsp chopped

turnips- 150 gms, peeled and cut

potato- 1 medium sized, peeled and cut

assorted lentils- ½ cup, split yellow lentils

salt and pepper to taste

mixed herbs- ½ tsp

chili flakes-1/2 tsp

maida- 1 tsp

tomato-1 small chopped

water/ stock- 3-4 cups

cream- ¼ cup

assorted nuts- 2-3 tbsp. cashews/ walnuts

parsley-2-3 tsp chopped

lime juice a dash to add and serve hot.


1. Prepare all the ingredients for the turnip and lentil soup and keep it all ready.

2. Heat oil and butter in a pan add in the bay leaf, peppercorns, onion, garlic and saute for a few seconds.

3. Add in the turnips, potatoes and other veggies as well like some carrots, celery, peas etc to add more flavor into the soup.

4. we can add in the salt, pepper, herbs, maida, chili flakes, tomato, soaked yellow lentil and mix well.

5. Now we can add in the water/ stock and bring to a boil and simmer for 12-18 mins and allow to cool, puree the soup and bring it back to a boil, add in little cream, stock/water and adjust the texture of the soup.

6. Lastly, add in the chopped nuts, lime juice and parsley and serve the soup hot, we can also add boiled chicken cubes/ chopped boiled eggs, saute prawns etc to make it in a non-veg variation.

Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more such recipe by chef Kaviraj Khialani who is not just a celebrity Master Chef but has a varied experience with hotels and airlines. He is an author, food writer, food designer, consultant, and creative cuisine specialist.