mashed turnips

Mashed Turnips (Shalgam bharta)

A different mashed turnips recipe! Soft turnips cooked in lots of fried onions, garlic and fenugreek is a delicious way to eat this not-so-popular root vegetable.

  • Author: Saima Zaidi
  • Prep Time: 12 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hours 2 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • 8 small turnips, peeled and halved
  • 1 large onion, sliced finely
  • 1 heaped tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mango powder (amchur)
  • 1 green chilli, sliced finely
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • A few sprigs fresh coriander
  • salt


  1. Fill a saucepan with water and dunk the turnip chunks into it. The water should cover the chunks completely. Boil till soft, around 20 minutes. Pour the contents of the saucepan into a colander with another pan beneath it to catch the liquid.
  2. When the contents of the colander cool down completely, take each turnip chunk in your hand and squeeze gently to get rid of the excess liquid. Mash with a fork.
  3. In a pan, heat the oil and add the fenugreek seeds. When they turn golden, put in the onions. Saute till brown, then tip in the garlic, mango powder and salt.
  4. Add the mashed turnips to the fried onions and saute for some more time, about 15 minutes. The turnips should lose their white colour and turn a nice reddish brown. Once done, put in the coriander leaves and green chilli and mix thoroughly. Serve hot with rotis or any Indian bread.


  1. Don’t be tempted to buy large turnips as these can be stronger in taste and even bitter sometimes. Choose small to medium sized turnips.
  2. Mango powder or amchur is available in Indian grocery stores. It adds an extra tang to this dish but is completely optional. You can bypass it if you don’t want to go to the trouble of procuring it.
  3. I don't like to throw away the turnip-y liquid collected in step 1 because it is rich in nutrients. So I put it in the dal I'm cooking for the day. No loss, no waste!