Turnip Curry (Shalgam)

Chef by StepAuthorChef by Step
cover image for vegan shalgam शलजम
Yields6 ServingsCategoryCuisine
Prep Time10 minsTotal Time1 hr 10 mins
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The sliced turnips in this dish have a very delicate mouthfeel. The flavor profile is warm and nutty, great for autumn and winter.

 2 turnips
 2 tbsp vegetable oil
 1 red onions
 3 sprigs of cilantro
Yogurt Sauce
 150 g plain, dairy free yogurtIt must be plain, no vanilla or fruity flavors.
 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
 2 tsp black sesame seed (poppy seed gives a different taste, but is also very good here)
 ½ tsp ground cumin
 ½ tsp turmeric
 ½ tsp chili powder
 1 inch minced ginger root
 1 pinch salt
 water as needed

Gather your ingredients!

Ingredients for vegan shalgam शलजम


Cut the turnips into disks about 1 cm thick.

cut the vegan shalgam शलजम


Peel the turnip by lying the disks on their sides and cutting off the edges. I find this easier on the hands than using a peeler on a whole turnip.

Don’t skip this step–some turnips are sold with an inedible waxy coating.

peel turnip for vegan shalgam शलजम


Cut the onion into quarters, then into thin strips.

slice onions for vegan shalgam शलजम


Before beginning to cook, measure out your dry spices and set them aside.

spices for vegan shalgam


Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and heat on medium-high. Add a small fleck of vegetable to test the oil–when bubbles appear around it, it’s hot enough to use. Lay the discs of turnip down and cook them until they just barely begin to brown on one side. Flip and repeat.

pan sear the turnips for vegan shalgam


Remove the browned turnip from the heat and set aside.

set turnips aide for vegan shalgam शलजम


Add the sliced onions to the hot oil (you do not need to add more oil) and begin to sauté.

sauté onions for vegan shalgam शलजम


Once the onions are somewhat limp, add the dry spices and pour on about half a cup of water. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, about five minutes.

cooking spices and onions for vegan shalgam शलजम


Add the turnips back in and stir.

add the turnips back for vegan shalgam शलजम


Add enough water to submerge the turnips. Cover and cook on medium-high heat for 20 minutes.

submerge the turnips in water for vegan shalgam शलजम


Stir in the vegan yogurt. Be sure to use plain yogurt for this step–vanilla or fruity yogurt would not mesh well with these flavors.

stir yogurt into the vegan shalgam शलजम


Uncover the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the water has boiled off. The sauce should be thick, with a consistency close to creamy yogurt. The dish is done once the turnips become tender enough to break with a spoon.

cook off the water in vegan shelgam शलजम


Break a few cilantro leaves from their stems for garnish.

cilantro leaves


Serve warm, and enjoy!

finished vegan shalgam शलजम

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