Thursday, February 14, 2013

White Turnip stir/fry recipe -Shalgam/Shaljam Ki Sabzi

The week as it looks is very busy, with Saraswati Pujo and V-day happening soon, makes it even busier.
Now I know whenever Puja falls on weekday or a normal working day, my heart wish things should be other way around, festivals should happen on weekends, when families have more relaxed time with themselves and there is no rushing to work it through. No matter what I wish things will pretty go, as per routine-wise with -kids having to go to school and grown –up to their offices.
Back home Saraswati puja is one of the main festivals for us Bengalis. How many of you can remember wearing yellow sari or yellow clothes on this day and offering pushpanjali to Goddess of knowledge, having bhog afterwards,then heading straight to watch latest Hindi film with flock of your friends.For little ones and  innocent kids Saraswati Puja means a days off from studying, some will be having “hathe-khori” –introduction to life’s real challenges ahead – studying is, these days a bigger challenge.Given a choice of playing and studying , most of the kids will always choose to play.My Ma would say on this day “Aajke porte neyi” and with that, we siblings felt a sigh of relief. No study- means playing more or watching others, kite flying upstairs on terrace .Well kite-flying is an integral part of every festival, isn't?
While our Ma would be busy preparing khichuri - but sans onion/garlic for niramish ranna, Charchari  and Chatni  for us and not to forget gota sheddo  eaten next day on shashti , we siblings would end up making some crafts whole of the afternoon or end up kite flying upstairs.

And with end of “Basant Panchmi” as that is what most of us know Saraswati puja in Northern part of India – “Kumbh mela” will also be coming to an end. Although few will still be hanging on camp-side, till Shivratri is over. I know, whole world wonders how millions come to take holy bath in river Ganges, some deliberately pulls down the facts as this doesn't make sense to them  and many are amazed, to me it’s about ones own faith and believe. There are things which go beyond analysis and probably this is one of them. One mistake and like what happened this year, it shows up in the news, but can we just shift our attention and imagine controlling millions of people-size of a population of one big city or probably more , most of them are illiterate and  come from very humble back-ground. But it’s amazing how people, volunteers and army manage and organize this mela with such efficiency, not to mention the support of local people which goes unnoticed. And it never occurs to many, this is really a remarkable phenomenon how everything is planned and synchronized. One bad incident and we start moaning about the mis-management but if you really look deeply, so many volunteers, group of peoples and locals who support the cause irrespective of caste and religion, they are working overnight to make the Mela success. There had been many times we got stuck in the traffic for 2 -3 hrs on the Shashtri bridge which connects the city to other eastern part of UP, but we waited patiently sitting there in our bus or cars to clear up .What baffling days were those...Reminds me of many funny momentsJ...
But this Mela is a place where one can be lost also – and has given many brain-storming story ideas for many Hindi flims.Two brothers separated from each other in younger days, later realize they are brothers while fighting it out with goons, identifying the same tattoos they have on their arms, flashback scenes and then with a thunderous background music - “Tum merey Bhai ho!!”, suddenly the tearful reunion song starts playing in the back-ground. Ok I can even go into details how the stampede on one of the Mela venue, can play havoc in their life, but it will be a long story and slightly deviating from the topic of cooking.

Anyhow, what I will miss this Saraswati Pujo will be the Kul or Ber in Hindi /kind of red berries  which are so easily available during this time of the year back home especially paka Kul/ripened ber.And the Kul’er chatni that my Ma would usually make with topa kul,

But this post is not only about what I will miss, but about what I have right now J
And I do have white turnip-shalgam-shaljam  in my vegetable pantry, so it calls for a simple sabzi/torkari and that is what should be made and so it’s here.The simplicity lies in the fact that it has very basic seasonings one always can have in their stock.

White Turnip-Shalgam er tarkari- White turnip stir/fry with potato and tomato-Shaljam ki Sabzi 
Recipe requirements

  • 1 bunch white turnip- 4-5 turnip
  • 1 medium size potato
  • 1 medium size tomato
  • Seasoning
  • ½ tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of red pepper powder
  • 1 tsp of panch phoron or nigella seeds-kalo jeery
  • 2 tej patta (optional)
  • 3-4 tbs of mustard oil


  • Wash and clean the white turnip well in water to get rid of dirt and mud including the green leaves if they have.
  • Then chop the leaves finely and cut white turnip into cubes.
  • Now cut the potato into cubes and roughly chop tomato.
  • Heat up a saucepan, add in mustard oil, and add in phoron/tadka/tempering- with panch phoron or nigella seeds-kalo jeerey and tej patta.Although if tej patta is not available or out of pantry stock, you may skip it.
  • Now add in chopped potato pieces and chopped white turnip pieces and the green leaves. Let it fry for 4-5 mints.
  • Now add in all the seasonings- turmeric powder, red pepper powder and salt.
  • Mix and stir for another minute or two. Splash some water over it and mix.
  • Now cover the saucepan and let it cook for 8-12 mints. When all the vegetables turn little bit mushy or potatoes are cooked, turn off the heat. White turnip cooks fast as compared to potato and release  water which makes it enough to cook within, however if you wish to have a rasa sabzi – with gravy then 1-2 cups of water can be added.

Serve with warm cooked rice or roti whatever way you prefer. I generally add the green leaves as well to this sabzi/torkari, however if one feels, one can avoid adding it.Garnish with coriander leaves.Many make non-veg curry with shaljam - mutton or gosht shaljam curry is one such popular recipe.

Some of the pictures of our outings on weekends…Please click on pictures to see enlarge pictures.....

View across Thames river..seen through London eye...

Another one - across Thames river...

And on the other side- Big Ben ..London skyline looks stunning , even if it was cloudy...I was expecting to catch the sun-shadow effect ..but then weather god has another plan...Anyhow this is what we got ....

While walking along the sides of the river..This  book display caught our attention...

Some of them were published long back ..some of them were printed when we were not even born..One of the oldest book that caught our eye was of Ben Hur - probably printed in 50's ...but then there were many other books which were even printed in 30's as well...

Since Saraswati Puja is all about knowledge and worshiping the goddess of knowledge, thought of putting up these pictures and who doesn't like reading story books-fiction and non-fiction comes later on ..
These books were displayed very neatly, mind you this is not the single table, there were 6-8 tables like this on display..Some even had very old hand painted British landscape pictures in black-white/ink paintings, which were re- printed way back.These old books, which looked somewhat tired ,many must have been part of many gorgeous Victorian home book shelves, god knows where the original owners are now.If you can realize, every book must have so many stories to tell , if it can have a voice of itself.

What remains constant is "knowledge" that comes from these books, if we share, it keeps on increasing- the flow never stops ....So, as a practice even we give away books to charity so that other can take benefits from reading it and many times we purchase books to support the cause as well.

Ok all dearies, we will be making some of these in pictures for this year Saraswati puja as well.Here is our platter from last year..

Although many will like thick khichuri/  or shukno khichuri , but we as a family like little runny khichuri with lots of gravy ,so make what suits you and enjoy. And also don't forget gota sheddo  if you like eating it..

To all wish you a happy V-day and Saraswati Puja r shubecha in advance...Au revoir mon ami/amie.....

Happy Cooking Friends


  1. Delicious yet easy to prepare subzi. The Pics of the Thames banks are simply amazing.

  2. I have been cooking this white turnip a lot these days. love the texture and the melt in the mouth feel. will give your recipe a try next time. the last puja khichuri thali looks yum Jaya.

    1. Thanks Sayanatani,bhalo he lagbe banale , hugs

  3. I felt like saying the same regarding the festivals, wish every festivals falls on weekends.

    Delicious subzi, those pictures are really very pleasant to eyes.

    1. thanks Priya and yeah weekend are relaxed compared to weekdays..but some things not in our control LOL..hugs

  4. lovely dish and nice clicks of London. i also have turnip dish do check it out at my space.

  5. Honestly, I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. Your article is very unique for all the blogs I visited before and the recipe given here is very unique. I will bookmark your blog because it was really amazing. Later, I will cook this dish for my husband and I think he will like it very much. Thank you!.



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