Shalgam ke Kebab/ Vegetarian Turnip Kebabs


I’m back! It has been a long break; much longer than I had thought of or planned for. Of course a lot has happened since we last met; demonetization back home in India- I learnt a new word and that’s all I have to say; another year has come- hope you all had a wonderful holiday season; we moved into a new place- for the seventh time in eleven years, doesn’t even bother me anymore; I attended the husbands 20th school reunion- laughter, stories and alcohol flowed freely so yeah it was a big success; Baby boy came home- which is always happiness and chaos, I attended a family wedding- it was only the third wedding I’ve been to in the past eleven years, needless to say I was quite clueless and excited; we went to Bali- yes, again! What can I say, it’s become a habit; Baby boy went back to school- heartbreaking as always but this time as we drove off, he waved at us with a big smile on his face; I experienced winter after ages- Jodhpur in January was cold, thankfully I was there only for a few days. So there it is- pretty much everything that has happened since the last post; what have you been up to?


Ok now turnips isn’t exactly what I had hoped to start the year with but this really is a delicious vegetarian option, different too from the usual aloo and paneer. Like a lot of my food, this too requires the bare minimum pantry staples and of course minimum effort and this gem of a recipe like so many others is from the Sailana cookbook, one of my all time favourites.  Not much to worry about while making this recipe, boil the shalgam, fry the onions, grind everything together, add the masalas and fry- yummy vegetarian kebabs done! After you’ve boiled the turnips just remember to squeeze it well to remove all the excess liquids which would otherwise make the kebabs wet and difficult to shape and fry, that’s it, there really isn’t much to explain where this recipe is concerned, just keep in mind the below recipe will yield about 10 kebabs (depending on what size you make it of course) so if you plan to make it for a large gathering or just have a large appetite like us, do remember to double or triple the recipe.



  • Turnips/ Shalgam- 500 grams
  • Onions- 1 small, thinly sliced
  • Chana dal powder- 2 tbsp*
  • Salt- ½ – 1 tsp
  • Red chili powder- ½- 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder- ½ tsp
  • Vegetable oil/ ghee – for frying


*to make the chana dal powder- Add ¼ cup (or more) chana dal to a pan and on low heat roast it till you start to get a toasted smell (about 2-3 minutes); keep stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn. Take it off the heat and let it cool; once cool grind the dal to a powder in a food processor/ dry grinder. You can make a big batch of this and store in an airtight container.

  1. Cut each turnip into four pieces; add the turnip pieces to a pot of water and put to boil. Boil the turnips till cooked through and soft then drain and discard the water. Wrap the turnips, 2-3 pieces at a time, in a muslin/cheesecloth; squeeze well to remove all excess liquids from the turnips.
  2. Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil or ghee and fry the sliced onions to a golden brown; take out the onions with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  3. Grind together the cooked turnips and fried onions. Add the salt, chana dal powder, garam masala and red chili powder; mix well to combine. Taste for salt, add more if required.
  4. Make balls and divide into equal portions. Flatten each ball (use slightly wet hands if required) to give the kebabs a smooth and even shape. Using 2-3 tbsp of oil, fry the kebabs on low-medium heat till golden brown.


  • You can make the chana dal powder in a larger quantity and store in it in an airtight container. It can be used to bind various vegetarian and meat kebabs.
  • Make sure to squeeze out all the liquid from the cooked turnips so you get a crisp kebab that also holds its shape well and is easy to fry.
  • The above recipe is a small batch, enough for 2-3 people; double or triple the quantity if you plan to make it for a crowd.



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