What is Turnip (Shalgam) ? Glossary | Uses, benefits, Recipes Viewed 36557 times

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What is turnip, shalgam?

The turnip or white turnip (Brassica rapa var. rapa) is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. The most common type of turnip is mostly white-skinned apart from the upper 1-6 centimeters, which protrude above the ground and are purple, red, or greenish wherever sunlight has fallen. The interior flesh is entirely white. The entire root is roughly conical, but can be occasionally tomato-shaped, about 5-20 centimeters in diameter, and lacks side roots. Most very small turnips (also called baby turnips) are specialty varieties. These are only available when freshly harvested and do not keep well. Most baby turnips can be eaten whole, including their leaves. Baby turnips come in yellow-, orange-, and red-fleshed varieties as well as white-fleshed. Their flavor is mild, so they can be eaten raw in salads like radishes.

Chopped turnip
Place the peeled and washed turnip on a chopping board and chop it into small pieces. Can be finely chopped or roughly chopped or chopped into big chunks as per recipe requirement.
Grated turnip
This requires grating the turnip in a hand held grater. This grated turnip is fine in texture and is used as garnish.
Peeled turnip
Wash the turnip and peel it with a peeler or a sharp knife. The peeled turnip can be cut or grated as per recipe.
Sliced turnip
You may place the turnip in a slicer or slice them in thin or thick slices with a sharp knife, as per the recipe requirement.
Turnip cubes
In order to make cubes, firstly peel the turnip and discard the stem. Place on a chopping board and cut the peeled turnip into halves from the centre lengthwise. Take each halve and make vertical slits lengthwise. Combine all the vertical slits together and make horizontal slits breadth wise to get cubes. You can make fine slits or thick slits as per recipe requirements. Turnip cubes are used mainly in subzis, curries, parathas and gravies.
Turnip strips
Cut the turnip into thin or thick strips as per recipe requirement.

How to select turnip, shalgam

The turnips should be firm, rounded at their edges, and their color should be a bright medium to dark white with purplish tinge. Avoid turnip that are yellow, puffy, have sunken water-soaked areas, or are wrinkled at their tips. While many people are used to purchasing turnips that have a waxed coating, it is highly recommended to choose those that are unwaxed, so the nutrient-rich skin can be eaten without consuming the wax and any chemicals trapped in it.

Culinary uses of turnip, shalgam

" In Europe, the root is a popular addition to many warming winter stews. The roots are edible cooked, as well as raw, and turnip slices figure in many salads and soups.
" In the Orient, turnip strips are preferred stir-fried
" Use half-inch thick turnip slices as petite serving "dishes" for chopped vegetable salads.
" Mix diced turnip with sugar snap peas and mint leaves and toss with rice wine vinaigrette.
" For refreshing cold gazpacho soup that takes five minutes or less to make, simply purée turnip, tomatoes, green peppers and onions, then add salt and pepper to taste.
" Add diced turnip to tuna fish or chicken salad recipes
" a few other recipe with turnips are Baked Turnip and Sauerkraut Casserole, boiled turnip with salt and lemon juice, pickled turnip, soups and stews.

How to store turnip, shalgam

Turnips should be stored in the refrigerator where they will keep for several days. If you do not use the entire turnip during one meal, wrap the remainder tightly in plastic or place it in a sealed container so that it does not become dried out. For maximum quality, turnips should be used within one or two days. Turnips should not be left out at room temperature for too long as this will cause them to wilt and become limp.

Health benefits of turnip, shalgam

" The turnip's root is high only in Vitamin C.
" The green leaves of the turnip top ("turnip greens") are a good source of Vitamin A, folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and calcium. Turnip greens are high in lutein.
" About 100 gm of turnip root contains just 30 calories, and contains Vitamin C. The leaves contain fewer calories - 23 per 100 gm, and are rich in Thiamine and Vitamin C. Turnips are also a good source of riboflavin, magnesium, carotene, manganese, folate, calcium and iron.
" Turnip seeds are rich in fatty acids and were a traditional remedy for cancer in European culture.