How to make Shalgam ka bharta | Mashed Turnip Stir Fry | Spice Turnip Mash
Shalgam ka bharta (or what we also fancily name Mashed Turnip Stir Fry or Spiced Turnip mash) is one of the few dishes my badi mummy was known for. Almost everything she made was magical, but this was among the top 5 dishes that she made. The name itself evokes many memories for me. I recall she fooling me that it was potato when I was a child and me happily eating wondering how does potato taste so different. Later when I grew up a bit, I recall this dish getting made in the house when dad was traveling or going to eat out since he didn’t like turnip.
I remember the sweet banter that would follow between mom and dad on this dish. How he would tease mum saying “main ja raha hoon, apni favorite sabji bana lena” (I am going out, you can make your favorite dish). And how much this sentence would irritate mum. I never quite understood that in childhood, that why does he say it when mum gets itchy or why does mum get irritated even after hearing the same thing about 100 times over. Only when I grew up I realised this is what is their nook-jhonk, the sweet friendly banter of a married couple. The sweet nothings and arguments that tie a husband and wife together, that this Shalgam Ka Bharta reference was part of a bond they share. Little did I know that this banter will go away so soon.
Despite of the fact that this is my badi-mummy’s recipe, the only person I can think of when I make or eat Shalgam ka Bharta, is my dad. Honestly speaking, I had never made this dish till a month ago. I never felt the need to, never missed it. Once I moved out of home I kind of put this dish out of mind. The fact the turnip aka shalgam is not an extremely common vegetable in South kind of helped too.
But this time in Delhi I made it for dinner and the flood of memories hit me like an avalanche. I could remember the dialogue between mum& dad. And I wanted to hold on this dish like crazy. Suddenly overnight, this became an extra special dish. Funny are the ways of the heart, honestly, and the things you try to remember when people are gone. The things that remind of the hollowness you are left with.
So here is my grandmum’s recipe for the same. As I bite into the shalgam ka bharta with a kadak roti just as my dad liked, I feel like I am transported back to my childhood where everything was fine. When there was no worry in life apart from having to finish homework.
Another very popular winter turnip recipe is the Gajar Gobhi & Shalgam ka achar. Here is the recipe to make it.