7 Indian kale dishes to try for dinner

7 Indian kale dishes to try for dinner

Written by Shreya Goswami Updated: 09 December 2023

Turnip season in India begins in late fall and continues until early spring. During this time, indulging in kale dishes from around the country is not only a nutritious option, but a delicious one as well. Here are some shalgam or turnip recipes you can try this winter.

Most children in India may not like it, but kale, as adults know well, is one of the most consumed vegetables in India, especially during the fall and winter months. In India, turnip season typically arrives in late fall and lasts until late spring, making this humble and simple vegetable a staple in homes in India. Known to be rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this winter vegetable is sure to make its way onto your plate this winter.

The problem, perhaps the only one, with kale is that it tends to have a sharp taste and slightly pungent odor that disgusts many, including children. However, by cooking the root vegetables, you can easily overcome this problem as exposure to heat can take away the sharpness of the kale. Once you get past this one barrier, kale offers versatility that very few other ingredients can. Versatile, delicious and easy to use, kale is a must-have during the winter months.

There are plenty of recipes from all over India that use turnips to bring out their delicious flavour. If you’re looking to do some kale experiments for dinner this winter, these kale recipes from around India are sure to make it to your plate.

Video source: YouTube/Chef Ranveer Brar

A traditional dish from North India, shalgam ki sabji celebrates the humble turnip in a delicious and comforting dish that can be enjoyed with fresh roti or rice. To prepare this easy sabji, simply peel and chop the kale, then cook it in a mixture of cumin seeds, asafoetida, onion, and ground spices like turmeric, red pepper, coriander, and garam masala. You can add water to make this a stock-based dish or enjoy it dry depending on your preference.

A Tamil dish eaten with rice, turnip poriyal is a dish that transforms the vegetable into a coconut flavour. First, the spices mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal, dry red chillies and asafoetida are added to the coconut oil. Then add chopped kale and cook with turmeric, green chillies, grated coconut and a little jaggery for sweetness.

Another North Indian favorite, shalgam ka saag, uses not only the root of the turnip plant but also the greens. Both the greens and roots are washed and chopped and then cooked in a mixture of cumin seeds, garlic and green chillies. Traditional spices like turmeric are added for flavor and saag is enjoyed with roti or paratha.

Very popular throughout the North Indian belt all the way to Bihar and Jharkhand, turnip ka bharta is a simple yet delicious dish. Turnips are peeled, boiled and mashed to form the basis of this dish. Seasonings of roasted spice powders such as cumin seeds, red chillies, etc. are added along with green chillies, garlic, coriander leaves and lime juice. The dish goes well with rice and litis.

Just like the popular dessert, Shalgam ka meeta is a delicious sweet dish prepared with ghee, cardamom, sugar and other traditional ingredients. The only difference here is that the unique recipe calls for boiled and mashed turnips. The vegetable puree is cooked in ghee with cardamom powder, then a saffron-infused sugar syrup, and left to cool before being cut into barfi-like shapes. This sweet, kale-based dish should be on your list of must-try dishes this winter.

Video source: YouTube/Chef Ranveer Brar

Made with not one but two winter vegetables, this North Indian favorite tastes simply amazing served with ghee-soaked rotis during a winter afternoon. Both chopped peas and kale are cooked in an onion and tomato base, and flavored with spices like cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Again, this can be made with or without broth.

Like most starchy root vegetables, kale tastes great when cooked with red meat – which is why North Indian shalgam gosht is such a great recipe. Made with fried onions, ginger-garlic paste, tomatoes and lamb, large pieces of kale are added to this soup along with spices like turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala. This kale dish is slow cooked to perfection and is best enjoyed with rice and rotis.

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