Shaljam Gosht – Meat and Turnips


If you’ve been itching to experiment with those beautiful  turnips currently in season, this Shaljam Gosht (Meat and Turnips) recipe is the perfect reason to get cookin’!

My mom’s Shaljam Gosht recipe is one of my dad’s favorites without a doubt. In our house, Shaljam gosht is always served with basmati rice. Shaljam gosht isn’t a fancy recipe and it’s never served at restaurants or dinner parties. Honestly, i’ve only eaten my mom’s Shaljam. I guess that’s why it never occurred to me that adding sugar to the shaljam, which my mom always does, is mostly done in the Punjab region of Pakistan. The sugar is meant to enhance the inherent sweetness of turnips and in my opinion that’s what makes my mom’s shaljam gosht so delicious!

Let’s begin this recipe the way almost every Pakistani recipe begins… with an onion!

Fry half an onion til it’s golden brown.

Shaljam Ghosht

Add 1/2 cup of water to onions to prevent them from burning.

Then add ginger, garlic, and spices.

Add the meat. Mix well.

Shaljam Ghosht

Fry the meat with oil and spices for few minutes.

Continue to fry meat till the oil separates from the meat for approximately 6-8 minutes.

Add 2 cups of water to pot.
Cover the pot and cook meat on low heat for 20 minutes.

While the meat is cooking, let’s turn our attention to the turnips.

Aren’t they pretty?

You want to peel them like shown below. Honestly, peeling and chopping the turnips is the most labor intensive part of this recipe.

Chop off the ends.

Wash them well.

Let’s get choppin’

These turnips are a bit hard to cut so use a well sharpened knife and be careful.

Chop them into 8 parts, roughly equal in size.

Shaljam Ghosht

Once the meat has cooked for 20 minutes, add the chopped turnips to the pot. Mix everything once.

Fill 3 quarters of the pot with water so most of the turnips are covered in water.
Turn down heat to low, cover the pot and cook for 1 hour.

You can check on the turnips and meat after 30 minutes of cooking. The turnips will have started to soften. Cover the pot again and continue to cook for about 30-45 minutes longer.

After an hour of cooking, use your spatula or wooden cooking spoon, start to slowly mix the meat and turnips. Break apart the turnips which should be easily coming apart. If they are still a bit hard, let them cook for another 10 minutes with the lid on.

Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the pot. Turn up the heat to medium high and mix the sugar well into the turnips and meat. Let most of the water evaporate. This should take approximately 10 minutes. Check salt and adjust to taste. They will taste slightly sweet but shouldn’t be overpowering. The flavors of the spices and ginger should be the prominent taste with a hint of sweetness.

Shaljam ghosht
Shaljam Ghosht – Meat and Turnips

Now you have a delicious pot of Punjabi Shaljam Ghosht! Serve with white rice or Roti.

Bon appetit


Shaljam Ghosht – Meat and Turnips Recipe


  • 1 lb red meat
  • 10 turnips
  • 2 tablespoons Ginger, finely diced
  • 4 Garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Red chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar


  1. Fry the onion til golden brown
  2. Add 1/2 cup water to prevent the onions from burning
  3. Add ginger, garlic, spices, and red meat
  4. Fry meat with oil and spices.
  5. Add water as needed to prevent the spices from burning
  6. Continue to fry meat till the oil evaporates, approximately for 10 minutes
  7. Add 2 cups of water
  8. Cover pot and cook on low heat for 20 minutes
  9. Meanwhile, peel and wash turnips
  10. Chop each turnip into 8 parts, roughly equal in size
  11. Add chopped turnips to meat
  12. Mix everything together
  13. Fill 3/4 of pot with water so most of the turnips are covered in water
  14. Turn down heat to low, cover and cook for 1 hour
  15. Check after 30 minutes of cooking, turnips should be becoming soft
  16. Continue to cook for a total of 1 hour
  17. Once turnips are soft enough to break apart easily with spoon, add 1 tablespoon of sugar
  18. Mix well with turnips and meat
  19. Turn heat to medium and cook till most of the remaining water evaporates
  20. Start mashing the turnips a little with your spoon while water is evaporating.
  21. Check salt and add to taste








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