Britain’s favourite dish can make you fitter, thinner and faster, and even add some spice to your performance. Try this turnip and lamb curry.

Shaljam Gosht  Ingredients

Serves 4–6

  • 4 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 5cm fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 4–6 green chillies, chopped and seeds retained
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, pummelled and powdered
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 4 black cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 500ml water
  • 1kg boneless lamb, chopped into chunks
  • Salt
  • 500g turnips, chopped into chunks


Taking a large lidded pot, heat the oil over a low temperature and fry the onions until blonde for around 8–10 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and stir fry for 3–4 minutes. Spoon in the paprika, turmeric, fennel and coriander, then drop in the cardamom pods, cinnamon quill, tomatoes and 50ml of the water. Mix everything thoroughly, cooking for 2 minutes until you have the base of a sauce. Tip in the lamb, turn up the heat to medium and jumble everything up, coating the meat with the spice base.

Cover, turn the heat down and cook for about 15 minutes. The lamb will surrender its juices and the spices will bask. Uncover and keep the pot cooking until the sauce has dried a bit and is sticking to the lamb, then season with salt and add the rest of the water. Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring regularly. Now tip in the turnips and cook for another 20 minutes until the turnips have become almost mushy – easy to crush with the back of a spoon – and the meat is tender.


Urban Rajah: Chef ( author of Urban Rajah’s Curry Memoirs (Headline, £16.99).

Drew Price: Multipower Sportsfood registered nutritionist and Strength and Conditioning Coach.

DP: “After eating energy giving nutrients like carbohydrates and fats, you need to be able to unlock that energy. This is where many of the B vitamins become important. In particular B3, B6, Pantothenic acid and B12 found in lamb are important for energy production, the release of energy from food and nervous system health and function. Eat it with rice and you’ll also be getting a dose of B2 which is important for carbohydrate energy utilisation.”

UR: “Shaljam gosht is a marriage of earthy turnips and comforting lamb stew with the sonorous tones of juicy tomatoes.”

Words: Rob Kemp Images: Shutterstock