A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Spicy Indian Kohlrabi

I bought some kohlrabi recently for the first time. I wrote to ask you about it because I remembered you and Dad used to grow it in Alaska. And while I want to try it the simple way you told me about -- boiled, with butter, salt, and pepper -- we were in the mood for something spicy. Also, it's easier to approach a new vegetable when garlic and chiles are involved.

So I was pleased to find that kohlrabi is used in Indian cooking a lot. This is a combination of several recipes I found.

  • 3 kohlrabi (kohlrabis? sputniks?) with greens
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 small hot chiles, fresh or dried -- I used a fresh immature tabasco and a few chiltepins
  • 2 t ground coriander
  • 1 t cracked black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-2 T fresh lemon juice
Peel the kohlrabi and cut it into fat matchsticks, about 3/4" per side. Roughly chop the greens.

Heat the oil and saute the bay leaves, garlic, turmeric, chiles, and coriander, being careful not to burn them. Add the greens and saute for a few minutes. Then add the chopped kohlrabi and salt and pepper. Saute a few minutes more.

Add water, cover, and simmer until tender. Some recipes called for as many as 40 minutes, but I think we had some very young kohlrabi, and it was extremely tender in about 15 minutes.

Let the water cook away and add the lemon juice. Serve.


Lawson was quite charmed, and I think he is going to grow some kohlrabi now.

In the back there is a half-invented chicken-rice dish. Lawson said it was like an Indian chicken bog. It was okay, but not perfectly balanced. It contained onions, garlic, cardamom, saffron, a cinnamon stick, ginger, almonds, yogurt, jasmine rice, chicken thighs, and some other stuff I can't recall. Nice idea, one I'll try again, but with some modifications.


Kris said...

When we first grew kohlrabi we didn't know about the greens. We ate beet greens but hadn't discovered collards and all that--so that will give us a reason to grow another crop.

I do love the way kohlrabi is turnip-like yet pale green and crisp and cheerful.

Kris said...

We have to start growing some kohlrabi right away--at our local produce market (Sprouts) they are $3.87 apiece!