What is that in my box? Kohlrabi

That vegetable is KOHLRABI, a German turnip some say, but like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale has its origins in the wild cabbage plant (brassica oleracea). “Kohl” means cabbage, but it tastes far more like cauliflower to me.

You can eat it raw, peeled, sliced or grated and added to salad.

German friends in Neiderhatskofen made it for me boiled with a white sauce like cauliflower, and the children gleefully mashed it together with potato.

It’s also often used in Indian cuisine and is one of the most commonly eaten vegetables in Kashmir. Locally called ‘mon’, it is eaten along with its leaves at least four times a week. (I only use the more tender inside leaves).

Adding it to any soup is the easiest – but following are some recipes to tempt even the most doubtful.

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KOHLRABI CURRY

Ingredients:
Kohlrabi – 3, diced along with the greens
Onion – 1 medium, diced
Garlic – 1 clove, minced
Tomatoes – 2 medium, chopped
Green chilies – 2, chopped
Tamarind paste – 1 tbsp
Jaggery – 1 tsp (or to taste)
Red Chili powder – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste

Method:

Cook chopped kohlrabi until tender. (Pressure cooking works fine)

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add the seeds and after they pop, saute onions till translucent.

Add tomatoes and green chilies; cover and cook till tender.

Add boiled kohlrabi along with the greens, red chili powder, tamarind paste, jaggery, salt and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or till the gravy thickens.

Serve with steamed rice or dosa or even roti.

CELERIAC AND KOHLRABI ROSTI

Serves 4-6 as a side dish, 2-3 as a light lunch with salad

1 small celeriac (about 325-350 g)
1/2 kohlrabi (about 100 g)
50 g chickpea flour
A handful of parsley, stems and leaves
1 egg
2 tbsp cold water
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
Good quality olive oil, for frying

Scrub and peel the celeriac and peel the kohlrabi. Shred coarsely by hand or using the grating attachment of your food processor.

If using the food processor , replace the shredding blade with the chopping blade.

Add the chickpea flour, thinly sliced parsley leaves and stems, beaten egg, water, and seasonings.

Process, in brief bursts, until the contents are fairly evenly mixed. By hand, simply mix well.

Heat a good tablespoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.

Drop tablespoons of this mixture into the hot oil and cook for 2-3 mins on each side, until browned and cooked through.

Set aside in a warm oven until all the rösti are cooked (you may need to cook them in two batches).

Serve alongside meat or with a tomato-chili sauce as a snack or light lunch.

ROASTED KOHLRABI

Hands-on time: 10 minutes

Time to table: 45 minutes

Serves 4 (smallish servings since roasted vegetables shrink so much)

1 1/2 pounds fresh kohlrabi, ends trimmed, thick green skin sliced off with a knife, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic (garlic is optional, to my taste)

Salt

Good vinegar

Set oven to 450F. Toss the diced kohlrabi with olive oil, garlic and salt in a bowl. (The kohlrabi can be tossed with oil and seasonings right on the pan but uses more oil.)

Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and put into oven (it needn’t be fully preheated) and roast for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring every five minutes after about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with a good vinegar (probably at the table so the kohlrabi doesn’t get squishy).

from Vegetables Every Day

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