As for this vegetable, I have seen that it is not very popular in India (at least in Maharashtra) because it has a strong smell, which many find obnoxious. I remember, I used to be one of the very few ones in my class in school, who used to bring this vegetable for the packed lunch, in their 'dabba'. Having said that, I must mention that it is a popular and much-loved vegetable here in Germany. No wonder then that one of its names, Kohlrabi, happens to be German. (Actually, I feel that the roots of the name Knol Kohl are also German. Knollenkohl, maybe. What do my German-speaking readers think?) However, an interesting fact is that the 'Kohlrabi Capital of the World' is in Michigan, US. Read here more about it.
Well, anyway, what I made with it is a simple Maharashtrian preparation. Navalkolchi Bhaji.
Navalkolchi Bhaji served here with wholewheat chapatis
Recipe for Navalkolchi BhajiServes 3-4 as a side dish.
3 medium sized Kohlrabi
¼ cup Chana Dal
½ tsp chilli powder
a pinch turmeric powder
2 tsp jaggery (optional)
1 tsp oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
From left to right: Chana dal, whole peeled Kohlrabi (above) and diced Kohlrabi (below), Kohlrabi peels
1. Wash the Chana Dal and soak it in ¼ cup water for about half an hour.
2. Peel the Kohlrabi until all the fibre is gone and you have only the smooth flesh. The fibre neither cooks well nor does it taste good. If the Kohlrabi is fresh and tender, then it won't need much peeling. Please refer to the earlier photgraph for this.
3. Dice the Kohlrabi in bite-sized pieces. Pressure-cook the pieces until soft. Roughly, they take the same time to cook as lentils.
Clockwise from top: coriander leaves, cooked Kohlrabi dices, soaked Chana dal
4. Heat oil in a pan. Once it is hot, add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
5. Add the soaked Chana dal with the water, turmeric powder and the cooked Kohlrabi and steam-cook it for a couple of minutes.
6. Then add the chilli powder, salt and jaggery. Let the Bhaji simmer on low heat for about five minutes.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve warm with chapatis/phulkas or rice and dal.
1. Cabbage can be cooked in the same way. Only that it does not require pressure-cooking. It can be added raw with the soaked Chana dal.
Enjoy this vegetable and wish you a Happy Longest Day!
Tags: kohlrabi , Maharashtrian