Wednesday, February 07, 2007
I always thought Olkopi or KohlRabi is a veggie popular only in Eastern India, because we had it in Bihar and Bengal but somehow never noticed it in Bangalore. So I thought it was going to be a surprise veggie for most of you and I could blog about it and yell SURPRISEEEE !!! But that was not to be, you foodies surprise me all the time. Laksmik already introduced it and there is even a South Indian Name for it, Noolkol (see the "ol" in every language ?)
This is known as Kohlrabi here in the US and as Lakshmi pointed out till date I have seen it only at the Asian Stores, the Indian stores don’t carry it.
Interesting facts about KohlRabi from Wiki
Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group) is a low, stout cultivar of the cabbage which has been selected for its swollen, nearly spherical, Sputnik-like shape. The name comes from the German kohl (cabbage) plus rabi (turnip), because the swollen stem resembles the latter. Kohlrabi has been created by artificial selection for lateral meristem growth; its origin in nature is the wild mustard plant
They are a good source of Potassium and Vitamin C
In Bengal we have different kinds of gravies and classifying all of them as curry would be shameful so though this is a curry based dish I am not calling it so. "Dalna" in Bengali means a thick gravy based dish as opposite to a “Jhol” which is a very light gravy more on the liquid side. Olkopir Dalna or “KohlRabi in a Gravy” is a spicy gravy of cubed kohlrabi, potatoes and peas thrown in. The gravy is tempered with methi(fenugreek) seeds and whole garam masala and spiced up with ginger, tomatoes and cumin and corriander powder. Though Kohlrabi resembles the turnip , when cooked this way it tastes more like a squash.
What You Need
Olkopi/Kohlrabi ~ 1 peeled and cut into small cubes. Be careful not to buy the older ones as they get a little tough.
Potato ~ 1 cut into small cubes. You can forego this if you want
Green peas ~ 1/2 cup frsh or frozen
Tomato ~ I used 2/3 tomatoes from a can of peeled whole tomatoes with 2tbsp of the tomato juice
If using fresh tomatoes blanch them for better results
Ginger paste ~ 1 and 1/2 tsp
Jeera or Cumin Powder ~ 1 tsp
Dhone or Corriander Powder ~ 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder ~ to taste
Kichen king masala ~ 2 tsp . This is a masala I thing adds that zing, if you don't have it use something else like garam masala powder
Yogurt ~ 1 tbsp
Maggi Hot & Sweet Tomato ketchup ~ 2 tsp . Use any other suitable alternative or skip
For Phoron or Tempering
TejPata or Bay leaves ~ 3
Elaichi or Cardamom ~ 2 pods
Laung or Clove ~ 2
Darchini or Cinnamon sticks ~ a small 1/2" stick
Methi or fenugreek seeds ~ 1/2 tsp
How I Did It
Chop the Kolrabi and the potatoes. Peel the outer skin of kohlrabi and then chop
Steam the KolRabi and the potatoes. I have a Futura pressure cooker where I cook it for 3 minutes. You need to steam them a little more than potatoes
Heat oil in kadai/Fryimng pan
Add the methis seeds, bay leaves, cardamom, clove and cinnamon
Add the tomatoes when the fragrance of the methi engulfs you
Cook the tomatoes well till you see the oil separating.
Add the ginger paste and saute
Add the steamed kolrabi and the potatoes
Saute or as in bengali we say "koshano" till the veggies take on a little colour
Mix the dry masala(cumin, corriander & red chili powder) with 2 tsp of yogurt and add
Saute till the masala coats the veggies well. Fry for a couple of minutes.
Add 2 tsp of tomato ketchup and salt to taste
Add about 2 cups of water and cover and cook till veggies are done. The dish usually has a little gravy so adjust the thickness according to your taste level. The kohlrabi has a slight crunch and I like it that way.
Enjoy with Rice or Roti
I am sending this dish to talented Kalyn the WHB creator from Kalyn's Kitchen for this weeks WHB
Trivia: Hamburg, Michigan has titled itself the "Kohlrabi Capital of the World" and at one time had a kohlrabi festival which drew 600 people at its peak in 1985