Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Olkopir Dalna

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

For Masala

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


  1. Well this is a new veg for me...I have never tried Olkopi before...looks great...also now I know what Dalna means...ohhh learning something new everyday...~grin~...thanks for sharing..

  2. Hi Sandeepa

    So now I have another recipe for Kohlrabi. Thanks so much.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hi Sandeepa,
    What a coincidence, I just bought kohlrabi today and was searching other blogs for a recipe!
    BTW, I just made your breadrolls and posted them on my blog. They turned out delicious.

  5. sandeepa, Ihave blogged this veggie long back....It is very much used available in Bangalore & we use this often @ home.Liked your picture and Recipe,a nice variation to try ,Thanks for sharing:)

  6. This is new to me!!!! Till now I have eaten kolrabi only in salad!!! Can make curry also???!!!! is something new to me :) Thanks sandeepa.... the pics are lovely!!!

    How do you all the border and copyright to it???

  7. Sandeepa, Olkopir Dalna love the name sounds like a song. Recipe is something I should try.
    I ususally cook this vegetable in sambhar and can't really say I liked it.

  8. You can do a kheema thing by grating it and tempering it - but it's a drag to grate! I remember it tasted quite nice.

  9. Dilip
    At last someonw who does not know this :)

    Your recipe is on my try list :)

    Thanks, your bread roll looks great and the potatoes is a nice addition . My Ma puts potatoes too, I just wanted to avoid them :)

    It seems I missed both the veggie and your recipe. Sorry shall update my post soon:)

    Shall send you a mail

    I like the crunchy taste a lot :) But I do agree that many people don't like it much

    Like Lauki, is it. The way you can grate lauki and koftas, is it the same way ?

  10. FOR ASHA

    Hey, I have been trying to comment on your sumptuous post since yesterday, but can't, also wanted to say something about the meme. So waiting :( :(
    So this message is for you

  11. They are always available in Walmart Super center,I love this veg in Pulaos too.Looks great.We call it KnolKhol in B'lore,widely available in there too.Enjoy.

  12. hi sandeepa, i had tried this one for the first time just 2 monthes back..just loved it..So now i have a new recipe for this.Thanks for sharing.

    BTW..could you plz send me the link and pic for AFAM-strawberry.

  13. you know, you always draw me to your site by your intriguing titles :) Always a joy to learn about bengali cuisine (dalna vs johl)...will try this variation on noolkol soon

  14. This veg is new for me too!! the subzi looks super and healthy too...will look for them

  15. hi sandeepa
    we call this as hubby is a great fan of this dish.i have made another recipe with this.will post it soon..

  16. I first discovered this vegetable when my family moved to Illinois. My husband's family is Czech and they ate it quite a bit. I love your recipe because it has all the spices that I crave. Your pictures make me very hungry!

  17. Sandeepa, I've seen this before but never picked it up. Now will try making this recipe. Tomar kamlalebur payesh baniye chilam. It was delicious!

  18. Asha, Maheshwari, Sri, Swapna, Sher, Mandira

    Hey thanks that you liked it and since some of you have tried this veggie would like to try your versions too

  19. @
    Good now I know what will bring you here :)

  20. No, I just meant as a grated dish, too lazy to make koftas, me!

  21. Yes we do use Nookol whenever whenever its in season, if i remember right, my mom/grandmom use it in sambhar as a veggie or make a Kootu, which is veggies cooked with dal as a gravy kinda dish to be had with rice. The bong version of it surely sounds exotic, both the name and the recipe.

  22. ooohh, such a cutie veggiie! haver never seen it or even heard of it before! :) i'm glad i popped by!

  23. Hi Sandeepa..never liked kohlrabi much before but I guess after seeing yours and swapna's recipe,have to give it a try!:)

  24. Dear Sandeepa,
    Olkopir Dalna bhalo laglo Dhekhe, khete parlam Tai Dhokho..
    aamra Olkopir Jhol Banai , Dalna try korbo ..
    Hugs and smiles

  25. sandeepa, i have love-hate relatonship with this veg. but ur pictures r so good that i might try this recipe sooner than i wanted:) looks really spicy and love that orangy red colour of the gravy... will give it a shot soon and post it in my blog:)

  26. Hii Sandeepa,that was a lovely research on kohlrabi!!That was quite interesting....thanx for sharing it. Do peep into my blog and lemme know if you like it!!Cheers!!

  27. Hi Sandeepa,

    This is my first time visiting your site. I am also a bengali from Calcutta living in US now, Maryland to be specific.

    Needless to say, I absolutely loved your fish recipes. I read the Malaikari and Doi Mach and couldn't help writing back to you.

    A very quick question, can you let me know some bangladeshi fish store in NJ. I couldn't find any such store in MD and wouldn't mind the drive to NJ for fish!! Such a big fan of fish :o)

    Thank you so much!

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  29. Hey, thats beautiful! the first picture is so awesome...How did you click it?

  30. This is one veggie I have yet to try!
    your curry looks great..


  31. There used to lots of owlkopi in Bombay. And my mom used to make it if she didnt get lau or pepe. Btw, I was always curious to know, where did you grow up in India

  32. i love making friends with new veggies. i have never cooked with kolarabi so now i am curious.i don't think i have even eaten it.

  33. Nandita
    I guess it's quite popular in South of India then :)

    Wow at last someone who did not know this :)

    ViniK & Supriya
    Yeah many people don't like it but this is pretty spiced up, guess you will like it

    Tomake anekdin bade dekhe khub bhalo laglo


  34. Hi Bideshini
    Thanks for visiting my blog. In Nj you can get fish in Edison.
    But I think you should get it in MD also.
    Amar ek bondhur bari MD, tader barite khub bhalo ilish kheyechilam last year

    Maybe tumi bolte parbe mach paoa jaay kina MD te

  35. Nidhi
    Thanks you liked the pic, food photography is becoming my hobby :) My kitchen gets a lot of light so the pic was right

    Trupti & Shaheen
    Try it sometime, i like it

  36. Hi Sandeepa, I have seen kohlrabi in the regular groceries, especially in summer, but have always been a little afraid of it. Your recipe looks delicious! I'll have to face my fear and try :)

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Sandeepa,
    Thank you so much for responding.

    Please janio MD or even northern Virginia te mach pawa jai kina. Ami tomar reply r jonno eagerly wait korchi. Hope to hear something good :o)

  39. Hi Sandeepa ,
    I remember Shilpa (Aayi's recipes) posted abt this vegettable some time before.. Now when I went to India my aunt had cooked this veggie in a diff south indian style and it tasted good.. I will post that sometime later.
    Ur picture looks wonderful ... Another new recipe with that veggie. thanks.

  40. We make 'naveel kosu' or 'knol kohl' quite a bit in our region in K'taka. Most popular is the basic tadka fry. Your version looks very good, Sandeepa. I am saving this recipe for future use! :)

  41. Very nice looking dish. Your photos look great. I remember when my parents first planted kohlrabi in our vegetable garden when I was a kid and everyone in the neighborhood came to see this strange plant. I don't think it has ever gotten the attention it deserve in the U.S. because it's so tasty and very nutritious. Maybe we can change that!

  42. Looks soooo good. I want to use this vegetable more in my cooking. will surely try your recipe

  43. I never cooked this vegetable only becoz I don't find it in the local market here and now that I do find it, I'm nervous to try out this new veggie..:)

    After seeing Lera's post and now yours, I want to try this vegetable.

  44. Hello Sandeepa,
    my family loves kohlrabi, and I´ll introduce tehm with your delicious looking recipe.
    Thanks for sharing. :))

  45. Sandeepa:
    The photos are great! I get great light only in the mornings, so I'm trying to cram all my photography in a couple of hours!
    The recipe sounds great. Will try it. And I'm totally 100% with you on the Valentine's Day mumbo-jumbo! But I still expect the flowers nevertheless!! haha!

  46. Dear Author !
    In it something is. Thanks for an explanation. I did not know it.

  47. I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

  48. Hi Iam going to make this dalna to day 1 thing i want to know is no green chilies or red chili powder in the recipe?

  49. RK

    Sorry, about the chili powder. Yes you need Red Chili Powder. Often I will cook thinking of the kids and will avoid chili powder till the end :), maybe I missed for this reason


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