Friday, May 6, 2011

Kashmiri Kohlrabi

Last year, the one thing in my CSA share that I had trouble figuring out was the kohlrabi.  I tried the recipe they emailed out with that week's distribution (a kind of hash brown thing using grated kohlrabi), but it just didn't work for me.  I was dreading getting the kohlrabi this year, and it's distribution came my way yesterday.

Since pickup is midday, I always bring the foodstuffs with me back to the office.  While trying to explain to trusty coworker exactly WHAT kohlrabi is, I discovered that it is a commonly eaten food in the Kashmir region.  Trusty Coworker asked where Kashmir was, and when I explained, he pointed out that I would probably like it however they prepared it.  I found a recipe for Kashmiri Kohlrabi here, and I've reworked it for my more American palette and pantry.  (I don't keep asafoetida around and actually had to google it to find out what it was.  Fenugreek and clove also make the dishes a little sweet, and I prefer a savory, spicy taste.  Check out the original recipe if you think you'd prefer that!)

Kashmiri Kohlrabi

  • Heaping tablespoon Garam Masala (I am lazy and used the stuff from Whole Foods rather than make my own.  SHAME.)
  • Heaping tablespoon ground coriander
  • Teaspoon ground turmeric 
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium kohlrabi with greens, peeled and cut into slightly smaller than bite-sized pieces, and the leaves chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, depending on size, crushed and finely chopped
  • Heaping teaspoon ground ginger (I used a little more than a tablespoon of fresh ginger because I love it, but I think it would still be good with dried)
  • 2 fresh green serrano peppers, minced with seeds (I took the seeds out of one and left the seeds in the other.  It would be quite spicy leaving seeds in both.)
  • Half bunch chopped cilantro
  • Two tablespoons of ketchup (I like the added tomato-y, vinegar-y flavor.)
  • Water as needed
  • Salt to taste
  • Rice for serving
Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the cumin, garam masala, and turmeric; they should sizzle upon contact with the hot oil. Quickly add the kohlrabi and leaves and cook, stirring, 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat. Mix in the garlic, ginger, peppers, and half of your chopped cilantro.  Continue to cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add about a cup of water, cover the pan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kohlrabi is tender and most of the water has evaporated, 25 to 30 minutes. You may have to add a little water as it is cooking.  After the kohlrabi has gotten quite tender, add the ketchup and the rest of the cilantro.  Stir, cover, turn off the stove, and let it sit for about five minutes.  Serve over rice.

It.  Was.  So.  Good.  Surprisingly so, even.  I can't believe I didn't have the brains to do a little more searching last year and that Trusty Coworker was the one who figured out a way for me to eat the vegetable I lamented all last year.  /facepalm.