It’s unlikely that the term ‘kohlrabi recipes’ scores among your top searches on Google but I have one for you anyway. The variety and glut of beautiful seasonal vegetables has been inspiring me through the winter. We’re gorging on red and black carrots, peas, methi (fenugreek greens), radishes (both red and white), many leafy greens and of course, kohlrabi or ganth gobhi. This is one of the first kohlrabi recipes I made.
Know your kohlrabi
Kohlrabi, German turnip, knolkhol, lump cabbage or ganth gobhi ( it’s Hindi name), is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables related to cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli etc. It’s shaped like a turnip and sits on the soil like cauliflower, and can be light green or purple with leaves shooting upwards at angles. It’s crunchy and mildly sweet with a radish-like pepperiness. In India, it’s a winter vegetable, grown and eaten mainly in the northern states. Ganth gobhi can be eaten raw in salads, slaw and raita. It can be cooked in curries and stews, roasted in the oven and even pickled.
To prepare the kohlrabi, peel its thick, outer skin and remove the hard, knotty part at its base and cut them into quarters. The leaves and tender stalks of the kohlrabi and edible and I’ve used them in this dish They add both flavour and fibre.
The Kashmiri connection
The northernmost state of Kashmir has an abundant crop and kohlrabi recipes to showcase it. I’m no expert on the state’s cuisine but I’ve tried to give my ganth gobhi gosht a Kashmiri twist. I cooked it using mustard oil, and flavoured this thin, stew-like curry mainly with dried red chillies, fennel and dried ginger. Cooking it with mutton (goat) is also something Kashmiris do. Drawing inspiration from the white curries of the state, I used plain milk to create a runny but flavour-dense sauce. It’s meant to be eaten with plain, steamed rice, with fluffy grains drinking up the sauce.
Authentic or not, this ganth gobhi gosht turned out to be just what we needed on a cold, grey winter afternoon. The rich, meaty, fennel-ginger scented sauce, succulent morsels of goat and juicy chunks of kohlrabi with steaming rice, totally hit the spot. What followed was a nap with the aroma of ganth gobhi gosht lingering on my fingers. I don’t have many kohlrabi recipes but this one I’m definitely saving in my dog-eared, go-to recipe collection.
Ganth Gobhi Gosht
- 450 g mutton (goat) on the bone (from the shoulder or leg)
- 500 g kohlrabi or ganth gobhi with tender stalks and leaves, peeled and quartered
- 300 ml milk
- 2 green cardamoms
- 2 x 1-inch pieces of cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 1 tej patta or dried bay leaf
- 2 dried red chillies
- 2 tsp dried ginger powder or sonth
- 2 tsp powdered aniseed (saunf)
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder or hing
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- Cook the mutton with 300 ml water in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes on slow after the whistle, till tender. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp mustard oil in a frying pan and add the kohlrabi pieces. Fry them for 5-7 mins till lightly golden. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining 1 tbsp mustard oil in a deep pan, kadai or casserole, add the whole spices and let them crackle. Be careful not to burn them.
- Add the asafoetida followed by the kohlrabi with stalks and leaves, and mutton with stock, salt and bring to a boil. Lower the flame, cover and simmer for 15 mins till the ganth gobhi is tender.
- Pour in the milk, stir in the fennel and ginger and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Serve warm with plain, steamed rice.