Monday, 17 November 2014

Naval kholachi rassa bhaji- kholrabi in a fragrant gravy

For many years knolkhol /kholrabi was like a supporting vegetable in my daily cooking just like onion and tomatoes. They never got a chance to play a main role in the stirfries. I used it in South indian pulav/ Palaav, Saagu and Bisibele bhath along with carrots, French beans. One day my little daughter picked out a piece of this vegetable out of the Bisibele bhath and asked me what  this tasty vegetable was. We thought that it's time for kohlrabi to step up and take a more prominent place in our cooking. Now I have a fairly good collection of recipes to cook knolkhol and its leaves.

Choosing - Knol khol unlike turnips tends to harden and become fibrous even when refrigerated. Prick the knol khol near the stem with your finger nail to check whether it is tender.

Preparing- You can peel and cut them into cubes or cut into half and grate it like a coconut using indian coconut grater.

Cooking -Steaming them before adding into stirfry or gravy saves you a lot of time. It does smell when you are boiling or steaming it without adding masalas, but it is tolerable unlike cauliflower or cabbage. You can make deep fried pakoras by dipping thin slices in spiced besan batter (chickpea flour batter). Grate them and add into raita or koshimbir (salad) or stuff into parathas.

Combinations- It goes well with
  • Green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • pre-soaked chana dal
  • fresh hyacinth beans (avare kayi or pavta)
  • fresh shelled green chick peas
  • fresh shelled cuba beans
  • chopped potato cubes

Masala-1. You can sprinkle peanut pd masala, chick pea flour masala and make a dry side dish.               2. Add coconut masala like I have given below and make a gravy.

Cuisine- Maharastrian (western region of India)

You can make this dry or with gravy, yellow or green colored by changing a few ingredients.


      Tender knol khol / kholrabi – 3-4

For the masala paste

·         Green chillies- 3-4

·         Salt to taste

·         Grated coconut fresh or frozen- 4-6 tbsp (you need not thaw it)

·         Fresh coriander leaves (4 tbsp) for green gravy or ½ tsp turmeric pd for yellow gravy

·         Cumin

For the tempering-

·         Oil -peanut oil/ coconut oil/ sunflower oil/ rice bran oil- 2-3 tbsp (if using onion) or just 1 tbsp

·         Mustard- ½  tsp

·         Asafoetida/ hing -¼ tsp (optional) or 2 medium size onions (measures about 200ml  when chopped)

Using a peeler peel the knol khol  and chop into medium or small sized cubes. Steam it till tender.

Soak the split chick pea/ chana dal in water for ½ hr. Throw out the water . Add ¼ cup fresh water and pressure cook this till tender. 

Note- You can pressure cook this chana dal /chick pea and knol khol together on slow heat till you get one whistle. Strain out the water if you want dry side dish or use this water to make a gravy.

Grind coconut, salt, green chillies, coriander leaves/ turmeric, cumin seeds without adding water into a coarse pd.

Heat oil and pop some mustard seeds in it.

Add the asafoetida and stir for a sec or if adding onions stir-fry for few mins till they are soft.

Now add the masala paste into this and saute for a minute.

When you get a fragrance add the boiled or steamed knol khol and boiled split chick pea (chana dal) mix well.
You can put some water into the grinder bowl and rinse it. To make a gravy add this water and along with the water in which the dal and veggies were cooked.

Check for the salt content. Cook for few mins and switch off the heat.

Serve with rotis, methi thepla, various millet bread (Indian or other), steamed rice and varan or dalithoay.

For cooking in rice cooker-
Steam 2 small peeled and chopped kholrabi. Avoid using split chickpea (chana dal) as it takes 40 mins to cook even after soaking.
You can steam or boil it with 100 ml potato cubes or fresh or frozen green peas.
Wipe the cooker pan with a paper towel and add 1 tbsp oil, 1 onion- chopped, 2 tsp kolhapuri masala (red chilli pd, garam masala). Cover and cook till onions are transparent. Add boiled or steamed vegetables. 
Sprinkle 1 tbsp peanut pd masala/ chick pea flour masala on this. Cover and cook for 2 mins.
If you prefer gravy add 2 tbsp coconut milk mixed in 1/2 cup water.
Mix well and it's ready to be eaten along with bread or rice.

Hope you found this recipe useful.

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