Sunday, June 22, 2008

Kohlrabi Sukke

Many thanks to all those who left me comments and e-mails asking if we are doing OK here in St. Louis. This region has been in the news lately because of the devastating flooding of the mighty Mississippi river and its tributaries. North of us, the swollen river breached levees/flood-banks and sent huge swatches of land under water. Many people watched helplessly as their homes were set adrift and tens of thousands of acres of farmland (that normally feeds much of the US) is now under water. By the time the river has come down to us in St. Louis, the damage has been done, the levels are under control (more or less) and we don't expect any flooding here.

All this leads me to wonder about the fate of our food supply this year. Flooding of farmland is a huge tragedy for farmers, and something that will affect everyone who eats, essentially. Last week, I was at the Farmers' Market and bought such wonderful local produce; I don't know about the coming months...

One of my finds last week was kohlrabi (called navalkol in Marathi). If I remember correctly, this vegetable was made only infrequently in my parents' home (usually as a raw koshimbir/salad) and I had never cooked with it either. I decided to tackle it one evening in the past week and decided on this Kohlrabi sukke from Shilpa's blog. If you want to fall in love with kohlrabi, this simple dish is it! Cooked kohlrabi is simmered in a flavorful coconut paste in this wonderful Konkani recipe. It is a recipe that is so typical of Shilpa's blog- home-style cooking at its very best. The kohlrabi that I bought had a nice top of fresh leaves, so I added them to the curry.

Kohlrabi Sukke

(Adapted from Aayi's Recipes)

1 bunch kohlrabi
1 medium onion, diced
1 t turmeric powder
1 t oil
1-2 t jaggery (unrefined sugar)
salt to taste
For the paste:
1 heaped t urad dal
1 heaped t coriander seeds
1 t oil
½ C grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
2 dried red chillies (or to taste)
¼ C tamarind juice

1. Remove the leaves from the kohlrabi. Discard any discolored ones, wash the rest very well and shred them finely. Set aside.
2. Wash the kohlrabi and halve each one. Pressure cook them. They don't need prolonged pressure cooking. One whistle was enough in my pressure cooker.
3. Pluck off any tough stems from the cooked kohlrabi and cut them into small dice.
4. Meanwhile, fry the urad dal, coriander seeds and red chillies in the oil. Then blend these into a smooth paste with the coconut and tamarind.
5. In a saucepan, fry the onion until it is translucent. Add the shredded kohlrabi leaves and turmeric and stir-fry them until they are almost tender. Add the cooked kohlrabi cubes, coconut paste, jaggery, salt to taste and a little water if required and simmer the curry for 5-10 minutes.

This dish is a wonderful example of coastal cuisine- using a freshly made paste of mild and creamy coconut, tangy tamarind and a few carefully chosen spices to cook flavorful vegetable dishes. I am sending this post to Suganya for AFAM: Coconut and to Sig for JFI: Tamarind.

*** *** ***

MBP Update: We now have one more giveaway associated with this event!! Anjali Damerla of Supreme Spice has kindly offered to send a bottle of spice extract to each of three randomly chosen participants. The spice extracts that are being given away happen to be ones that I have tried and loved- Ginger, Tea Masala and Cardamom. Shipping of these will be restricted to the US. I have updated this new giveaway in the MBP announcement post.

Knitting Crochet Update:
When I told my friend Sujayita that I have started knitting, she said to me, "If you can knit, I don't see why you shouldn't learn crochet as well" and promptly sent me a crochet book- Stitch 'n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker (tee hee). Who am I to resist? Last week, I sat down and laboriously taught myself a few basic stitches from the book, and fell in love with crochet easily enough.

Here are my first two projects- baby steps towards becoming a bag lady!

Bracelet Purse: this is a cute pattern from Knotty Generation.

It is a tiny purse with one short and one long handle; the long handle slips into the small one and then onto the wrist as a bracelet.

It is just big enough to hold my keys and cell phone and go along on my wrist when I am out walking Dale. But my little hot blue purse had a near-death experience at the dog park the other day when a puppy thought it was a toy and snatched it from my wrist. I am happy to report that the purse survived and the poor puppy was chastised :D


I loved the pattern so much that I made three to give as gifts, including this one in "faded denim".

I also made a very big mesh shopping bag! It is a pattern that is wonderful for beginners, generously shared by Jill Chatelain. She aptly calls it the "Rust Goes Green" bag. Who needs paper or plastic when you have these nice reusable cotton bags?

Have a great week ahead!


  1. wow!! i love the little purse and couldnt stop laughing at the little puppy thinking it is a toy escapade!! they really have sharp little teeth that give them a vice like grip!! love the bags.....i bought myself a bag made of crocheted jute for grocery shopping and the guys at the packing counter of the supermarket think i am loony!! good work nupur!!

  2. Kohlrabi is something I came across when I moved to Germany (15 years ago). Ever since then I love it. We love to eat it raw similar to carrots with a dip. But I really enjoy cooking with it too. This certainly sounds great.

    Good to hear you guys are doing OK. I had you and Alanna in my thoughts the last few days.

    And I love that shopper. So unique and perfect for trips to the farmer's market!!

  3. Getting downtown to the Arch will be a moving experience, seeing the water so high, even though it won't be nearly as high as 1993 - which is marked on the steps up to the Arch.

    So much of this seems to be creating a perfect storm: development, levees, climate changes, food supply, where/how we live our very lives. In 1993 (my first year in St. Louis) it felt like Mother Nature was in charge and was giving us a wet reminder. This year, this year it seems like we've been flaunting Mother Nature and she's not happy about it.

    Kohlrabi, however, no question there: it's excellent! I love the leaves, too.

  4. Sitting here in the Northeast, where we've had 100-degree weather in early June, I can't help but think that our climate extremes are becoming the norm. I am grateful for my little garden, and for living in an area of farmers. We all need to work so much harder to ensure their survival.

  5. I was surprised when I saw people coming to my blog from something called One Hot Stove. Then I checked the link and it was yours. Love your site and I'll be back to visit and hunt up your great looking recipes.
    Enjoy the bag!

  6. The sukke looks yum! I haven't cooked nolkhol so far though I've had it many times when I was younger. Loved your little purse and the clever locking mechanism with a smaller loop. And of course, I LOVED the title of the book :)

  7. Hi Nupur,
    I know you are above all this but my blog has a little award for you.
    BTW, I have also tried to mail u but I guess my mail goes to your spam. Another post on my blog for you is here:

  8. Cute bags. Looks like you have been busy! It would take me, umm, like a year to knit or crochet each of them. :-)

  9. How adorable is that cute little purse?! And this is the first time I'm laughing at someone/something's near-death experience!:D

    Crocheting- that's where u use just one needle or hook, right? I believe that I've done this too in school, and used to hate it! All your knitting posts (and now this one) make me want to give it another shot.:D

  10. OMG!! if you are into something you totally into it bol :)...and yep! i feel bad..but i could not help laughing at ur near hand loss experience :D..take care can be tricky! btw. love the shopping bag..the size and the color...very pleasing to the eye

  11. I learnt to crochet from my neighbour aunty and loved it! But didn't make anything quite as beautiful as your creations.. just a small, simple purse and mostly scrunchies of all colours to match my outfits or give away as gifts :)
    You are tempting me but it's almost impossible to imagine doing this with my 2 yr old wanting to try everything I do... so later.. :)

  12. I have purchased kohlrabi once and it seemd to taste like turnip and not being fond of the vegetable I don't go back but maybe I have cooking the wrong dish. This sukke sounds mighty tasty.

    Glad to hear you are doing alright Nupur. The extremes of climate is scary.

  13. I love that little purse - so perfect. And the mesh bag is such a great idea. You've become quite a pro! Congrats!

  14. Hi Nupur, Kohlarabi is the new fascination in my kitchen, ever since we discovered how much it is used at the Ayurvedic place in Pune called Kare. Love making plain and simple salads with it. So tasty and so healthy.
    Always loved stuff with crochet and tatting, I love putting laces made bt them at the edge of saris and dresses, even have some curtains with them.

  15. Thank you for the kohlrabi recipe! I've never eaten this vegetable before and will keep a lookout for it. And so cool that you're making your own shopping bags! I'm almost in the habit of remembering to take my reuseable bags to the store.

  16. I've never had Kohlrabi, its been popping up everywhere these days! Great dish Nupur, thanks for this entry...
    Love that adorable little purse... :)

  17. I absolutely love the shopping bag. It looks really cool. Great job Nupur.
    I cook with kohlrabi about once a month or so. My mom uses it in sambar or kootu and even makes a simple stir fry with simple southie style tadka and a final coconut garnish. Most uses are similar to the ones for bottle gourd.

  18. Glad to know that you are doing fine. The news has recently been filled with reports of severe weather from all across the country!

    Kohlrabi sukke looks super-yummy! i actually love this vegetable a lot and am thrilled when i get it fresh from the Framer's market :).

    You do seem to be totally in love, with knitting :-D. LOVE that blue colored baby-purse! That blue is so pretty! And you are crocheting at the speed of light girl!! Shopping bag looks really neat!

  19. I am torn between the recipe and your knit/crochet projects. Adorable, all of 'em. Thanks, Nupur :)

  20. At this point now, I am in complete awe of you! It's really something (at least for me) to imagine learning to knit and crochet all of that as a beginner and being self taught to boot! WOW!

  21. You're amazing Nupur... when I saw your crochet projects on Ravelry, I'd assumed you already knew how to crochet! I love the bag - especially with your little flower embellishment. I've never tried kohlrabi, but I'm sure I'd enjoy it in something like this. How many kohlrabi in a bunch? I'm pretty sure they're sold by the pound here.

  22. Glad you haven't been touched by the floods, its sad the people who have though, especially the ones who already lost their homes in 1993.

    Its been more than a decade since I have eaten "nool kol" - my memories are not great and I was happy when I left home and stopped having it. But maybe it wasnt cooked properly, so I should try it out again....the sukke certainly looks tempting.

    Love the shopping bag!


  23. Arundati, You are right- those little pups sure can sink their teeth into anything they please! I think it is wonderful to use reusable bags for grocery shopping...that's the only thing I remember my parents using all these years. I use my shopping bags proudly no matter how people react :)

    Meeta, I love your idea of kohlrabi sticks for dipping! Now that I have discovered it, I will be looking for new ways to cook with this vegetable.

    Alanna, I spent several hours at the foot of the arch last Saturday for the "Knitting in Public" event...and in just one week, so much has changed there. Yes, I too get the sinking feeling that our actions are catching up with us and leading to these disasters.

    Lydia, I agree- all these "trends" of supporting local farmers have to become more mainstream if we are to make any real changes.

    Jill, Thanks for sharing the pattern and everyone likes it, as you can see from the comments :) Do come back and visit whenever you like.

    Vani, LOL the book does have a catchy title! The little purse is truly adorable and fun to use :)

    Delhibelle, I did get your e-mail and replied to it promptly too. Perhaps it landed in your spam folder?

    evolvingtastes, I promise you that it would not take you that long to make them even if you tried! Both patterns worked up very quickly with that large mesh design.

    TBC, The little purse is too cute. I am really enjoying it :)
    Yes, crochet is the one where you use a single hook and pull loops through the hook to make stitches. Don't go by your school experience- seriously, catching restless teens and forcing them to learn these crafts in a classroom setting may not be the best method for learning and enjoying them! You may be surprised if you give it another shot now that you are older and wiser ;) Sure worked for me :D

    Rajitha, LOL well, it was a near purse loss experience but the hand was safe! Glad you like the bag- it is really a generous size for weekend groceries and I was pleased with the summery bright color too.

    Laavanya, Crochet is perfect for small, cute purses! I should make some scrunchies for myself too :) I hope you get a chance to try it again soon...there are some really adorable patterns out there. Including cute patterns for toddlers.

    Indosungod, I agree- kohlrabi has a taste pretty close to turnip. But if you get a chance, this sukke is worth trying- it is just delicious.

    Arundathi, Thank you :) No pro but I am certainly enjoying this stuff!

    Pritya, I enjoyed reading about your experience at Kare. I will be trying salads with kohlrabi soon.
    Those intricate crochet laces are so beautiful. I am afraid I have neither the talent nor patience for such delicate work and will stick to easy projects for now :)

    Lisa, I do hope you get a chance to try kohlrabi- it is available quite easily and tastes good :)

    Sig, Thanks for hosting the tamarind event! Glad you like the little purse :)

    Priya, Glad you like the shopping bag! All of your mother's kohlrabi dishes sound so delicious...I will have to try them all. It is good to know that one could use kohlrabi in bottle gourd recipes; as kohlrabi is more readily available here!

    Musical, Yes, I have to admit that now I am totally in love with knitting and crochet :D
    I'll have to visit your blog and see if there are some kohlrabi recipes that I could try!

    Suganya, Thank you, my dear :) And many thanks for hosting the coconut event!

    Neha, Don't be in awe :D Honestly, save your awe for something more worthy :)
    With the right books, and the right patterns (easy but cute), anyone can do this. You do need to invest some time in it, which might be a problem for most people with their busy schedules.

    Cathy, No, I just learnt crochet 10 days ago but these projects only required a few easy stitches so it worked out!
    Kohlrabi was sold in a bunch rather than by the pound at the Farmers' Market, and I think there were about 4-5 of them in the bunch. Sort of like big beets. I think you would like this curry!

    Miri, It is just like the flood-prone regions in South Asia, where homes are built on flood plains but then are always in danger of being washed away. With limited space, it is difficult to know how to restrict the building of homes in these areas.
    I think kohlrabi can be quite unpleasant when overcooked- the same sulfurous smell of overcooked cabbage. But it truly is delicious if cooked just until tender!

  24. Nupur, I have to take some tips from you! Where do you get the time? Cooking, blogging, knitting, crochet and who knows what else!
    They look great BTW, both the dish & the bags!

  25. Hey Nupur , the purse looks sooo cute! Also I love kohlrabi and its leaves too!! Another thing , this is coincidence
    I found yours and sailaja's pictures on it.

  26. hi Nupur, how hv u been?
    good to know u r doing ok, reading about all the weather related news is so saddening!
    love that rust goes green bag, it is soooooo beautiful, the colors, the knit the red dot, everything is just perfect! how long does it take to make it?

  27. Hi Nupur,
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful dish with us, never had this vege before. Looks tempting. I tried your ragda patties last week and we keep on chanting your name saying thank you thank you and how wonderful you are for sharing so authentic ones. I like your
    "faded denim" crochet. Looks very nice with multi colors in it.


  28. glad to know that you are safe...... thanks for posting this recipe....there are certain vegetables that I always end up ignoring in the grocery store because I don't know what to do with it and kohlrabi is one of them....I am definitely going to try this:)

  29. Nupur!!! Is that a spinning wheel and loom I saw being dropped off at your house the other day!!?? :)

    Just kidding you of course -- your crochet is just as lovely as your knitting! That shopping bag looks professionally made. Great job!!

    Happy to hear all is well where you are. It's sad, so much flooding all over the world of late, it seems.

  30. Navalkol Sukke looks great Nupur. Love both the bags you have made. You just learnt the stitch and made all this ?? Kudos to you. Really impressive..

  31. Navalkol was not something that I enjoyed growing up, but these days even names make me nostalgic :) I have eaten the 'khisalelya navalkolchi bhaji' but will try this one soon :)

  32. Thanks for trying out sukke Nupur. Its my all time favorite. Love it.

    Yay..crocheting rocks :)

  33. I'm so glad to hear that you're doing well. The footage of the flooded areas has been so utterly shocking. The devastation was really unbearable to see...

    Have never tried kohlrabi before, but it looks delicious. Will look for it next time! :)

  34. Hey Nupur...good to know you're doing well. Never heard of this vegetable. Will keep an eye out for it. Your projects are so cute. I am useless with anything that requires needles, but I remember crochet being somewhat fun. You seem to be a natural at this stuff!

  35. Nupur, thanks so much for this recipe. I've seen this vegetable in the markets quite often, but never having seen or tasted it, I didn't have the courage to buy it and try anything out of it. It's good to always find something new; adds some zest to life.

  36. Good picture and simple recipe - love it!

  37. Bhagyashri, I always seem to find time to do the things I love. The things I don't like- I am always too busy for them though :)

    Dee, Glad you like the purse :) Thanks for pointing out that latest instance of plagiarism.

    Richa, Nice to see you here! Hope all is well with you. Glad you like the shopping bag :) It took about 4 days, working a few hours here and there every day. The mesh work adds up quickly so it is not a tedious project. But I must add that my crochet is more about speed than perfectionism!

    Rajani, What a nice thing to say! Thank you for the feedback and I am so happy that you and your family enjoyed the ragda patties.
    I liked the faded demin colors too...looks even cuter in person actually.

    Smita, I have also ignored kohlrabi for too long...but no more!

    Linda, LOL I think I will draw the line at spinning my own fiber :D thank you very much!
    Yes, the news is all around depressing isn't it? Weather and floods and all the rest of it.

    Maya, Kudos to the designers who make easy do-able crochet patterns and then share them generously with the world! They are the only reason I can do this.

    Mints!, I probably did not love navalkol much growing up (certainly it was not something memorable) but I really enjoyed it now that I am much older and a bit wiser ;)

    Shilpa, Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, and the other hundreds!! And yes, YAY for crochet :D

    Kalai, Yes, looking at stop signs under water certainly is a frightening sight.
    I think you will enjoy kohlrabi...this recipe is delicious.

    Bharti Khemani, Crochet is really fun :) because you can really make the cutest things with it!

    Deepika, We both have to thank Shilpa for the recipe! It is totally worth a try.

    Sunshinemom, Thank you!

  38. Hey Nupur, I have heard a lot about your blog dear....and it comletely rocks.....I want to learn more about publicizing a blog from you....if u can help!
    And I loved to read your posts beacause they have marathi words for all that.....i remember eating the navalkol bhaaji made by my granny many years before, will keep visiting your blog a lot!!! Cheers!

  39. I always avoided knoolkhol... no idea why :-)

    I haven't had sukke for months... thanks for reminding me. S doesn;t like it, so I haven't made it!! SHould change that.

    The crochet looks soooooo pretty... I started to learn crochet and didn't get beyond the chain stitch. My mom makes lovely lace... should learn when my folks visit later this year.

    Started to learn knitting and tatting too... but have stopped with cross stitch for now. Am a little angry at myself :-)

  40. Hi! It's my first time here and I got excited when I see that you are doing crochet! I used to do it long ago, 5 years I think and I've forgotten all the techniques and stitches. But this is something I will like to go back to when I become a stay-at-home mum in future! Knitting has also been another thing I've been wanting to pick up!

  41. I like the big mesh bad and I love what you have done with your kohlrabi.

  42. That purse looks adorable! wish you would include that in your MBP giveaway ;)

  43. Hi Nupur, this is my first visit. I am simply amazed by your culinary as well as knitting/crocheting talents!

    We've started a food blog of our own and were wondering if we could add you on our blog roll?


Thanks for leaving a comment- I try to respond to every single one.