A summer Indian feast.
Recently I started working on a small-scale organic farm (and am gaining a whole new appreciation for the hard work that goes into growing our organic food!) along with selling the fruits and veg of our labor at local markets. Although quite the exhausting and dirty workday, it’s great to be reunited with the outdoors during my favorite time of year (bring on the summer heat and tomatoes!) and to bring home some fresh-from-the-earth vegetables to throw on the grill.
We tend to have a good variety of unique vegetables that people are not as familiar with, like garlic scapes, caraflex cabbage, and the star of today – kohlrabi. Puzzled customers examine these alien-looking crops and ask “What is this? What do I do with it? Have you cooked with it?” And of course, I need to be able to answer! Never having tried kholrabi myself did not make it the easiest to explain to intrigued customers at my last market. So I brought some home, told my boyfriend to get excited for an Indian feast (our favorite when cooking a big scrumptious dinner) and decided to create a curry featuring this lovely, seasonal kholrabi.
Kohlrabi, I learned, translates from German as ‘cabbage-turnip’. To me it tastes very much like a broccoli stem when cooked, but eaten raw it is mildly sweet and crisp almost like a jicama. I imagine it would be delicious sliced up thin into slaw. But right now this curry — filled with chickpeas, lentils, butternut and lots of warm spices — has won my heart.
Forrest is a pro at the whole grilling thing, so he was in charge of that part of the meal. Not that I was surprised, but his tandoori chicken was awesome. Like only-marinated-for-10-minutes-yet-unbelievably-flavorful, crispy-on-the-outside-juicy-tender-on-the-inside …awesome. Mucho props to him.
And all together — doused in fresh cilantro and a dollop of yogurt on the side — this made one healthy, satisfying Indian feast, perfect to enjoy on the patio alongside a summer sunset.
Kohlrabi-lentil curry, adapted from the farm at our house
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 1 T finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 T white wine vinegar
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 2 large kohlrabi; leaves stemmed + thinly sliced; bulb peeled, cut into 1/3-in dice
- ½ small-medium butternut squash, peeled + diced
- 1 ½ T sweet curry powder
- 4 cups water
- turmeric, coriander, cumin, sea salt to taste
To garnish (optional):
- ½ cup chopped green onions, chives, or garlic scapes
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- naan or brown rice to serve
In a heavy pot over medium heat, saute garlic, onion and ginger in olive oil. Add water, white wine vinegar, lentils, garbanzo beans, kohlrabi and sliced leaves, butternut and curry powder. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-30 minutes until lentils are tender. Stir and add turmeric, coriander, cumin and salt to taste. Add another cup of water if too thick. Garnish with chopped green onions / chives / scapes and cilantro. Serve with warmed naan or atop brown rice.
Grilled Tandoori Chicken, adapted from Delish
- 4 good sized chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 3 T lemon juice
- 1 1/2 T water
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t ground turmeric
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 T chopped fresh ginger
- 1 1/4 t ground coriander
- 3/4 t ground cumin
- 1/8 t cayenne
- 3 T cooking oil
Light the grill. Using a sharp knife, cut shallow incisions in the chicken pieces at about 1/2-inch intervals. In a large, glass dish or stainless-steel pan, combine the lemon juice, water, salt and turmeric. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat; Let marinate for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine yogurt, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and cayenne. Add to the chicken and lemon mixture; turn to coat. Let marinate for 10 minutes, then skewer strips in folding fashion onto metal skewers. Grill chicken skewers over moderately high heat for 10 minutes. Turn and cook until just done and edges are starting to blacken, about 5-10 minutes longer.
Isn’t it great that cooking with new foods makes me better at my job ?!
Enjoy :) mich