Kohlrabi is as fun to eat as it is to say – Ottawa

If you’ve never heard of kohlrabi you’re not alone. But if you frequent local farmers markets or participate in a community-supported agriculture box, you’ve certainly seen this cabbage offshoot.

And if you’re wondering how to eat kohlrabi — pronounced cole-RABB-ee  — apart from peeling and eating it raw, we have some help.

Kohlrabi is a member of the brassica family and both its bulb and its leaves are edible. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead) (Matthew Mead/AP)

All in a Day listener Alaina Burkett supplied the idea for this month’s D is for Dinner chef challenge.

“How about kohlrabi?” she suggested in an email. “I grew up eating it, but just raw, never included in meals. Also, it seems like a lot of people I know have never even heard of it.”

Anish Mehra of East India Company created a spiced kohlrabi recipe.

Spiced Kohlrabi 


  • 3 medium sized kohlrabi, about 400 g
  • 30 g baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt to taste 
  • 2 tsp oil 

Tandoori Masala 

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt 
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp Hungarian paprika
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder  
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (equal amounts ginger and garlic blended)

Tharka (flavour infusion)  

  • 1 tbsp oil  
  • 1 tsp black mustard seed 
  • 3-4 kari leaves, fresh if possible (available at Indian grocery stores)

Chickpea flour batter  

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water  
  • Oil for frying  


1. De-stem kohlrabi and chop leaves and stems. Set aside. 
2. Steam kohlrabi until tender, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3.  Heat oil over medium heat and add cumin. Let brown slightly and add red onions and spinach. Season with salt and sauté for 10 seconds. Add chopped kohlrabi leaves and stems to pan. Continue to cook for one more minute. Set aside.
4. Peel steamed kohlrabi and chop into half-inch cubes.
5. Combine all tandoori masala ingredients. Set aside.
6. Prepare chickpea batter by combining all ingredients, adding only enough water to made a batter of medium consistency. Add to kohlrabi.
7. Heat oil over medium heat. Carefully add batter-covered kohlrabi in large spoonfuls to oil. Fry until golden brown. Drain excess oil.  
8. Heat a separate large pan on high heat to make the tharka. Add oil and add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds start to sputter, add kari leaves…

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