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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Cassava and Purple Kohlrabi in Coconut Cumin Yogurt Sauce

Cassava and Purple Kohlrabi in Coconut Cumin Yogurt Sauce

The texture of cassava reminded me of chena, Elephant foot yam, a staple in my mom's kitchen when it is in season. My mom's famous chena-elavan koottu is an all-time favorite. I haven't had it in ages, as I can't find Elephant foot yam in my neighborhood markets. But, when I made the cassava fries, I thought it might be worthwhile to try cassava as a substitute for chena in this recipe.

The coconut-cumin yogurt sauce is pretty standard in south Indian cooking, Palakkad-style.

The purple kohlrabi that came in the CSA basket was handy, along with all the kohlrabi, radish, and chard leaves I had saved.

purple kohlrabi koottu dal curry vegetarian CSA cooking

Mung beans, aka Moong dal, adds body and protein to this packed-with-goodness veggie dish that can be served as-is or with some perfectly done brown rice.

1 small kohlrabi diced
2 to 3 cups chopped radish, chard, and kohlrabi greens
1 cup diced cassava
¼ cup spit yelllow moong dal
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

For the Coconut-Cumin Yogurt Sauce:
1 to 1½ cups thick plain yogurt, beaten till smooth
¼ cup dry grated unsweetened coconut
3 dry red chilies
1 Tablespoon cumin seeds

Tempering: (optional but recommended for enhancing flavors)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds

  1. Combine the vegetables in a pan, along with mung beans, turmeric, and brown sugar, add enough water, cover, and allow to simmer till vegetables and mung beans are tender but not mushy
  2. Meanwhile, combine the coconut, chilies, cumin seeds in a blender or food processor and grind to a fine powder
  3. When veggies are cooked, stir in the coconut-cumin-chilies mixture, adjust salt to taste, simmer gently for a few more minutes till well incorporated, then turn off heat
  4. Allow to cool slightly before folding in the beaten yogurt
  5. Tempering: Heat oil in a pan, when it shimmers add the mustard seeds, when that pops add in cumin seeds and turn off heat; pour this tempering over the dish just before serving, stir well

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