Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Kohlrabi fritters or kohlrabi pakoras

Kohlrabi, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is a German turnip. The word comes from the German kohl (cabbage) and Rübe ~ rabi meaning turnip. You would think it is a root vegetable like a turnip but it has more in common with a cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, as it is a member of the Brassica family. Kohlrabi has a stout bulbous shape which is caused by the swelling of plant’s stem near the ground.

Last year, a fellow vegetable grower at the allotment gave D and me a couple of kohlrabi’s. He had only been growing them as an experiment and had no intentions of eating them. Knowing the D and me liked (most of ) our vegetables, he was happy to donate them to us. I was glad to take them off his hands, as the ones I had grown, (sorry planted) had been ravaged by the slugs prematurely. With them, I made a huge amount of kohlrabi slaw. It was a nice change from the crisp crunch of cabbage, almost like a delicate mooli (white radish).
This year, at home I have sown three Kohlrabi plants all tucked under the scarlet runner bean poles. It is an amazing vegetable to look at, especially if you grow it yourself, I have enjoyed watching them plump up and then unexpectedly spurt all those multi-directional stems. Unfortunately if you purchase kohlrabi from the supermarket, grocers or even the farmers market, these are usually lopped off. Shame as the leaves are edible, but I won’t get to enjoy the leaves this time either, as the slugs have got to them before me or was it those dastardly white cabbage butterfly and her caterpillars.
Anyway, instead of making a variation on kohlrabi coleslaw, this time I wanted to do something different. I came across two recipes that nearly tempted me: Grandpa’s kohlrabi and chard lasagne and these handsome savoury Kohlrabi Cakes from Matthew of Muffin Tin Mania, but I decided I wanted something a little more comforting and dare I say it, a little greasy. For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, my love for things deep fried food (in moderation of course) is recorded on this blog. This recipe is a cross between courgette fritters and onion and spinach pakoras aka bhajis.
It’s also a great excuse to get me into the mood of going to my parents for a long weekend. Oh I haven’t told you all. I am taking a few days off blogging to visit the Mango family in Wales; and then we are off on holiday to France for a week. I may get to check your comments when in Wales, but when I'm in France I will officially be on Blog break too. So this may be my last food entry for a week or two. Enjoy!
Kohlrabi and chard Fritters
Serves 4 - 6
150g – 250g Gram or besan flour aka chickpea flour
A handful of shredded chard or spinach leaves
1 medium kohlrabi, peeled and grated, and squeezed of excess juices
2 tbsp fresh mint, minced finely
4 fresh spring onions, chopped
1 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika (not smoked) to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
salt to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
Optional Natural yoghurt for serving
First whisk together 150g gram flour, and enough water to form a paste. Add kohlrabi, chard, spring onions, mint, cumin seeds, cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Stir well. Here you will need to use your judgment, you may need to add more gram flour and water to get the right consistency for making the fritters, but ensure that you don’t overdo it with the gram flour as you want the flavour of the kohlrabi coming through. Set it aside for some 10-15 minutes for the flavours to infuse.
When ready to make the fritters. In a wide frying pan, add enough oil (it needs to come up halfway the fritters. Then gently heat. Take a spoonful of the batter, place on the frying pan and flatten it gently with the back of a spoon. Repeat to fit in as many fritters as the pan allows. Fry until golden brown, flip over until the other side is golden too. Be very careful when flipping over as the hot oil with splash a little. I’d advise using tongs if you have them, or two wooden spatulas. Place the cooked fritters on a paper towel to remove the excess of oil. Serve immediately with optional natural yogurt. You can reheat them in the oven, but they are not as nice when freshly cooked.
If you want to make pakoras instead of fritters, follow the recipe. But when it comes to deep frying them. Make the pakoras in a deep fat fryer and drop a spoonful of the batter into the hot oil. Pakoras tend to be free form and are merged in the oil to ensure even cooking on all sides.


  1. This is really a vegetable I know nothing about it, but if it can be turned into a fritter or pakora... good! :-)

  2. Hi Mangocheeks! I am back... missed you!:))

  3. I am still waiting for the day I feel brave enough to cook with kohlrabi - when that day comes I must return here for ideas - after I have admired its alien beauty first

    enjoy your holiday - hope you get some good times with family and so rest away from home and work

  4. my oh my they look good.
    I really like kohlrabi but have never found it in the supermarket. I got as far as buying the seed at least this year (and not getting round to sowing it) so perhaps next year. If we have a mild September again I could even pop some out now and just keep my fingers crossed!

  5. Hi mangocheeks, those fritters look delicious!! I'm a sucker for deep fried too... Have a great time on hols.

  6. We really like kohlrabi and sometimes find it in local farmshops - it deserves a wider press I feel. Fritter recipe sounds great.

  7. They look great I might add Kohlrabi on my growing list for next year.

  8. sounds and looks delicious. I like the fritter recipe too!

    Have a great time away!

  9. Looks delicious! I'm going to head out to the Farmers Market tomorrow to see if I can pick up some kohlrabi! I love your blog, I'm new to blogging and I'm having a blast, when you have a moment please check out my blog and "Follow" it if you like it! Thank you!

  10. I've never cooked kohlrabi, but with these great ideas, I'm compelled to try it! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, mangocheeks. I love the wealth - and breadth - of the recipes you've got going on here and will definitely be back to check out more!


  11. What a cool idea! I love kohlrabi and have only ever eaten it raw and simply roasted it. The fritters look amazing. :)

  12. Oh yum - I might have to give kohl rabi a try next year!

  13. Your kohlrabi looks the best! I so much love kohlrabi!

    These pakoras look like real winners!! Another must try!!


    Kisses from Brussels to you!

  14. What an amazing plant that I've never seen before. Your recipe looks delicious! I must find some Kohlrabi to try. And thanks for your sweet comment on my "Hi Ho!" post.

  15. This is wonderful! I'd love to grow this beautiful veggie & now you have given me several reasons to give it a go. Have a wonderful trip to France!

  16. Beautiful! Kohlrabi looks like a little spaceship hovering over the ground but boy is it good! My mom used to grow it in her garden, back in the day and she prepared it baked like scalloped potatoes.

  17. I've never cooked kohlrabi either but those fritters look outstanding!

    Enjoy your trip!

  18. Oh my goodness those look amazing! I never get kohlrabi in my CSA box but I think I'll have to make a special trip out to try this!

  19. i love kohlrabi, i eat it raw in salads and in stir frys - the crunch it adds to a stir fry is fantastic. I like the fritter idea too.

  20. Wow, those cakes look delicious!!

  21. Your recipes look great, I'll need to try a few of them!

    I'm looking for people willing to blog about organic food etc during Organic Fortnight. You can find out more on my Crafty Green Poet blog which has a page for Organic Fortnight or on the Soil Association website

    If you're interested either let me know at my blog or email me at

    Hope you had a great time in France!

  22. THANK YOU so much for all of your comments.

  23. I am completely inspired to try these. I've seen this vegetable in the market and never had a clue what to do with it.

  24. Thank you Lee.

    I really do hope you enjoy these. Let me know, if you do get round to making them.

  25. Wow this is a great idea. I made kohlrabi soup before, stuffed kohlrabi and stew but I never knew you can make fritters. Ohhh I know what's for dinner tonight :-) I can't wait to try them. Thanks for sharing. Great blog.

  26. You have excellent taste - I have both the albums you photographed these on.

  27. Thank you Anita.
    I've never stuffed kohlrabi,so I will keep that in mind for the next time I grow them.

    Thank you Liz.
    Ahh the music - I hae to put my hands up and say the albums all belong to my husband, so I will pass on your compliments. He will be chuffed.

  28. Anything that can be turned in to a fritter is a winner for me! And I have a love for deep fried too mmmm....


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