Kohlrabi is Dash Kalam in Azeri and translates to “rock cabbage,” it is Kalam Ghomri in Farsi. Boranisi is Borani in Azeri and as all borani dishes it is served with yogurt. The Dash Kalam Boranisi at first glance looks very similar to many Persian soups (aash), but it is much thicker and has the consistency of a hearty thick pottage that is made with kohlrabi, herbs, legumes, grains and spices. Serve this dish with toasted Sangak, Barbari or any bread of your choice and you will have a perfectly satisfying main course. For the vegetarian or vegan version of this Kohlrabi Pottage vegetable stock may be substituted for the beef stock used in this recipe and leave out the yogurt.
Kohlrabi is very low in calories and rich in vitamin C and B complex. It has a taste similar to cabbage but milder. The appearance and texture is very different from cabbage. Kholrabi is not multi-layered like cabbage, it is a round and very dense stem vegetable that has an almost sweet taste and crisp texture with green leaves. When buying this vegetable look for small young ones that are no larger than 2-2 ½ inches in diameter. The larger kohlrabi tends to get fibrous and woody.
I’m also using Chinese celery in this dish, which is called karoeuz in Azeri. This type of celery is sold in most Asian markets. It looks a lot like regular celery but much thinner with flat dark green leaves that resemble overgrown flat leaf parsley. Both the stalks and leaves are used in this recipe. If you were unable to locate the Chinese celery in your local market substitute with the same amount of regular celery, preferably with a lot of green leaves. The flavor is not exactly the same but both work nicely for this recipe.
Saute the diced kohlrabi until golden brown and tender, then add the diced onion and continue sauteing until the onion is translucent.
Add the tomato paste, turmeric, salt, black and cayenne peppers and saute a bit more
Then add everything else except for the fried onions and split peas, you’ll be adding these two items later
Cook for 30 minutes, then add the fried onions and split peas and simmer for another hour, stir occasionally.
Drizzle some yogurt on the Dash Kalam boranisi and add the butter and mint mixture over the yogurt. Enjoy with toasted Sangak, Barbari (look for these Persian breads in Middle Eastern or Persian bakeries or supermarkets), or any other bread of your choice.
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 1 ½ pounds kohlrabi (about 6 small 2-2 ½ inch size)
- 2 ounces butter
- 1 large yellow onion diced medium
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp kosher salt (adjust to taste)
- ⅛ tsp cayenne powder
- ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 TBSP crushed dried mint leaves
- ¾ cup calrose short grain rice
- ¾ cup coarse bulgur
- ¾ pound Chinese celery
- 4 ounces flat leaf parsley
- 11 cups beef stock (may substitute with chicken or vegetable stock)
- 2 large yellow onions diced medium
- 2 ounces butter
- ¾ cup yellow split peas
- 1 cup low fat plain yogurt thinned with 2 TBSP water
- 1-2 TBSP butter
- 1 tsp crushed dried mint leaves
- Pick through the parsley and Chinese celery. Wash thoroughly by placing them in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes and agitate with fingers to loosen up any possible dirt. Drain and add more fresh water as many times as needed to get rid of all the dirt. Drain and chop roughly into small pieces and set aside.
- Peel and dice one large yellow onion. Set it aside.
- Peel and dice the kohlrabi into ½ inch cubes. Heat 2 ounces of butter in a large nonstick skillet. Add the kohlrabi and saute over medium heat until it is uniformly golden brown and tender. Stir occasionally. Add the diced onions to the kohlrabi and continue sautéeing until the onions are translucent (5-7 minutes)
- Add the tomato paste, turmeric powder, cayenne powder, salt, freshly cracked black pepper to the skillet and saute for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a large stockpot.
- Add the kohlrabi mixture, chopped celery and parsley, 1 TBSP crushed dried mint leaves, rice, bulgur, and beef broth to the stockpot.
- Add the rice and bulgur to a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. Add to the stockpot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile peel and dice the 2 large onions and saute with 2 ounces butter over medium high heat in the large skillet until it starts getting light golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium and saute until golden brown. Set aside.
- Pick through the split peas and discard any debris, then rinse it under cold water. Add to a small saucepan, add enough cold water to cover the split peas. Bring it to a boil and allow to boil for 1 minute, drain.
- Add the par-cooked split peas and fried onions to the stockpot. Cover the pot and continue cooking over low heat for one more hour. Stir occasionally.
- To prepare the garnish: Melt 1-2 TBSP butter in a small skillet over medium low heat. Turn off the heat and add 1 tsp crushed mint leaves, stir to combine.
- Add the plain low-fat yogurt to a small bowl and whisk it with 2 TBSP cold water to have a pouring consistency.
- Pour the Kohlrabi Pottage in a large serving bowl or individual small bowls. Drizzle the thinned yogurt on top, and sprinkle the butter and mint garnish over the yogurt. Serve hot with toasted Sangak (Persian flat bread), Barbari (another Persian bread that has a texture similar to thin Italian Ciabatta), or any bread of your choice.