Winters in Delhi are just a fleeting cold season. We love to take out our jackets and quilts for about a month or so but keep enjoying the winter vegetables for a little longer. Richer meat stews are enjoyed more during winters but I am partial to me vegetables and keep having my soup meals no matter what. So we had a pizza and spaghetti with meat balls dinner one day and then I felt like a light warming hearty soup for lunch the next day. This is what I made as I love the Monji nadru (recipe later in the post) or Gogji nadru, the Kashmiri curries with knol khol and turnips respectively. While I cook this curry traditionally with lotus stem as well, but I love it even without that. And this time I even converted it to a rice and knol khol soup. These vegetables in season are so tasty that you need minimal spicing or seasoning with them, the natural flavors of the veggie keep lingering on your mind for long. Just like some hard core non vegetarians rave about pork belly or a beef steak.
(makes one large meal serving)
knol knol (gaanth gobi) 250 gm including the leaves
basmati rice 1 tbsp (you can use brown rice)
mustard oil 1 tbsp
2 broken green chillies
asafoetida powder 1 pinch
salt to taste
Wash, clean and chop the leaves of the knol khol separately. The bulbs need to be chopped in asymmetrical slices. Just halve the bulb and then slice it roughly.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and coat the interiors of the pressure cooker pan well with the oil. Tip in the asafoetida and then the knol khol slices and toss to cook them. keep stirring or tossing till the edges become pinkish.
Add slat and green chillies, 1/2 cup of water and pressure cook till the whistle blows. You have to add the brown rice and 1/4 cup of water extra if using brown rice before pressure cooking. Otherwise add white rice and a little water after pressure cooking the curry, and then cook till the rice is done, adding more water of required. I like this soupy curry to be a bit watery.
The flavors are out of this word and I can even use slightly mature knol khol too for this curry-soup, as in this case. The leaves were lesser and the bulbs were mature and fibrous. But I had to have it like this.
The same curry can be made using only the leaves of knol khol or even Turnips.
Since I introduced the quick soup first, I owe you the traditional recipe of Monji nadru as well... here it is...Knol khol with more fresh green leaves and a fat lotus stem...
First you chop the Knol khol and the lotus stem in slanted slices...
Heat mustard oil in pressure cooker pan, tip in the asafoetida and then add the chopped knol khol and lotus stems. Toss and fry till both become a bit pinkish on corners.
Add salt and broken green or red chillies. Add a cup of water and pressure cook just till the whistle blows. If the knol khol is tough you might need more cooking time.
Sometimes I cook this same curry with small cut pieces of chicken too..a complete meal in that case.