Spicy Indian Kohlrabi & Pickled Onions
Purple kohlrabi with spiced coconut paste, fresh curry, lentils (urad dal & chana dal), mozzarella, pickled onions
This was the last pizza we made before leaving Philly and moving to Cambridge, so even though it's full of Indian flavors, we tried to go local with a lot of our ingredients. The little purple kohlrabis were from our tiny backyard garden in Graduate Hospital—harvesting them was a very exciting feat for us. And the pickled onions were from one of our favorite farmers' market staples, Food & Ferments—though you can feel free to buy them from anywhere you like or use your favorite quick pickled onion recipe to make your own.
1 ball of pizza dough
flour for dusting
semolina flour for pizza stone
salt & pepper
~1/4 cup pickled red onions
1 ball fresh mozzarella, torn into bite size pieces
For the coconut paste:
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
2-3 green chilis (depending on how spicy you like it), minced
For the kohlrabi:
2-5 kohlrabi (depending on their size), peeled & cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup dry chana dal (aka bengal gram lentils or split chickpeas)
2 teaspoons dry urad dal (aka black gram lentils)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 sprig fresh curry leaves
1.5 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/2-1 tablespoon coconut oil
*Note: some of these ingredients may not be available at your supermarket, but if you have an Indian or Middle Eastern market near you, you should be able to find everything there. If you're in Philly, I recommend International Foods & Spices.
To start, soak the chana dal in a small bowl of water for about half an hour, then drain & rinse them, setting aside. Preheat your oven to 550° F, or as hot as it will go.
To make the coconut paste, start by toasting the cumin seeds in a pan over low heat until fragrant, taking them off the heat before they start to brown. Using a mortar & pestle (or a food processor), grind the cumin seeds, chilis & coconut together, adding just enough water to blend into a smooth paste.
Now heat the coconut oil in a large pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds—they should sputter in the pan. Next, add the urad dal and stir until they begin to turn golden.
Add the kohlrabi to the pan, followed by the drained chana dal, turmeric, curry leaves, a couple pinches of salt, and about a cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the kohlrabi is tender.
When the kohlrabi is done, add the coconut paste and stir it all together. If the paste is looking dry, you can add a splash more water. Cook and stir for a couple more minutes until everything is fully combined and the sauce on the kohlrabi has thickened to a gravy consistency. Remove the curry leaves and take the pan off the heat.
Now you can start to prepare your dough using the instructions on the right. After you've baked it for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil. Next, scatter the mozzarella evenly across the pizza, followed by the kohlrabi mixture (you might not need all of it) & pickled onion slices. Bake until the cheese has melted and the crust is a nice golden brown, then take it out and enjoy!
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