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Kohlrabi, Corn & Tofu Curry

spicy curried kohlrabi, corn, and tofu stir fry

If you’ve ever been at the farmers market or sifting through your latest CSA delivery and stumbled upon a purple or green vegetable that looks like it might have fallen off the back of a UFO…that was probably a kohlrabi.

A member of the Brassica family of vegetables, kohlrabis have the same subtly sweet, crunchy flavor and texture as their cousins broccoli and cabbage, but grow like tubers, in much the same manner as turnips or potatoes. In fact, the word kohlrabi (which, yes, does sound like something one would call an alien life form) comes from the combination of the German words for cabbage (kohl) and turnip (rube). While kohlrabis absolutely must be peeled before eating, once you break through their thick outer skin, the sky is the limit as to how you can consume them: raw in slaws or salads, steamed and pureed into creamy mashes, roasted, or sautéed.

Kohlrabi, Corn & Tofu Curry
Kohlrabi is a staple in Kashmiri cuisine, so it is often found paired with Indian spices and flavors. In this curry, its subtle sweetness is accented by juicy pops of fresh corn, summer-ripe tomatoes, a dash of garam masala, and a sprinkling of minced chilis. Big tofu cubes are added in for protein and to soak up some of that delicious curry flavor.

This meal comes together within 30 minutes, making it a great option for weeknight eating. I served it over rice, but you can eat it with your favorite grain or on its own.

Bonus: You no longer have to run away screaming when you see kohlrabi at the market anymore!

Kohlrabi, Corn & Tofu Curry

The sweet flavor of kohlrabi is brought out in this curry, where it is paired with fresh summer tomatoes, sweet corn, and tofu.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons + 1/2 cup water divided
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 2 medium tomatoes coarsely chopped
  • 6 ears fresh corn kernels removed
  • 1 medium kohlrabi peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 12-ounce package extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (you can use a tofu press)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala


  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, garlic, jalapeno, vinegar, 4 tablespoons of water and soy sauce. Set aside.
  • In a large wok over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds to the pan and cook until they start to pop, about 30 seconds. Pour in the ginger-garlic mixture and heat through, about a minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook over medium heat until the tomatoes are softened, 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the corn, kohlrabi, tofu, 1/2 cup of water, salt and black pepper to the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes.
  • Stir in the garam masala and cook, uncovered, for another 2-3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Serve over rice, quinoa, barley or your favorite grain.


Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey
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  • Reply
    Millie | Add A Little
    August 17, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I love kohlrabi – it’s so tasty and refreshing – I love the crunch in raw salads!

    • Reply
      Joanne Bruno
      August 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      I’ve actually never had it raw! Though I will be experimenting with it much more now that I feel more confident in preparing it.

  • Reply
    Katie Trant
    August 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I love kohlrabi! We usually eat it raw, either in thick slabs sprinkled with salt, or cubed up and tossed into a salad. I also use it in place of hard to find green papaya in Thai green papaya salad. Yum! This curry looks great and corn is in season now, so win win!

    • Reply
      Joanne Bruno
      August 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      I definitely need to try it like that. I still haven’t had it raw!

  • Reply
    August 17, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I love kohlrabi and adore Madhur Jaffrey! Will be trying this soon!

    • Reply
      Joanne Bruno
      August 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Definitely do! It’s a great way to use up summer veggies.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Kohrabi grow above the ground. It

  • Reply
    Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir
    August 18, 2014 at 9:51 am

    When I used to work at the farmer’s market, the kohlrabi was always that one neglected veggie on the end of the table. And I presume the one that got thrown out the most from our CSA members. It can be quite tasty, but no one ever knows what to do with it, and they just keep coming. Love this summer version with curry. I generally use mine in their raw form most often, so this sounds like a nice change of pace!

    • Reply
      Joanne Bruno
      August 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      I was first introduced to kohlrabi at the farmer’s market…I actually don’t think I’ve ever seen it in the supermarket!

  • Reply
    Jessica @ Jessica in the Kitchen
    August 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    I love kohlrabi! The best pick from the farmer’s market. Great recipe!

    • Reply
      Joanne Bruno
      August 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      The farmer’s market definitely makes it easy to try new and crazy veggies. Thanks, girl!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks for that great recipe! I love kohlrabi! Luckily in Austria, where I’m from, you can get it almost everywhere!
    What could I substitute sweet corn with as I really don’t like it? Is chick peas a possibility?

    • Reply
      Joanne Bruno
      October 5, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      That’s so cool! It’s pretty hard to find here in the US, actually. I think you could use peas, as they are also pretty sweet, but chickpeas are a great option as well!

      • Reply
        October 6, 2014 at 2:30 pm

        Thank you for your help. I’ll definitely give the recipe a try.

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