Kohl Rabi (Bengali Olkopi)

Botanical Name : Brassica oleracea gongylodes
Family: Brassicaceae
Genus: Brassica
Species: B. oleracea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Brassicales

Synonyms: Brassica caulorapa. Pasq.

Common Names: Kohl Rabi , German turnip or Turnip cabbage
Bengali Name : Olkopi

Habitat: It is grown allover the world as vegitable. In tropical countries it grows in winter and in colder countries in summer.

Description:
Brassica oleracea gongylodes is an annual/biennial vegetable plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate. It is a low, stout cultivar of cabbage. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw as well as cooked.
It is not frost tender.

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Kohlrabi has been created by artificial selection for lateral meristem growth (a swollen, nearly spherical shape); its origin in nature is the same as that of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts: they are all bred from, and are the same species as, the wild cabbage plant (Brassica oleracea).

The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter, with a higher ratio of flesh to skin. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple, although much less sweet.

Except for the Gigante cultivar, spring-grown kohlrabi much over 5 cm in size tend to be woody, as do full-grown kohlrabi much over perhaps 10 cm in size; the Gigante cultivar can achieve great size while remaining of good eating quality. The plant matures in 55–60 days after sowing. Approximate weight is 150 g and has good standing ability for up to 30 days after maturity.

There are several varieties commonly available, including White Vienna, Purple Vienna, Grand Duke, Gigante (also known as “Superschmelz”), Purple Danube, and White Danube. Coloration of the purple types is superficial: the edible parts are all pale yellow. The leafy greens can also be eaten.
Cultivation:
Succeeds in full sun in a well-drained fertile preferably alkaline soil[200]. Succeeds in any reasonable soil, though it is best not grown in an acid soil. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.5 to 7.5. Prefers some shade and plenty of moisture in the growing season. Established plants are drought tolerant but the best stems are formed when the plant does not go short of moisture. Succeeds in maritime gardens. Very winter hardy, kohl rabi withstands severe frosts and so can be left in the ground all winter in most areas and be harvested as required. The young growing plant, however, is sensitive to low temperatures and a week at 10°c will cause the plants to bolt. It grows best at a temperature between 18 and 25°c. Kohl rabi is often cultivated for its edible swollen stem which can be available almost all year round from successional sowings. There are several named varieties and stem colour can range from white to green and purple. Green forms are faster to mature and so more suitable for early sowings, the purple forms are hardier and later to mature, they are used mainly for winter crops. Very fast growing, the stems of some cultivars can be harvested 6 – 8 weeks after sowing. The plant is more tolerant of drought and high temperatures than turnips, which it resembles in flavour, and so it is often grown as a substitute for that species. Grows well with onions, beet and aromatic herbs which seem to reduce insect predations. Plants also grow well with cucumbers, the roots of each species occupying different levels in the soil. Grows badly with strawberries, runner beans and tomatoes.

Propagation :
Seed – sow April to August in situ. Earlier sowings can be made under cloches

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Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves; Stem.
Edible Uses:

Leaves – cooked. Used as a vegetable, though the quality is not as good as cabbage. The young leaves can also be added to salads, though some people find them difficult to digest. A nutritional analysis is available. Stem – raw or cooked. The plant produces a swollen stem just above ground level, and this is often used as a root vegetable. It has a mild cabbage flavour, when finely grated it makes a good addition to mixed salads and, when cooked, is an excellent vegetable. It is best eaten whilst fairly small and tender, between golf ball and tennis ball size. It becomes coarse with age. A nutritional analysis is available.

Kohlrabi stems are surrounded by two distinct fibrous layers that do not soften appreciably when cooked. These layers are generally peeled away prior to cooking or serving raw, with the result that the stems often provide a smaller amount of food than one might assume from their intact appearance.

The Kohlrabi root is frequently used raw in salad or slaws. It has a texture similar to that of a broccoli stem, but with a flavor that is sweeter and less vegetal.

Kohlrabi leaves are edible and can be used interchangeably with collard greens and kale.

Kohlrabi is an important part of the Kashmiri diet and one of the most commonly cooked foods. It is prepared with its leaves and served with a light gravy and eaten with rice

Composition :
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Leaves (Dry weight)

•320 Calories per 100g
•Water : 0%
•Protein: 23.5g; Fat: 2.5g; Carbohydrate: 62.5g; Fibre: 13g; Ash: 10.5g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 430mg; Phosphorus: 450mg; Iron: 10.5mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 80mg; Potassium: 3100mg; Zinc: 0mg;
•Vitamins – A: 15000mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.6mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.7mg; Niacin: 4.5mg; B6: 0mg; C: 670mg;
Medicinal Uses:.…..Digestive: Tonic……..The leaf is digestive and tonic

Other Uses: Some varieties are grown as feed for cattle.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlrabi
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Brassica+oleracea+gongylodes

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