Kohlrabi is a combination of German words, ‘kohl’ meaning cabbage and ‘rabi’ meaning turnip. The word kohlrabi, therefore, means cabbage with a turnip like appearance. Knol-khol or kohlrabi is known as ganth gobi in Hindi. Edible part of knol-khol is the swollen stem called knob and is formed from thickening of stem tissues just above the ground. The leaves emerge from surface of the knob.
Knol-khol is an important source of moisture, minerals, protein and fibre. Knol-khol+ knobs are generally consumed as a cooked or boiled vegetable. Leaves of knol-khol are used as a potherb in Kashmir valley. The knobs are also sometimes used fresh in salads and the leaves in soups. The knobs are cut into pieces, cooled and added with salt and vinegar and served as a salad. In Europe, fancy kinds with frilled deeply cut leaves are sometimes grown for ornamental purposes. Knobs also contain isothiocyanates and sulphoraphanes which is used for production of enzymes for protection in human body. (Kurilich et al.,1999)
Per 100 g edible part of knol- khol
Moisture (%) 92.7
Carbohydrates (g) 3.8
Protein (g) 1.1
Fat (g) 0.2
Thiamine (mg) 0.05
Riboflavin (mg) 0.09
Vitamin c 85
Calcium (mg) 21
Iron (mg) 0.4
The early varieties of knobs are harvested when they attain 6-8 cm diameter and late varieties when they attain 10-12 cm diameter. Knobs are harvested before it becomes tough and woody depending upon variety. Knobs are harvested by pulling the plants from the land generally and marketed after removing both leaves and roots. Most of the varieties cultivated in India attain marketable maturity 45-70 days after transplanting. However, the late varieties grown in Europe and other temperate regions take 70-100 days to reach maturity. If harvesting is delayed the knobs become fibrous. Before sending to the market, the roots are removed and the knobs are tied together in bunches.
Knol-khol is stored in 3-4 days at 0°C and 90-95 per cent relative humidity. The knobs with leaves can be stored for about two weeks. De-topped knobs can be stored for up to three months under ideal conditions. In cold storage knobs can be store for more days with wrapped leaves to ensure better quality knobs comparatively unwrapped knobs.